As a child, I was never a morning person. You’d be lucky if you could wake me up with an entire mariachi band hovering above my bedside. But over the past few years, as we’ve built Pathwater from the ground up, I’ve learned the importance of building a solid morning routine. In fact, I find its impact is SO vital not just to me, but those around me as well. 

While I am always working to improve my routine, I wanted to share what currently works best for me – even during quarantine:

Wake Up Early & Get Moving – My day always starts before 6 am. Once I’m awake, I go for a light morning jog. Despite not being much of a runner, I’ve learned that getting outside and moving my body is by far the most effective way to clear my head. I love the feeling of clarity that comes from a good run!

Meditation & Cold Shower -When I get home, I light a candle, meditate and stretch. This time of mediation helps me gain mental clarity and I’ve noticed it has a profound impact on my ability to focus throughout the day. Next up, coffee… and a freezing cold shower (with a little Wim Hof breathing). Pro tip: taking a cold shower really kicks your day into full gear and releases endorphins in your body that reduce stress and elevate mood. Try it…I promise you’ll love it!

Now it’s time for work!

Tackle Easy Wins Before Bigger Tasks -When I sit down to work, I spend 15 minutes quickly looking through my emails, answering the easy ones and making sure there were no pressing issues. After that, I check out my schedule for the day and prep for my calls and video chats – Then I get started with my major tasks – we recently launched our Earth Day campaign which has been so rewarding, yet very time intensive! I find that blocking out time and removing distractions (checking my phone/emails) helps me tackle the bigger projects and initiatives I’m working on for Pathwater.

Fueling Up – I usually don’t eat until the afternoon. In the morning, I curb my appetite by drinking water, tea, and usually just a few cups of coffee to get my caffeine fix. When I do eat, I limit myself to 1-2 meals per day –  I’ve noticed this helps keep me alert and focused, rather than feeling sluggish and tired. 

Micro-Breaks and Movement – Throughout the day, I like to take micro-breaks where I either take a moment to do a couple pushups or squats or just be present in the moment.Later in the day, I do my COVID-approved at-home workout. I’ve been getting really into flow movement and body-weight workouts lately and I’m loving how it gets me to use my full range of motion.

Night Cap – I usually wrap up my day catching up with my loved ones, reading, journaling, or preparing for the next day. I get around 6-8 hours of sleep (sometimes less), but I’ve found that keeping a realistic sleep schedule helps me have more energy and make the best out of my working hours. A productive hour can be more than 3 hours when you’re at 50% capacity. That’s why things like health and wellness play such a big role in overall productivity. 

By starting each day as close to my normal routine as possible, it provides a sense of normalcy and my mindset feels as though it is just another workday (even if I can’t go into the office!)


  • Shadi Bakour

    CEO and Co-Founder


    Shadi Bakour is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pathwater, a bottled water company that provides the first 100% reusable, recyclable bottled water in a sturdy aluminum bottle. An expert in the beverage industry, Shadi’s extensive experience and proven track record of growing disruptive beverage businesses has allowed him to drive the overall vision and strategy for Pathwater.

    Shadi is responsible for overseeing all facets of the business, specializing in accelerating ideas through strategic foresight, drive, and determination. Prior to Pathwater, Shadi was the CEO and Co-Founder of Refill It, where he oversaw the rapid growth of the global brand. Previously, Shadi served as a Cost & Risk Analytics Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he built systems that effectively saved the Department of Treasury over $10M per year. 

    Shadi holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree from The George Washington University, where he also received a minor in Finance and Economics. He proudly graduated Summa Cum Laude, with additional achievements including a Full Scholarship, Dean’s List, Board of Trustees Scholar, University Scholar and Alumni Scholar.