The Real Morning Routines Of 10 Ambitious Women

The Real Morning Routines Of 10 Ambitious Women


Mar. 1 2021, Published 7:01 a.m. ET

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If you’re anything like me, you like the idea of putting together a solid morning routine that gets your day started in just the right way for the best day possible. All the studies I’ve seen show us that morning routines are critical for powerful productivity. Creating a Power Hour or establishing a solid start-to-the-day routine can really make a difference in your mental health and overall productivity.

Creating your own life from scratch can be a little intimidating, though. There are a lot of great ideas out there on how and when to do this or that or what you need to do every single day, but instead of looking at suggestions, we thought we’d look at real routines of real women who are powered by their ambition and desire for a healthy, successful life.

Asia Milia Ware, Editorial Assistant, Teen Vogue

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7:15 a.m – Wake up and read my daily devotional. I usually do a bible plan pertaining to where I’m currently at in life.

7:30 a.m – Pre-workout skincare routine

7:45 a.m – Drink warm water with lemon and prepare a pre-workout drink

8:00 a.m – Out the door for the gym

8:30-10 a.m – Daily workout from HIIT to strength training to running, I dedicate this morning time to me.

10:15 a.m – Return home, shower, and skim emails while doing my post-workout skin care mask

10:45 a.m – Hop into work for the day!

Allyssa Munro, Founder, MEG & MUNRO – A Marketing and Communications Consultancy

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8:30 a.m – Wake up and say a quick morning prayer/show gratitude.

8:35 a.m – Put on my workout clothes and go on the treadmill. I’ve been loving the Peloton App lately.

9:00 a.m – Take a shower and get ready for my day (I’ve been using and recommend Vanicream on the face to help with seasonal dermatitis or severe dry/sensitive skin).

9:15 a.m – Brew some coffee and log in to check my emails.

9:25 a.m – Turn on CNBC in time to watch the stock market open.

9:30 a.m – Dive deep into work deliverables while still listening to CNBC in the background.

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Eden Duncan-Smith, Actress & College Student

wp content/uploads///EdenDS_Pic Eden Duncan Smith

At the top of the day, I am probably awake already from the night before, if not, I’m up at 3:30.

3:30 a.m-4:30 a.m: I organize my apartment and wash dishes and take out the trash. I also burn bergamot to ease my anxiety. Throughout the winter there are no plants, but this would be one of the hours to spend time with them.

4:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m: If I don’t engage in some sort of movement at the tip-top and the bare end of my day, every day, my body makes me pay for it. Growing up a performer in the big city, my muscles can’t bear the mundanity of Zoom University in this small town. These two hours are dedicated to a pretty detailed weekly workout regimen I curated in high school and an hour-long dance session. This takes up most of my mornings. If I miss this part of my day, I will not be productive for the rest of the day. I don’t make the rules, I just live by them.

6:30 a.m. I start the coffee. This is the most important part of the day.

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WEEKDAYS and SUNDAYS 6:30 am-7:30 am: While the coffee brews, I take a shower and do my face and hair routine. These days my hair is usually wrapped in a scarf. I have dry skin and have been using CeraVe for cleaning and moisturizing my skin (plus some Pomegranate seed oil) and I’m grateful for all the wonderful scientists involved.

7:30 a.m. – 8 am: I make breakfast and drink that coffee. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It is the most peaceful and intimately pure of all meals. There is no finessing breakfast, skipping breakfast ruins the day. Breakfast must be consumed and therefore you can’t run from it’s vulnerability. This is usually my pondering time. Where I ask my impossible questions, I give my impossible answers, where I debate with myself, or where I do some of my personal reading (currently If Not, Winter by: Anne Caron… again). This is my 30-minute Mental Workout.

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8 a.m.: The day opens every morning with an intense To-Do List session right before going over the previous night’s study materials and prepare notes to expand on or questions to ask for class. The To-Do List sessions are always pumped with Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock and Roll (2013) & MANIA (2018) albums to keep my heart pounding to the rhythms of victory as I enter my day a champion.

SATURDAYS 6:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m: It usually takes longer, but I block out this time to wash and pamper my hair. My hair requires simplicity and effectiveness which are the leading promises from Melanin Haircare (, and they’ve stuck to that promise with every use. I’ve never felt more healthy. 9:30 am: I have my breakfast and every Saturday I watch Great Museums Televisions’ documentary on the Met Museum called, A World of Art.

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Susan McPherson, CEO and founder of McPherson Strategies and author of The Lost Art of Connecting

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6:30 a.m: Alarm goes off. Snooze button promptly hit. As I’ve aged, I adore my sleep.

7:00 a.m: Awake and snuggle with my pup, Phoebe (for 10-15 minutes)

7:15 a.m: Scan phone (I know, pathetic, but I run a company!)

7:30 a.m: Wash face and attempt to get a brush through my now very long hair (due to COVID) and throw on clothes (nothing fancy these days)

7:45 a.m: Let pup out and make the coffee, drink a glass of water (always)

8 a.m: Feed Phoebe and dive in – NPR, NYTimes, WSJ and then my morning newsletters including Broadsheet, Fortune, Adweek, Morning Brew, DealBook and Axios. Yes. I’m a news junkie and always have been.

8:45 a.m: Check socials (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, less so Facebook these days)

9:00 Formally dive into meetings, calls and usually start a 2-hour walk (and do my calls/meeting while walking.)

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Lydia Stowe, Content Manager

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6:30 a.m. – Wake up to the sound of my husband feeding the dogs and getting ready for work. Say out loud three things I’m grateful for before my feet hit the floor.

6:45 a.m. – Make myself a cup of caffeinated tea and settle at the kitchen table with a book to spend some time reading and praying.

7:30 a.m. – Shower, get dressed in “work-from-home professional wear”, and put on moisturizer, mascara, and liquid blush. Listen to an upbeat Spotify playlist, the news, or a podcast (some current favorites are Journeywomen, Dear Therapists, and Scam Goddess) while I get ready for the day. 8 a.m. – Make sure the kiddo is awake, hydrated, and starting school.

8:15 a.m. – Tidy the house— make the bed, put clothes away, unload the dishwasher, wipe down surfaces.

8:45 a.m. – Sit at my computer and organize my day— look at the calendar, make a list of top priorities, reply to any urgent emails.

9 a.m. – Start my day of remote work, answering Slack messages, joining Zoom calls, and checking things off the to-do list!

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Anulekha Venkatram, Senior Product Manager

wp content/uploads///SINY Headshot  cropped Anulekha Venkatram

6 a.m. – Wake up. Make breakfast while drinking green tea

6:30 a.m. – Eat breakfast while catching up on yesterday’s news

7 – 8 a.m. – Watch LinkedIn Learning videos & read product management articles

8 a.m. – Get showered and dressed for work

8:30 a.m. – Prep my Instant Pot for lunch with a delayed timer

8:45 a.m. – Log in to work at the “office space” I set up in my apartment. Listen to my motivational playlist to get pumped up for the day!

LaToya Kittrell, NYC DOE High School Principal

LaToya Kittrell principal

5:45 a.m. – 6:00 am — I wake up each morning at least an hour and a half earlier than anyone else in the house. I wash my face, brush my teeth & drink a caffeinated beverage.

6:00 a.m. – 6:15 am — while waiting for the caffeine to kick in, I review my calendar and set intentions and priorities for the day.

6:15 a.m. – 6:30 am I write out emails to my staff and schedule them to go out at 7am.

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6:30 a.m. – 7:00 am If I am engaged in a work out or meditation challenge this is the time I would do the challenge. For example, if I am doing one of Deepak’s free 21-day meditation challenges, I would do it at this time. If I am doing the HEAT 6 week Weightloss Challenge or Black Women Lose Weight 30 day challenge, I would do the fasted cardio or the designated work out in this time slot. Otherwise, I would write in my journal or tune into the radio.

7:00 a.m. – I begin to get dressed & ready for work (using the bathroom in peace!)

7:45 a.m. – 8:00 am I wake up the children 7:45 I would leave for work or prepare to work remotely by 8 am.

Jessica, RN

wp content/uploads///inbound Jessica Townsend

On work mornings, I am up at 5, shower and dress, then coffee time with my husband. After that, last few things, pocket stuffing, and out the door.

On days that I don’t work, I am up by at least 7, then dress and out the door to do farm chores. Back inside, and on winter mornings wake the fire, make coffee, and have coffee time with hubby to plan the day.

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Sarah Twombly, Former strategist, current full-time writer

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I mean, look. I have kids. My morning routine is getting jarrred awake at 6am by a screaming 3yo who jumps in our bed, followed by the dog, followed by the 5 yo. My spouse is fine by 7 so it’s me, herding them into clothes, making lunches, getting clean masks, breaking up fights, maybe getting to do my hair but probably not, and shoving them all in the car for the 45 mins of driving it takes to get them dropped off at school. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. The hardest part of the day, second only to bedtime. When I worked a corporate job in LA and NYC, I would then get a soothing car ride to work to listen to news, and then begin the easiest part of the day: killing it at work. Honestly, after the maelstrom of parenting young kids alone every morning, I have a had a work out, mediated at least three times to keep from killing them, and gotten rid of whatever low esteem around my looks I once had. If I am in clothes I am thrilled. Once the kids have been deposited I can literally conquer anything. Maybe not quite what you were looking for, but a whole lot of truth.

Ko Im, Thought Leadership Editor/Meditation Teacher

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6 a.m. — Wake up. Wash my face with cold water and put on lotion. Quietly boil hot water in a pot for coffee. Have a small bite of breakfast.

6:30 a.m. — Log on and see all the emails, check social media

7:30 a.m. — Morning meeting or do a power hour of work

8:30 a.m. — Meditate live on Instagram via Chopra

8:45 a.m. — Do some light morning movement via YouTube

9 a.m. — Change my location to do more work

11 a.m. — If I don’t have a call, take a walking break outside if it’s sunny or wait until the warmest hour, listening to Spotify or calling a friend.

Ambition Delivered.

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By: Rita Pike

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of Jerrie Mock, the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theater, podcasting, and novel writing. She now writes about travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves a very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.

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