Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos' morning routine includes scrolling and dragging his feet: ‘I'm not as productive as you might think'

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Jeff Bezos doesn't let his responsibilities — executive chairman of Amazon, owner of Blue Origin, being a billionaire investor —  get in the way of his slow-moving morning routine.

The 60-year-old kicks off every day like a lot of people do: dragging his feet and scrolling on his smartphone, he recently told the "Lex Fridman Podcast."

This appeared to shock Fridman, who'd just called Bezos "one of the most productive humans in the world."

"I'm not as productive as you might think I am," Bezos responded, in an episode first released in December 2023. "First of all, I get up in the morning and I putter. I have a coffee ... and just slowly move around."

Bezos also reads the newspaper and chats with his fiancé before heading to the gym for cardio and weightlifting, he said: "Most days, [going to the gym is] not that hard for me, but some days it's really hard and I do it anyway," he said.

The morning routine coincides with Bezos' philosophy to embrace wandering, or doing things aimlessly. It's a tenet that follows him to the office, where he said he encourages mind wandering sessions to brainstorm and dissect new ideas without letting time constraints stifle creativity.

His time for his morning routine comes from waking up early. Bezos didn't specify what time he typically gets up, but said during an event in 2018: "I go to bed early, I get up early."

The benefits of a chill morning

Bezos isn't the only billionaire with a non-rushed morning routine. Mark Cuban wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. each morning and checks his emails for about an hour before getting out of bed, he told comedian Trevor Noah's "What Now?" podcast in January.

Then, he eats breakfast, works out and checks his email again. "Rinse and repeat," said Cuban.

Slow morning routines can seem lazy or sluggish on the surface, but they can actually result in increased energy, creativity and focus, Geir Berthelsen, founder of the World Institute of Slowness, told the Wall Street Journal in 2019.

Spend at least 20 minutes every morning doing nothing, Berthelsen recommended — you could simply stay awake in bed after your alarm goes off, for example. Other experts suggest doing activities that require stillness, like meditation or breathwork.

"Business leaders need to take time to forget about time, and that helps them be creative when they arrive at work," said Berthelsen. "That's the goal of doing this before going into the workplace."

Filling your morning with too many tasks or interruptions is "probably the biggest loss of productivity," he added.

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