Daily Routines of the Ultra Successful

successWhether you’re up-and-at-’em when day breaks or stumbling out of bed, the way you spend the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.

That’s why many leaders have crafted morning rituals that maximize their energy, productivity, and creativity all day long.

We asked a mix of high-profile CEOs, authors, investors, and entrepreneurs: What is your morning routine? Read on to find out what they said.

Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Water, checks email immediately after waking up.

Goldin wakes up at 5:30 on the dot every morning and heads directly to her inbox, which gives her a clear understanding of what the rest of the day will be like.

After that, she embarks on a hike with her husband and dogs through the Marin hillside of California. While this may seem like a nonessential step in her morning routine, Goldin says it’s absolutely crucial.

“Without my hike, I feel unbalanced,” she says. “I need this time to clear my head, connect with what I love, and center myself so that I can handle any challenge that might come up in the day ahead.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and investor, has a three-hour morning routine that gets him ready for the day.

Vaynerchuk, cofounder and CEO of VaynerMedia, plans his mornings down to the minute.

First thing, he catches up on the news: ESPN, Business Insider, and a news aggregator called Nuzzel.

Next, he communicates with his massive Twitter following: “I search my handle and try to find anything I might have missed from the night before, or even that morning, considering my European and Asian bases. I respond to as many people as possible.”

The most unique aspect of his morning routine, however, occurs in the car on the way to the office: He calls his mother, father, or sister, depending on who he spoke with last.

“I catch up with them. Talk to them. Just learn what they?re up to,” he says. “I really value those small moments.”

Scott Adams, the creator of ‘Dilbert,’ designed his morning routine to maximize his creativity.

Scott Adams, the creator of ‘Dilbert,’ designed his morning routine to maximize his creativity.

The first 20 minutes of Adams’ day are exactly the same, every day. Putting his physical body on autopilot “frees his brain for creativity.”

Concentrating his creative hours in the morning makes sense for Adams. “My value is based on my best ideas in any given day, not the number of hours I work,” he says.

In his home office, he enjoys a delicious combo of protein bar and coffee. “I give myself this ‘treat’ knowing I can be trained like any other animal,” he says. “And I want to train myself to enjoy waking up and being productive. (It totally works.)”