Morning Routines of Successful Professionals, Part 2


There’s no doubt that establishing a morning ritual is essential for gearing up for a successful day. Creating a repeated routine reduces the number of decisions you have to make, freeing up your energy and willpower for far more important issues.

We gave you a peek into the morning routines of 6 notable marketers and creatives in Part 1 of this series. Here are the final profiles to inspire you to kickstart your morning.

Duncan Riley – Creative Director, Shazam

1) Do you hit snooze in the morning?

Of course! Doesn’t everyone? My fiancée leaves home at 5AM as she’s the Breakfast Show Producer on BBC Radio 1 here in the UK, so that tends to wake me for a while. An hour later, my alarm sounds and that snooze button on my iPhone is far too tempting!

2) What’s your typical breakfast like?

Breakfast is very varied… I’m currently enjoying (suffering) homemade smoothies full of vegetable goodness to kickstart my mornings. If I’m running slightly later, then I’ll pick up something near the office in London. We’re never without coffee on the design team, often brewing our own at work. On Wednesdays, Shazam puts on a whole spread of bagels and toppings for the team to enjoy, which goes down very well!

3) What are three things you like to do that set you up for a good day?

  1. Workout where possible! A few of the Product team here in London are trying out HIIT sessions first thing in the morning, which kill for a little while but make you feel great afterwards.
  2. Plenty of caffeine from our favourite coffee house, Peyton and Byrne in Hammersmith.
  3. I tend to spend the majority of my commute on the tube, listening to some of the great curated playlists on Spotify, digesting the day’s tech news on Flipboard and scanning my design bookmarks for inspiration. A day at Shazam HQ is never without some industry chat, so being in the know helps.

Laura Maxwell – Director or Marketing, Mapquest

1) Snooze?

I try my best not to. I find my most productive days happen when I embrace the alarm!

2) Breakfast?

Coffee and a green smoothie or eggs and toast. I’m definitely a breakfast person and I find that these two options give me the most energy.

3) Three things?

  1. I read a physical book before bed to wind down and relax my mind. I find that screen time before bed seriously affects quality of sleep.
  2. Sleep! Speaking of, I shoot for 8 hours each night which is my sweet spot to feel well rested.
  3. When I wake up, I take the dog on a walk or hike to get the blood flowing which allows me to start my day nice and early (~7am) and get a few things done without distraction.


Alex Turnbull – CEO & Founder, Groove

1) Snooze?

I try not to. I do my best not to start my day with a failure, no matter how small, as it sets a bad tone for the rest of the day. I’m human, so I can’t say that I never do, but I always do my best to actively avoid hitting snooze.

2) Breakfast?

Cereal. Same thing every day, so I don’t have to think too much about it.

3) Three things?

  1. A cup of coffee is a mandatory first step.
  2. A shower is a quick win that wakes me up and gets me into work mode.
  3. While everyone says not to do it, I typically dive into email right away, answering support messages or responding to requests like this one to get my mind going.


Anum Hussain – Senior Growth Marketer, Hubspot

1) Snooze?

Yes. I set two alarms, 30 minutes apart, and usually hit snooze for another ten minutes on the second one. The worst mornings are when I accidentally hit snooze on the first alarm, causing a disruption in my 30-minute alarm gap.

2) Breakfast?

My breakfast is typically a banana smoothie and two pieces of cinnamon raisin toast. If I have a nicely ripe pear, I’ll replace one piece of toast with that.

3) Three things?

  1. Dress to impress…myself. Although I really just wear anything on sale, wearing an outfit that I feel confident and comfortable in is important for getting through the day.
  2. Pack my lunch and tea. While I’ll eat out for a lunch meeting, having my own home-made lunch gives me true amounts of joy midway through the day. Post-lunch I make tea but am particular about how it’s made (South Asian style), so I bring my own tea bags to work to ensure I enjoy my daily tea.
  3. Check my email. People always say you should do your most important task first. I don’t deny that’s incredible advice. But for me, I’ll just keep thinking about if there’s an important message I need to attend to or want to read. Getting through my inbox first thing helps me move onto my tasks without any distractions and be confident my team isn’t waiting on me for anything.

Beth Bullock-McGrail – Senior Director of Brand Strategy and Innovation, Friendly’s

1) Snooze? Not really. Well, not usually. I am pretty much internally programmed to wake up at 5am. I’m most definitely a morning person. On the flip side, don’t try tracking me down after 9pm!

2) Breakfast? They say we’re habit driven in the morning but I swing between super-motivated and un-motivated: When I’m super motivated, it’s a hot breakfast – heavy on protein. When I’m super un-motivated – my husband picks me up a muffin on his Dunkin’ Donuts run.

3) Three things?

  1. First and foremost: I must have a great night’s sleep!
  2. Second, I need quiet time in the morning to organize my thoughts. Since my commute takes an hour driving time door to door (and it’s an easy highway drive), I use it to mull over issues at hand and organize my priorities for the day. That said, priorities often (!) shift throughout the day. So in the end, a good day often looks nothing like you thought it would!
  3. Third, good music. I do a lot of channel surfing via Sirius on my drive in.


Meghan Kelleher – Communications Manager, Waze

1) Snooze? 50/50 on the snooze button. Depends on what TV show I was binging on the night before!

2) Breakfast? I’m a big breakfast fan. If I’m making it at home, I usually make these almond-coconut-banana pancakes with coconut yogurt and berries. If I grab at the office, it’s scrambled egg whites with Sriracha and some type of cubed melon. No matter where I have breakfast, I do pick up an almond milk latte at Bean Vault Coffee in Hoboken. I always leave with a warm drink and a smile on my face as the staff is so friendly and the music is normally 90’s throwbacks which I love.

3) Three things? 1. I always start my day with a walk to the train station to fully wake up my mind and body. 2. On the walk, I tend to do one or two lessons on Duolingo __as I’m trying to pick back up Italian and find it sharpens my thinking for the day. 3. Once on the train, I __turn on a playlist with a good beat to energize me. Right now it’s a mix of Alessia Cara and ZZ Ward.


Steve Baker – CEO, Brandfolder

1) Snooze? No – my internal clock gets me up at 6.

2) Breakfast? Coffee and more coffee. An early banana is my secret weapon.

3) Three things? 1. Gym time. I like to start the day off with an energizing run at our campus’ fitness center—it makes me feel accomplished right at the start of my day. I’ve run marathons in the past, so it’s definitely a passion of mine. 2. My work day begins with our Brandfolder executive meeting. We rally all the Brandfolder leaders first thing in the morning to make sure we’re aligned and motivated. 3. Can’t get enough of morning cuddles with my mini dachshund, Rick. He never fails to put me in a good mood.


How do you supercharge your morning? Let us know in the comments or share on social!

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