I Tried the ‘Successful CEO Morning Routine’ (Well, Sort Of)

What happened when I woke up at 5 am for 6 months

Eve Arnold
10 min readFeb 21, 2022


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The morning routine has become somewhat of a modern-day phenomenon.

For some reason, we’re interested in how strangers over the internet start their day. Interested in the wrong word. Obsessed that’s better. We’re obsessed.

In fact, things have even gotten a little weird.

Anyone that professes to wake up at 5 am, take a cold shower, spend 15 minutes as a downward dog, and neck a spinach smoothie before going for an ‘easy’ 5k, holds godlike powers.

We’re in awe of these superhumans. We’re left simultaneously scratching our heads and feeling completely inadequate.

We ask questions in disbelief:

  • How do they convince their bodies to unwrap themselves from the warm bed burrito?
  • How do they function after waking up at 5 am?
  • Do they actually like the taste of that green juice?

It turns out, we’re so obsessed with this idea of waking up early that there are entire books written on morning routines. And not just one either. ‘The 5am Club’, ‘The Miracle Morning’ and ‘Own Your Morning’ are all books focusing on one thing: the morning routine.

Wild ay?

The successful CEOs and their morning routines

There’s no way that most people would wake up early if the only promise was a few quiet moments and time to themselves. Your bed is too comfy for that.

This morning routine thing must stand for something bigger. It must be a subtle idea that has everyone hooked. It didn’t take long for me to find out what that was.

The reason real most people get up early is because of this subtle idea: successful people get up early.

  • Apple CEO wakes up at 3:45 am.
  • Oprah Winfrey wakes up at 6:02 am.
  • Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 2:30am.

And then a sneaky thought grows in your mind. Well, I’m not Oprah Winfrey or Tim Cook but then again, I don’t get up early. And then you land…