Fun Friday: Routines

Someone suggested to me in the comments this past week that this fun friday be about Routines. If I could recall who it was, I would give them credit. Maybe you can identify yourself in the comments. (update: it was Tyrone. thanks Tyrone).

In any case, we are going to talk about routines today.

Every weekday that I am in NYC, I start my day at 5am. I get up, walk upstairs to my office, take my synthroid, put on some music (turntable or tumblr/ mostly), read the morning news (twitter #discover, techmeme, hacker news), and then open up Typepad and start writing about whatever comes into my head. When that is done, ideally by 6am, I post a song of the day on tumblr, and then do some email.

On tuesday and thursdays I do yoga from 7am to 8am, and I try to get out on my bike a few days a week as well. I mostly ride up the hudson river park bike path but sometimes I will ride down.

When I am not exercising, I wake Josh up at 7:20am and then head downstairs to eat breakfast. My breakfast staple is Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Shreaded Wheat with a sliced banana on it.

Then I get on my Vespa and ride to work. If it is too cold to ride the scooter, I walk to the L train and take it to Union Square. I like to stop by Tarallucci and get an espresso at the bar Roman style. Then I go to work.

Work is usually 8:30am to 6:30pm. It is meetings back to back to back to back.

Then at 6:30pm, I head home, either by scooter or subway, and have dinner with my family. I don't work after dinner. I will do homework with my son or watch sports with him (or both). I am in bed by 10pm. I might read a bit on the iPad or Kindle Fire but I am almost always asleep by 10:30pm at the latest. I will make an exception these coming weeks to watch the Thunder hopefully beat the Spurs and the Heat.

That's my routine during the week when I am in home in NYC. I stick to it. I am not an organized person. But I am a disciplined person. My routine is the key to me getting things done.

What are your routines?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Julien

    8:30AM to 6:30AM ? Typo here :p bed at 10AM? Freudian slip?As for routines, I used to have none and worked pretty much all the time. I recently started to stop working at night, except maybe for a once a week hackathon :)Sports is also becoming an increasing part of my daily routine and I won’t go back!

    1. fredwilson

      make sports a routine. it is a great stress reliever.

      1. Michael Elling

        As one ages (vigorous) exercise for 15-20 minutes first thing is the difference between a good and bad day mentally, physically and emotionally.

    2. fredwilson

      thanks for spotting that typo. i will fix it.

  2. LIAD

    I get up around sevenGet outta bed around nineAnd I don’t worry about nothin’ noCause worryin’s a waste of my… timeThe show usually starts around sevenWe go on stage around nineGet on the bus about elevenSippin’ a drink and feelin’ fineNow I get up around wheneverI used ta get up on timeBut that old man he’s a real muthafuckerGonna kick him on down the line

    1. kirklove

      Well played Mr Brownstone.

    2. kidmercury

      damn now i have to go put appetite on

    3. fredwilson

      Routinely late πŸ™‚

    4. Charlie Muir

      Thank you Fred for sharing your routine! This gives the rest of us who, day in and day out, are busting our marbles trying to get ourselves to the next level and feel guilty about every second spent less than optimized. It’s comforting to have a basis from which to compare our time spent. Or at least to know that, for now, we have to keep our heads down, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, no matter where you are on the success spectrum, however you define it, just know that if you get up at 7, you’re 2 hours behind the best in class and that’s a tough lead to try to overtake.So just keep trying to get a little better A little better than before

  3. William Mougayar

    Didn’t you forget the cortado?Β You made me realize I don’t have enough routines. Β Discipline is good, and helps to compensate for a bit of disorganization.Β My Morning Routines includeΒ AVC, email, Project Management,Β Bran + 1 pound of fresh fruit, yogurt and a cafe latte.Β Ones that should be: Blogging & Sports.Β 

    1. John Best

      Total tangent, but I’d just like to grab a second to say how much value I’m getting from my Engagio Popular Discussions email. It stops me missing any gems. Thank you.

      1. William Mougayar

        Very cool…it’s part of my routine too. I don’t even think about it. The Dashboard is also doing a good job at exposing the conversations and linking to the posts that matter. Thanks for the feedback!

      2. fredwilson

        Its funny but I also feel that is the best part of the service

        1. William Mougayar

          Thanks. There’s some foundation under it now, and we will expand it further.

      3. bsoist

        love that part of the service too, the discovery of new discussions I might not have found is huge for me

    2. ShanaC

      How do you eat 1 pound of fruit?

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s easy….start with 1/4 pineapple…then add 1/2 cup of blueberries/raspb/strawberries and 1/2 banana. Then an orange on the way to work.

  4. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    That is ALL …. meeting, meeting and more meeting?? Sounds like a big fun…I wish i had your job :-).btw, you never thanked me for your breakfast πŸ™‚ (type ‘Kashi v ‘ in google search).

    1. fredwilson

      Thank you

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam


    2. John Revay

      Seven whole grains on a mission

  5. kirklove

    1. Having a new born throws off a routine. Finally getting back to normal.2. Props for the love.3. Roman style = standing?4. I ride my bike on the Hudson River Path, too. Give me a heads up sometime.5. Try Barbara’s Puffins they’re the bomb.6. You mean OKC and the Sixers in the finals. But you are forgiven for that mistake.

    1. fredwilson

      Yes standing. With a glass of water on the side. Go Thunder!

    2. John Revay

      Hi Kirk – we are loving – it is my default player as long as I am on grid ( I live in the burbs…and I don ‘t always get great a signal on my iphone.Just turned my 15 yr old daughter on – she is loving it as well

      1. kirklove

        That’s awesome John. Thanks and glad you are enjoying it. I owe you a referral fee, too! πŸ˜‰

    3. ShanaC

      Mazel Tov on the newborn.I’m having crashing problems on android πŸ™ That and my headphones crapped out from using them all the time πŸ™

      1. kirklove

        Hey Shana,Sorry you’re having trouble. Our Android app does have a few kinks. We’re working on a new build along with cool phonegap solution (basically a shell app powered by HTML5). For now a good workaround is in the browser just type: and that will load the full exfm site even on mobile.

        1. ShanaC

          awesomeness. Thanks about the work around…

    4. John Revay

      Roman style = standingI learn something each day on AVC

  6. Avi Deitcher

    I wish I had as strong a routine. I have multiple, depending on where in the world I am.At home, it is up at 6am, morning prayers, kids to school, go for a run or a swim, breakfast (sometimes out with my wife), then on to work from the home office.Overseas, it varies. As much as I can, it is up at 4:45am, same morning prayers, then off to stick and puck for an hour and a half, followed by shower, breakfast, and off to client offices.

  7. gregorylent

    so opposite … never the same day twice … sleep when i am tired, eat when i am hungry, work when it flows … nothing to do with a clock, though i do notice day and night

    1. fredwilson


    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Are you a poet or a musician or a Ph.D student?reminds me of my 1990-94 life … I still miss that life …There was one time when I was just reading books and novels and playing chess and eating food whenever i am hungry … for 6-7 months … went only into the campus for 10-minutes (anytime between 9-5) just to sign the attendance sheet.

  8. Rohan

    First up, a fun friday quote I had to share -β€Ž’If your startup was a plate of bacon and eggs, VCs would be chickens and Entrepreneurs would be pigs; while the chicken does contribute, the pig is truly committed.’ | Trevor Loy

  9. Guest

    I wake up at 4:15 am every morning and spend 1 1/2 hour on the internet while I enjoy my coffee, breakfast, and the silence/solitude. Then its out the door by 6:30 am and “the routine” is left at home.My only other weekly routine is that every Sunday morning I enjoy really awesome coffee and music as I sit outside or in my sun room and just enjoy the peace, quiet, and beauty of the day.So, in a week, I have at best 15 hours of time set aside as “routine.”In fact, I am not a big fan of routines and have contemplated deleting my disqus, engagio accounts along with my blog and linkedin profile and changing the 1 1/2 hour a day set aside for this routine.I say that realizing that I finally broke down a wrote a blog post this morning, The Virtue of Service To Others.…So, if I fall off the face of the earth this weekend its just my attempt to regain my life from routine!

    1. jasonpwright

      Wake up at 4:15 am – what time do you go to sleep?

      1. Guest

        Usually around 9:30 to 10 pm…if by chance I “sleep in” that means I wake up at about 5:30 am…

    2. fredwilson

      Thanks for sharing. His speech was inspiring

  10. Eoin

    ‘Work is usually 8:30am to 6:30am’ – Fred, you gota get some work life balance πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      I fixed that typo, right

  11. Khalid

    Now we know where to meet you to have a 10 minutes conversation: :-)- hudson river park- L train- TarallucciFace to face conversation is a lot more better than other means of communication.But this is only possible for people who live in New York πŸ™

    1. fredwilson

      Of those options i prefer tarallucci

  12. Rohan

    I am actually thinking of routines as a source of happiness. It’s a given that we like a bit of stability and consistency in our lives balanced with inconsistency and chaos. And routines seem to the best source of consistency since they are completely within our control.As for my routine, up at 6, blog post, email, off to work, exercise either in the morning or 30 mins before lunch, work, work, work, then home, email, dinner and pull the plug on internet, some guitar practice and sleep.During the day – commute etc will result in a bunch of things – writing my book, reading 30 mins minimum every day (listening in my case), starting the day by counting blessings, reflecting on learnings from previous day, making commitments, printing out my ‘to do’ list etc.And there are probably a few other micro routines. My to do list and personal score system keeps me sane.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      If you don’t have routine then you dwell on things that you don’t necessarily need to dwell on

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      I can’t grasp “routines as a source of happiness” … never seen a child (who i assume are the happiest ) have any routine.

      1. Rohan

        Great question.The principle here is that we need consistency and inconsistency to be happy. Too much of either is a problem – balance is ideal but hardly ever achieved.The best analogy I’ve heard is that life rolls like an ECG – hovering about the centre. Too high or too low is a problem and flat line is big problem.So, if we go to life as a child, the consistency comes from being very very very very well supported.. a child is fully dependent on adults for consistency.As we grow, this support system slowly begins to go away.. and we need to build one of our own. And routines seem to be the easiest way to give ourselves that bit of consistency that’s essential to keeping us sane.My $0.02

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          worth $20 …i mean 1000 times more :-).sold on ‘fully dependent on adults and building one of our own’.

          1. Rohan

            Glad. And man, I’m cheap.Haha πŸ˜‰ Happy weekend Kasi! and all!

        2. LE

          “Too high or too low is a problem and flat line is big problem.”By my way of thinking you totally nailed it.I’ve noticed a few things along those lines.a) What I call the “after the sickness bump” how you feel much better the day after being sick when you feel so good just by comparison to how crappy you felt.b) Similarly the “day after the (dental|doctor|) or otherwise stressful appointment bump. What I’ve found is that it’s helpful to project to the day after the stressful event in which you know you will be feeling much better. Man was I jacked up right after my colonoscopy! What a high! I know why people have Munchhausen. My wife had this the other day. We were getting a new refrigerator delivered and she was all stressed about that. After it was delivered she was all happy.c) The “after the exciting day (letdown|depression)”. Not real depression but the fact that you simply don’t feel as good by comparison. (Some people experience this after a trip when they return – I don’t since being away makes me feel out of control and I like to return from a trip.) Other people experience this on Monday morning. I don’t – everyday is the same to me because I make my own schedule.As a general rule I try not to get to excited about anything or get my hopes up (I think Ben Franklin had something to say about this). That way I am never let down. I don’t count my chickens until they are hatched. A deal isn’t done until the fat lady sings etc. I’ve found that this thinking works for me. As you would say “hover about the center”.

          1. Rohan

            Very nice to hear, LE. Thanks so much for sharing.With these things, I realize we are such a product of the environment we grew up in.The nice thing is we make our own rules and as long as it works for us, that’s great. πŸ™‚

      2. Mark Essel

        Same here, adventure is where the fun is at. That’s how my Saturday and Sundays (to a lesser extent) are.

      3. LE

        “never seen a child (who i assume are the happiest ) have any routine.”A pretty restrictive and regimented childhood drove me to work hard so that I could be in control and ultimately do what I want to do when I want to do it.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Did that restrictive and regimented childhood give you the discipline to work hard and accomplish the things that you’ve accomplished?I am not trying to make an argument for “restrictive and regimented” — the very thought of it makes me crazy, but sometimes I do wish I grew up with more structure and discipline.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Did that restrictive and regimented childhood give you the discipline to work hard and accomplish the things that you’ve accomplished?I am not trying to make an argument for “restrictive and regimented” — the very thought of it makes me crazy, but sometimes I do wish I grew up with more structure and discipline.

          1. LE

            “give you the discipline”My parents were no nonsense and no play type people. House always clean everything in order. Both parents very disciplined. My dad was (as I’ve mentioned) a holocaust camp survivor and my mom while raised in this country lost her father and had to work to support her mother and siblings I believe. So there really wasn’t any fun and games in our house. My dad was able to survive in the camps because he had skills and could do electrical and mechanical work. So growing up he would only support things that would lead to a skill and/or work. His skills saved him in the camps so that is what he thought was important.Along the same lines I remember being newly married and being at my inlaws place down the shore. My father in law had a small boat. We were supposed to go out on the boat but he wanted to watch tennis before we could go. I remember sitting there bored waiting for him to take us out for a short ride.I thought f-this, I’m getting my own place and my own boat so I can go whenever I want to go. And I did. I don’t want someone else to decide when I can do something or how long I can spend doing it.My dad was also always disappointing me on any fun things and I didn’t like being beholden to him. So to me it seemed that suffer now enjoy later was the way to go. (Worked during college, no parties etc.)So, yes, ultimately hard work to me means freedom to do what I want when I want it. Right now I’m back in the office after going home to run. I like being able to do what I want when I want it. It works for me.

          2. Guest

            I grew up in a home where my father was respected and feared; but you could count the number of times he laid a hand on his kids (all five of us) on one hand. I would not in any way claim to come from a “restrictive and regimented” home as a child. I got good grades in school and I always had a job since I was about 12.Now, we got clothes on our birthday, easter, and at the start of school. If you wanted something other than what my parents thought best then you better have a job and your own money.Now, one great thing my Dad did was keep a little “Memo Book” which was the “Kids bank” this was where he made entries for your allowance and if you had a job you gave him the money and he noted it in the Memo Book. He calculated interest every month and gave us our balance. If we wanted to purchase something we had to go to him for our money and then of course you had to explain what it was for and in turn he would explain to you how that would hurt your interest earnings.That was the real structure in my family. If you wanted something you either had the money or you did not, if you did then you had to justify the expenditure to the family banker.Probably explains why I love dividend paying stocks today!

        3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          @domainregistry:disqus I believe you yourself as a child wanted to be a hard working and structured person … and your parents would have been a guidance for that and i believe it has nothing to do with what you are now …’what you want to do and when you want to do man… you are now’.Why i say is that… my personal experience … me and my brother (just 20-months he is elder) grew up in the same environment … very strict, punctual, orderly mother and little lenient father. Though i would have promised a million times to my mother that i will be more good and organized … I could never hold that beyond 3-days… My brother grew up as a man with routines and well organized … I on the other hand was always in-orderly, dis-organized person.But I became the man who “do what i want to do and when i want to do” .I was awesomely struck by @rrohan189:disqus ‘s comment … because on some random day I plan, get up early…script-out what to be done that day …etc., etc., and the whole day i will be happy. I was thinking … I am happy on that day because the change that comes along with orderliness …. But Rohan’s comment made me think … may be I am happy on that day …because I see myself as the guy who made million promises to his mother about being organized. His comment struck me to think differently about why I am happy on those random days when i am organized…..Sorry for the lengthy and my telegraphic commentMy father always tells me this ‘when you speak you articulate beautifully your thoughts but when you write… you become telegraphic”.

          1. LE

            Very interesting. A few thoughts:Your mother did not realize the difference between you and your brother. She held you to a standard that she was able to achieve and she was validated by what your brother was able to do (re: organization). I’ve seen this happen many times. A parent doesn’t realize children are different. They think they can apply the same management to two different children. And the fact that what they do works with one child validates them as being right and they don’t adjust for the child’s differences.With regard to this:”But Rohan’s comment made me think … may be I am happy on that day …because I see myself as the guy who made million promises to his mother about being organized. His comment struck me to think differently about why I am happy on those random days when i am organized…”Yes I agree that you are happy because you are fulfilling something that you think that would make your mother proud.As far as this: “think differently about why I am happy”If I understand what you are saying I find that dangerous to think to much about why something makes you happy. Because you might reverse some of the happiness. Say a man wants to buy an expensive watch and it makes him happy to buy and wear the watch. Then he to thinks “why do I care about the watch so much most of the people I’m with don’t care that I’m wearing the watch at all. So this is all made up in my mind” (according to my theory about it being important what you think about you not what others really think this is true more often than not). Then he loses the happiness that he has created in his mind by doing that. So, yes, it saves him money but what if the money doesn’t matter? I say don’t question to much positives (of course question negatives) and just go with the happiness.Anyway that is what works for me. Sorry also to hear that your father told you you write to long I don’t think that’s the case.

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            @domainregistry:disqus I think you mis-understood … my father told me i am ‘telegraphic’ ‘… Yes I was … and still I am to an extent … When i talk i articulate much better than when i am writing …. (I am a stage performer during my college days…). I am much better at talking than writing … that is what he meant.My father was an very highly knowledged, aristocrat … when he retired he was in charge of a district (sub of a state). I took care of him in his last 10-years … we both loved each other and criticize and appreciate each other like friends. I miss him.My mother is with me and I am taking care of her … I love her too …I wrote what came to my mind when i read Rohan’s comment … I was trying analyze why i felt happy when i organize myself … I go miserable if I stay organized for more than 4-5 days … So my thought process was why i felt happy the first 1-2 days of my organized behavior….

      4. CJ

        As a parent I can say that when my oldest was younger he had a routine at my house, not so much at his mom’s house. Consistently I’d have the teachers at school telling me that they could tell where he slept by the way he behaved at school and they were always on the money. Why? Routine. At my house he was in bed by 9pm, homework was done immediately after getting home from afterschool program(play time). Dinner followed, wind-down family time, then bath and sleep. We adhered to this 99% of the time.At his mom’s house, dinner might be at 7pm or he might not GET home until midnight, it was a crapshoot. Sometimes homework would get attempted at 6am after not getting home until midnight.He was happiest with me, not just because school was better but because he knew what to expect and kids treasure stability and consistency even though they seek to disrupt it and test its boundaries wherever possible.

        1. John Rorick

          Thanks for writing my exact thoughts. For children routines build the stability for them to grow in their own security, test their boundaries and become what makes them happiest (fingers crossed). All of my children are different, but are being raised with the same routines. Routines are not restrictions, they are foundations…

  13. John Best

    6.30-7ish I wake and bathe for about half an hour 7.30 a coffee (instant)I’m dressed and presentable by 8:108:10-8:30 I’m helping to make the kids’ lunchesa 20 minute drive and I’m at my day job.9-5 work5:30 home5:45-7 I cook for everyone8-9 I help the kids with their pets9-10 I help get the kids to bed10-12 me time – Twitter, mail, my side project, recorded TVThis is the basic weekday template. However -Every Monday night is Brownies. Tuesday night is VteS. Every other Wednesday is knitting. Thursdays are founders meetings.I’m a creature of habit, it seems.

    1. Luke Chamberlin

      You bathe for half an hour and yet drink instant coffee.

      1. John Best

        Yeah, sadly I have no shower. At least half that time is waiting for the antiquated bath to fill.

        1. bsoist

          my entire routine – shower, dress, shave, dress, etc. – 18 minutes or less, and if my shower would heat up faster or if I was tough enough to take a cold one, I’d be done sooner

          1. John Best

            I think that I do most of my best thinking waiting for that old tub to fill πŸ™‚

        2. ShanaC

          Make french press coffee then – takes 5 minutes!

          1. John Best

            possibly slightly beyond my means for anything other than a special occasion πŸ™‚

      2. bsoist

        best comment of the week! nice attention to detail

      3. ShanaC

        If he has hair like mine, that would be easy. I can’t comb my hair out anywhere but the shower. If I haven’t washed it in a few days, it will take easily 20 minutes just to comb it out.

  14. awaldstein

    Early day’s for me. Never later than 5am1. Feed and play with Sam the wonder cat.2. Green smoothie3. Expresso from my La Pavoni4. Personal projects first (there are two now)5. Writing and commenting and prep for dayExercise 5 times a week. In gym, bike rides to GW Bridge when I can.

  15. Joe Yevoli

    Ha, I love this. I’m a routine creature and for whatever reason I love reading about other peoples routines. I’m:Up at 6am, breakfast and read the news on GReader at 6:30, gym by 7am. I’m usually at work by 8:30 the latest and I’ll be there until 6:30 or 7. Work consists of something completely different almost every single day.. which I love. On Monday’s I schedule Fresh Direct to deliver groceries, so this is the day I usually cook my lunch and dinner for the week. I’m usually reading a book when I get home and/or taking care of excess email. At 10:30pm I beginning to organize my notes and prepare for the next day, and I’m usually in bed by 11:30 the latest.The thing that stays the most routine in my workout schedule. 3 days on, one day off.

  16. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I get up anytime between 5:00 to 8:30 a.m….when i get up at 5:00 i almost spend 30-45 minutes enjoying the morning sounds and the sun rise … most of the Sundays starts at 10:00 a.m…that is good enough to explain me … very dis-organized…and the world is good enough so far to bear with me.

  17. Sheamus

    I love reading about routines. Also, if you haven’t done this already Fred, be great to have a look at your workspace – both home and at work. Could be a useful Friday feature. (As an aside, John August used to do this particularly well in his workspace series on writers:… ).For me – the alarm goes off at 6am, Monday through Friday (weekends are lay-ins). Depending on what has happened the night before, I typically rise between then and 6.30am (okay, 7am). I wake my two boys for school, and then drift downstairs to catch up on Twitter and Facebook (both personal and for clients), email and tech and other news.I’ll then spend some time finishing or sometimes writing posts for, which I co-edit and blog for twice daily, six days a week. I’m in the UK but write to a US schedule – 6am and 8am ET.Wake my daughter around 7am for school. Dress her. Eat (varies, but has to be gluten free – a recent but not too disrupting development), shower and then off to work (my “real job”, if you will, as a social marketer for an agency) at 7.45am for an 8.30am start.Finish between 17.30 and 18.00. Go to the gym with my wife. Pick up my daughter from my parents, and then back home for dinner.Most evenings I’ll write (or pre-write) 1-2 posts for AllTwitter, which I’ll then finish/tweak in the morning (as above). Weekend articles go out later in the day.I usually go to bed between 10.30pm and midnight, largely depending on the day. Later on the weekends.Repeat.

  18. falicon

    prob not the comment you were thinking of, but it’s an old suggestion of mine as well (so love the post)………so nice to be able to go back and find stuff like this now πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      Not long before replaces lijit as the default search engine on AVC and we can search for comnents and posts

      1. falicon

        Awesome!I’m going to be adding in some nice additional features before long too that I think, as the blog owner, you’ll enjoy (for example admin section to be able to analyze stuff like what people are searching for, what results they actually click on, etc.)…I also hope to play with some power search features for users before too long (so it’s easier for people to do things like vanity searches and get some insight into what action is really going on around a given result).Should be fun stuff!

    2. William Mougayar is cool. I like it. Kevin, you’re the ultimate hacker.

      1. falicon

        Hey thanks!I have to tweak a few things on it still, but I think there is a lot of synergy between it and (and Disqus)…so be on the lookout for an email from me with some ideas on how we can integrate these two systems to make commenters lives better/easier going forward πŸ˜‰

        1. William Mougayar

          Great. I saw something potentially. Yes, pls email.

  19. Andy Moeck

    GO OKC!

  20. Robert Holtz

    Well, I’m pleased at least to say AVC is a key part of my daily routine.

    1. fredwilson

      Me too

      1. Robert Holtz


    2. Matt A. Myers

      Agree. @fredwilson:disqus’s been a critical part of my education and learning since I first started coming to AVC, almost daily – except for some ruts

      1. CJ

        Ditto – I think I’m in a rut now due to 3 major projects I’m running at work. One that is horribly overdue thanks to a colleague. πŸ™

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Maybe take a read of… – might give you some ideas to help?One thing to remember that can ease expectations of yourself, is you can’t control others/things, only manage them.

          1. CJ

            Thanks Matt, that did help and got me thinking a bunch.

    3. ShanaC


  21. Brian Kung

    Ahh, the beauty of routines. They let you think about more important things.

  22. Nick Grossman

    I am kind of fascinated with this topic. Fred, I actually think about the way you do this a lot — I’m not sure I know anyone else who is as structured and disciplined as you are. I wrote a post about this a few years ago:… (which actually mentions you) — inspired by an article called “the corporate athlete” which goes into some detail about the power of rituals and is a good, short read.Here’s mine. I find that having kids really helps w/ routine.Every day: * wake up 7am — I get my son Theo out of bed, my wife gets our daughter Brieza * all four of us hang out upstairs while theo drinks his “sweet milk” (kid shake) and we have a coffee * 8am: walk theo to shool and drop him off * 6pm: walk downstairs and hang w/ the kids (this is what 6pm looks like). Brieza to bed early, dinner w/ Fran and Theo * Frannie and I hang until 10, and if we’re home I work from 10-12 or so.I have not succeeded in building exercise into my routine, and I know I need to fix this. For a while I would run home from dropping theo off, but I just hate running.I have also not succeeded in building writing (blogging) into my routine in a regular way.Every week: * thursday night is date night – frannie and I have our babysitter stay late and we go out to dinner. We started this about 6 months ago and it’s really nice. * saturday: first thing, theo and I walk to the supermarket and get food for the week. he is like the mayor of whole foods. * sunday: during football season, it’s patriots in the afternoon / evening at my wife’s parents house down the street — they have been hosting sunday football w/ family and friends there (typically 10ppl or so) and it’s really fun. outside of football season, we also go there for dinner on sundays.

    1. falicon

      You had me until “patriots in the afternoon”… πŸ˜‰

      1. Nick Grossman

        I grew up in NYC as a giants fan (but in a family w/o a strong sports affinity, so it wasn’t deeply ingrained) — here its patriots all the time and I’m cool w/ that.

        1. falicon

          Fair enough…but just so you know, there’s always room for more Falcons fans no matter where in the world you are located ;-)btw – since you’re into sports, if you haven’t yet, I would totally love you to check out – thanks!

    2. ShanaC

      me either about the blogging. The closest i get is writing in a diary on friday about personally inspiring things. But i want to blog more formally…

      1. Nick Grossman

        yeah — I think that’s an important one and I’m trying to work on it. For me, the blogging urge usually strikes around 10am, which is ok when I have time but isn’t easy to count on. For me it has to be early in the day — I may give a shot at trying to wake up before the kids.Tumblr was magic for me to kickstart writing — because it’s so easy to fire off a quick thought/link/photo — really lowered the activation energy for me.

        1. ShanaC

          I just would throw a thing a tumblr with no context.Still there are ideas that I have that deserve fleshing out (everything from a meditation on current trends in art to issues with big data) And I can’t seem to find the time to sit there and do it. Drives me nuts.

        2. Rohan

          Test first thing in the morning. :)Might just work.

  23. Tom Labus

    I like the early morning in our house.I get up around 5:30am and do some stretches for around 20 minutes. I look at Bloomberg to see what’s going and start looking at email, tweetdeck and articles.The past three weeks I’ve been keeping the Giro d Italia on my PC in the background for both the race and the hope that I learn some Italian (a little maybe).Days all evolve a bit different but dinner at home and reading upstairs by 10pm.Going with the Spurs but this will be a great series!

  24. jasonpwright

    My routine is that I need nine hours of sleep and no alarm. If I get that the rest is left to chaos theory.

    1. fredwilson


  25. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Routines or habits? Or semantics?

    1. William Mougayar

      Or addictions? And how many repetitions does it take for something to become a routine? I think it’s different for dogs than it is for humans πŸ™‚

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        I suspect much of what we do in life (and business) – and more than we’d like to imagine – is Pavlovian πŸ˜‰

    1. JamesHRH


      1. ShanaC

        His thyroid isn’t making the right hormones, so he is taking replacements. synthetic + thyroid =synthroid

    2. fredwilson

      I have been on synthroid for six years and i have been eating the shreaded wheat for three months

      1. Dale Allyn

        My wife has been on it for much longer (not sure how long now), and it makes a huge difference in her life. She’s had a horrible time getting the dosage right, and still has issues there. She’s in great shape, eats extremely well (carefully) walks or hikes daily (4 to 12 miles, e.g. Wednesday we did a quick 8 miles at 7,000′ in the Sierras), etc. She can not take the generic version, it must be the real deal as her body doesn’t accept the generic filler.For my daughter (much more complex issues) synthroid doesn’t work for her and finds that Armour Thyroid is all that works for her. It seems to allow or promote a bit more natural flux in production that synthroid does not. Some doctors don’t like or trust Armour thyroid, but the difference in this case is very visible.There are discussions of removing thyroid hormone replacement from one’s routine by diet, supplementation, herbs and exercise, but it is a very individual situation which can be dangerous for some. It worked for the wife of a good friend of mine, but would likely kill my wife. Just as can be said for case-by-case issues with prostrate cancer, hypertension and other issues.

      2. PD

        …and how long have you been eating gluten?

        1. fredwilson

          since birth

          1. PD

            well, you might want to give this a read, then…

  26. RichardF

    Routine is fine but I do think you have to mix it up. The last few months I have been doing a spinning class 3 times a week and I love it, it’s the fastest way I have ever lost weight and increased my cardiovascular fitness.Up at 6.00am and walk my dog in the nearby forest. This is a really special time for me because it’s true ‘me’ time and it’s really beautiful no matter what the weather.6.40 – shower and breakfast with my son.7.45 – take my son to school8.30 – 6.30pm in the office, at some point depending on my schedule I’ll have been to the gym for a spinning class or some weight work.6.45pm – walk the dog again7.30pm – bath my son (now that is a routine that rarely varies)8.15pm – cook supperAfter that I may do some work or I may read or watch some tv, usually asleep by 11pm

    1. fredwilson

      You are a cook. Props on that.

      1. RichardF

        if you tasted my wife’s food you’d know why!…….actually I love cooking for people, sharing a meal is one of life’s happiest times and it’s something that most people can do regardless of wealth.

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          +1Same is true for sharing knowledge.

        2. ShanaC

          be nice – but what is your favorite meal to cook?

          1. RichardF

            my wife happily admits she cannot cook (it’s not even a ruse to get me to do it) which is fine by me, I’ve observed friends of mine where both partners like to cook and are in the kitchen together, a recipe (excuse the pun) for disaster.I don’t have a favourite meal per se but in winter I like hearty food, a cassoulet or a simple roast chicken. In summer I like to cook fish, preferably outside on the grill. Since Monday here in the UK the weather has been amazing, so I’ve been cooking outside every evening this week! (and will probably continue to do so until it rains!)

          2. ShanaC

            It has been raining every day here in NY. Hmm, I’m just looking for ways to refine my technique so I can quickly make dinners….

          3. RichardF

            I have one cook book that gives recipes with only 5 (maybe 4) ingredients, brilliant for quick meals.

          4. Ruth BT

            One word Shana, pesto! Goes with everything and can be made in a jiffy. Family fav is coriander (cilantro) macadamia nuts and parmesan. Even the 9yr old can make it quicker than ordering takeout.

          5. Ruth BT

            One word Shana, pesto! Goes with everything and can be made in a jiffy. Family fav is coriander (cilantro) macadamia nuts and parmesan. Even the 9yr old can make it quicker than ordering takeout.

          6. panterosa,

            Pesto rice rules!! Delia Smith recipe.

      2. LE

        Although now my wife cooks me dinner and cleans up, when I was single I used to cook myself dinner and I really enjoyed it. I also liked shopping for the food that I was going to make each night. I almost always bought each nights meal the same day. It was like foreplay.

  27. Conrad Ross Schulman

    1: wake up at 7am- go to work til 6:30 pm2: After work, its all about my start-upsA: Software dev, social media, marketing, decks…etc3: I go to sleep around 1AM almost every night4: REPEAT< REPEAT< REPEAT< REPEAT

    1. fredwilson


  28. John Revay

    “I don’t work after dinner. I will do homework with my son or watch sports with him (or both). I am in bed by 10pm”I generally don’t see you commenting on AVC comments – later in the day, I guess when I do see these comments – perhaps you are traveling and in a different time zone.

  29. baba12

    Mr.Wilson has a worked hard, been at the right place at the right times and has crafted a wonderful routine that works for him.I get up at 5:30AM, used to be 4:30Am till 8 years ago. I don’t need an alarm to wake up, body is used to it no matter what day it is. I make coffee though since this past Lent I have given up coffee for the most part, I’ll have a cup of green tea.I then put on my headphones and will listen to music/NPR or some Sanskrit chanting, read the news from my various sources and then get to work which is mainly related to two things work on the product that I have been focussed on the last few years and work on the consulting assignments that pays the rent.I will have a berry smoothie ( I blend it with Almond Milk) at around 8AM. I have taken up running again after my bike accident ripped my shoulder ligaments.I run 3.4 miles around Prospect Park in about 37 minutes goal is to do it in 24 minutes or less. I work as necessary, I will go to bed at 1:30-2:00 AM. I generally don’t eat out, I cook everyday and I will have dinner around 9. Having no kids, gives me some flexibility to change routines, most people I know who are parents have to stick to certain routines and work within those routines as it is difficult to manage otherwise.Unlike Mr.Wilson, we don’t have a staff to clean, cook, run errands etc for us, therefore I do all that and we all hope that we shall be in the 1% or better someday as well.I wonder if Mr.Wilson’s routine would be different if he was not a USV partner. I wonder if people who don’t keep a routine do so because that is their choice or if it is the circumstances that don’t allow them to be able to keep one. What control do you have over keeping a routine?Does Mr.Wilson ever watch PBS and Bill Moyers by any chance, if not would he care to see the latest one where he interviewed Tom Morello of “Rage Against the Machine” though it may take him out of his routine.Someday Mr.Wilson if he wishes to ride his Vespa for a drive, I’d join him for a upstate scooter ride possibly in the fall in my own scooter.

    1. fredwilson

      Mr Wilson – the neighbor in dennis the menaceFred – me

      1. RichardF

        I love the Beano

      2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        He always addresses you like that … how today it got your attention? …. I think i have seen more than a year ago.

        1. fredwilson

          i know. i just can’t take it anymore. i may be 50 years old but i still think of myself as a kid.

          1. LE

            It’s great that you get to spend so much time around younger people. It must be very uplifting.

      3. baba12

        Well I address you as Mr.Wilson as I don’t know you personally and it is more out of respect, but I shall try and refer you as Fred, though I never thought of you in the same way as Mr.Wilson of Dennis the Menace fame.

        1. Tom Labus

          It took Jeter many years to call Joe Torre Joe instead off Mr Torre.

          1. fredwilson

            and Baba has earned the right to call me Fred. i appreciate the respect. but we are friends here at AVC

      4. ShanaC

        hahahaha. I could see you turning into the other Mr. Wilson if you lived next door to Dennis the Menace. That or becoming his best friend in making chaos :p

    2. Dave Pinsen

      I’ve been making purple smoothies with almond milk and blueberries (plus whey protein powder and oatmeal and a little agave syrup) as a meal replacement when eating regular food is inconvenient. I’ve been doing that 3 or 4 times per week.

  30. DonRyan

    I loved this post. I am a highly regimented person when I’m not traveling and it makes me feel good to know I’m not alone. Also, relatively early to bed and to rise, work, and family time. Good balance (work/sleep/family) is something I find I have to be intentional about it it just doesn’t happen. Clearly you are that way too.

    1. fredwilson

      Oh yes. I could work all the time if I let myself.

  31. TamiMForman

    I love two things about this. 1. It’s not insane. You get up early, but you aren’t working 20 hours a day. I like that. 2. I LOVE that you have dinner with your family every night.

    1. fredwilson

      Not every night. But certainly most nights.

  32. Matt A. Myers

    Does your yoga practice diminish any during nicer weather? Summertime for me it diminishes to 2-3 times per week. Usually I would go daily/near daily though.

    1. fredwilson

      I do more in the summer because there is a great yoga studio/community where we have a beach house

      1. Matt A. Myers


      2. panterosa,

        @fredwilson:disqus Have you ever done a home yoga practice?My mother had one in the 70’s with the classic Richard Hittleman book. I have had a home practice since 19 to cope with my strabismus. Some classes are fun, but home practice is quite chill.

        1. fredwilson

          I have done it. I dont push myself

    2. ShanaC

      I’m realizing I dislike my yoga studio, otherwise I would make an effort to go. need a different practice/different community of yogis. Super intellectual yoga anyone?

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I usually suggest to people to try multiple studios, multiple types of classes/styles, and multiple teachers for each of those styles; Trying different times of day can help figure out what you like too because your mood changes, what’s happening in any given day is different, etc..Disliking the studio could be queueing the instructor is using, or it could also be your ego mind trying to hold on / stay active / stay alive (causing you to avoid letting other emotional things come up), and so you’re overanalyzing/judging the direction.It could also be temperature-related, smells-related, lighting/brightness-related. If you’re doing 60 minute classes, try 90 minute classes, or vice-versa. If you do hot classes, try room temperature classes. If you do power classes, try yin classes, try restorative classes – and try a variety of instructors to see if you like their style, voice, etc..

      2. panterosa,

        See home practice comment above to Fred.PS My coach has me do naked yoga, all women. Must be tried once!

        1. ShanaC

          I saw – I used to have a very active home practice. Now, I’m finding myself lost in a wilderness – I need to learn something about being grounded and balanced first before going back…

  33. Cam MacRae

    Early bird! My routine:11pm: Check the weather and see if I can sneak out for an early fly. If yes:Get up around 6:30am, caffeinate, throw paraglider in car, drive to launch, fly. Wear smile all day.If no: Get up sometime between 11am-12pm, visit friends who own a cafe cum mosaic school for coffee and food, train to city as I read the FT, work at uni from 2pm until 7:30pm, locate wife. If wife is available, dine with wife, otherwise chinatown. Train home. Sometime between 9-10:30pm check blogs, news.yc etc., check weather, work until 2am-4am, whisky, bed.

    1. fredwilson

      How often do you fly?

      1. Cam MacRae

        In winter, with the howling gales and driving rain, it tends to be once every 2 weeks or so. From Sept-May it averages 3x a week, but sometimes you can fly 10 days straight.

        1. fredwilson

          How long does a flight last?

          1. Cam MacRae

            I’ve known people to launch in the morning and land using car headlights. My personal record is just over 5 hours in a single flight. I’ve had 10 second flights too… average is probably approaching an hour.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            And why aren’t we building artificial cliffs to launch off as a means for mass transportation?…

          3. Cam MacRae

            Skyscrapers will do – soared the facade of a hotel in Bali πŸ™‚

          4. Matt A. Myers


          5. falicon

            Sounds like so much fun!

          6. fredwilson

            holy shit. i don’t think flying is for me, but i am in awe.

          7. Tom Labus

            That’s incredible.Any bad crashes?

          8. Cam MacRae

            No. I’ve had the occasional whack after landing in a very thermic field, but my only injury was from barbed wire after I landed in a paddock with one cow in it. Protip: if there’s only one it’s not a cow.

          9. Adrian Palacios

            Hahah; took me a while to get it but now I understand how the barbed wire came into play. Did it really chase after you???

          10. Cam MacRae

            I dropped into his home unannounced carrying 345sq/ft of bright yellow and red fabric: he wanted to kill me. (Or maybe just maim me a little).

          11. Adrian Palacios

            That’s. Freaking. Nuts.Glad you lived to tell about it.

          12. Cam MacRae

            Well… I landed near the a gate so I could exit discretely and wouldn’t scare the “cow”. According to the farmer I would have been better to land near to him, because all I did was put myself in between a bull and his 200 girlfriends in the next paddock over, which forced him to make a point. My fault really.

        2. GΓΈran Berntsen

          This is amazing. Where do you live?

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      What kinds of cliffs do you jump off?

      1. Cam MacRae

        On the coast and in the right conditions anything from a 5-6ft dune to a 750ft+ cliff will be soarable. Inland you need a nice hill that is free from roter and mechanical turbulence and has a nearby thermal trigger. At least 750ft above ground level is nice because you get a few minutes to find your first thermal.

        1. Luke Chamberlin

          “At least 750ft above ground level is nice because you get a few minutes to find your first thermal.”…before you die (implied).

          1. Cam MacRae

            Ha! Driving to the hill is more dangerous than flying off it, truly. What actually happens is that while you spend the next hour packing up and walking back up the hill, your mates are boating around at cloud base chatting on the radio about how far they’re going to fly.

      2. Cam MacRae

        Some video (I gave up carrying a camera because there’s only so many times you can watch someone else fly, and I don’t like the idea of my lines tangling on it when my wing collapses). He lands at the end, so if you get bored fast forward to 9:00.

    3. RichardF

      that’s awesome Cam, I had a tandem flight once in Meribel in France, literally skiied off the mountain, one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. Must be amazing flying solo.

      1. Cam MacRae

        Brilliant. The Alps are on my list, but I haven’t got there yet – going to hook up with some Cathay pilots in HK next month for some urban soaring. Solo is 99.95% amazing and 0.04% terror and 0.01% pure terror.

    4. ShanaC

      this is just cool.

    5. JLM

      .The soaring is very, very, very…………………………………………cool!Well played.I am going to have to try this. I am a single engine land instrument pilot w a few thousand hours but this looks like great fun..

        1. Cam MacRae

          Gary Connery upped the ante a couple of days ago – no parachute:…I’ve got a mate who flies one; He’s certifiable.

          1. Dale Allyn

            Love it! I’m very lucky these suits weren’t around when I was climbing. I loved the exposure, free-soloed quite a lot, tended to run things out a bit, and had friends who were/are base jumpers, etc. The wing suit really appeals to me, but not for me now. Wife and daughter would kill me before I even got close to one. Oh, and now I’m waayy less comfortable with exposure than years past… there is that. πŸ˜‰

          2. Cam MacRae

            That’s why I paraglide. Apparently one feature ran with the headline “Paragliding: Extreme sport or old men in armchairs?”.

          3. Dale Allyn

            Cam, a friend started paragliding when climbing became too much for him (physically). Climbing hard routes is pretty hard on the body in time, so he really loved gliding. I’ve not been contact with him for several years, so not sure if he’s still in to it. I’m thinking @JLM:disqus needs to line up club so I can go down to ATX and try it with him. πŸ˜‰

          4. JLM

            This is almost the equivalent of watching the Wright Brothers working their magic. Also, a truly nuts guy.

        2. JLM

          .I have done more than a few HALO (high altitude low opening) jumps in which you can move across the sky a great distance and arrive quietly unknown and without introduction.Cold, cold, cold, oxygen. Fun.I would do this in a NY minute..

          1. Dale Allyn

            Our main contact at our bank has a son who has been a HALO jumper for our gov’t for many years. Very, very, discrete. Much respect and appreciation to all who serve.

      1. Cam MacRae

        You’d get a real kick out of it. Met a guy from ATX last year who flies Packsaddle Mountain. Big air in Texas, so I’m told.

        1. JLM

          .I have a lake house which is almost within sight of Packsaddle Mountain. It is in the Texas Hill Country. Packsaddle is pretty damn high given the flatness of the surrounding terrain.Lots of good thermals because of the dark side of the mountain and the unequal heating.At the foot of Packsaddle was the last Indian battle in Texas — in the early 1900s! Texas Rangers v Comanches?It is a very small planet..

          1. Cam MacRae

            Apparently there’s quite an active club based around there. You should seek it out, especially because as a former para you’ll be absolutely tickled the first time you find yourself ascending at 1200ft/min under canopy.

          2. JLM

            .I’ve flown planes that don’t climb at 1200 FPM. Good planes..

          3. Cam MacRae

            Nature is a beast.

    6. Rohan

      Woh Cam. Awesommeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  34. jasonpwright

    Rhythms of nature and seasonal variations influence the routines of other mammals. We should not override them in this ‘modern’ human world.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      My grandpa used to sync with sun … gets to work just before sun comes out and gets back home just after sun set…. just like birds and not mammals. He was a farmer and landlord … he lived 91 years.He was bed ridden only for 2-days before he died.

      1. fredwilson

        Hmm. Very interesting.

  35. Nick Grossman

    I like the “organized vs. disciplined” idea. Funny to think of being organized but undisciplined — I think that likely describes a lot of us

    1. JamesHRH

      with ‘disciplined’ being far more beneficial.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I think you are probably right, James, but why do you say this?

        1. JamesHRH

          Organization is about things. Discipline is about action.Actions have more impact.

          1. fredwilson


    2. Matt A. Myers

      I like this realization. The more organized I become, the more productive, and the more I can fall into routine – which doesn’t end up feeling like routine, as it’s overall fairly fluid.

  36. David NoΓ«l

    My routines are seasonal (is it stil a routine?), currently:Up at 7am2km swim every other day (Mon, Wed, Fri or weekend)Office from 9am – 7:30/8pmWith a team in San Francisco, the key thing I’m trying to figure out right now is how to leave the office earlier and at the same time be available for my team in SF (and other West Coast calls). SoundCloud: all in and loving every second of it.

    1. Paul Sanwald

      for really big time differences, I find that essentially having timeboxed “office hours” late at night works best. do my best to leave on time, and login again from 10pm-11 or whatever works. keeping yourself to exactly 1 hour (or some predetermined time) late at night is key to maximizing productivity in my opinion.

      1. David NoΓ«l

        This is a good suggestion. Thank you, Paul – will give this a trySent from my Gulfstream V

        1. Paul Sanwald

          hope it’s helpful. I work closely with folks in singapore and the time difference is just brutal, so we use lots of tricks like this to manage. also alternating meetings so one region doesn’t get screwed every week or whatever.btw, love soundcloud, y’all are doing a fantastic job. I’m a big fan.

          1. David NoΓ«l

            Thanks again for the advise, Paul — and thanks for the SC love, that’s great to hear πŸ™‚

  37. andyswan

    No routine…. just a mental list of things to accomplish for the day. Kids’ schedules are the only things I’m committed to time-wise. I’m always going to be the “Dad that was there.”I find disorganization stimulating. “How am I going to get my workout in?”… sleep when dead, etc.We do a pretty good job of maximizing every day and finding the fun. Could probably benefit from at least a Sunday morning routine though now that I think about it.

    1. RichardF

      yep me too Andy, my father was absent too often in my early years, I’m not going to repeat that.

    2. fredwilson

      The Gotham Gal and I are big on being there in our kids lives. For sports it is almost always.

    3. falicon

      Ditto. +1

    4. ShanaC

      I don’t. It stresses me out.And lack of sleep usually means I can’t function later.

    5. LE

      “I’m always going to be the “Dad that was there.”That was certainly never me. There was an story I remember a few years ago in the NY Times about women also who didn’t like doing those things and how hard it was for them to break the mold of what society seems to push on everyone as good behavior of a mother. Luckily I’m not running a popularity contest so I don’t give a shit what other people think (unless it relates to business of course!).I’ve never defined myself as someone who feels that to be a good parent you need to do those things. I mean if you enjoy going to kids events then that’s great. (I don’t – sorry..) I’ve never understood the absoluteconnection between being a good parent and attending kids events that society has made. (Or attending church/synagog). My dad was never there when I was young but he made enough money so that he isn’t a burden on me now (nor is my mother). They are old but I don’t have to take care of them in any way they are totally functional and self supporting (as are my siblings which is great). What’s that worth?People never think about the future they think about now.Had my dad not worked as much he would probably be a burden on me now. His working also allowed me to go to a good school and other advantages. (He gave me $400 to buy a Teletype KSR way back in the late 70’s). You have to look at the total picture. Of course a kid doesn’t understand but they will when they get older. Which is why as a parent, you can’t look at something like this as an absolute. I’m not saying that you are @andyswan:disqus but I know there are parents who are a mess (I see these soccer moms all the time and how stressful their lives are) who spend to much time on that shit.Ultimately a good parent is a happy parent and one who can provide for their children and give them stability. The problem is when people give everything to their children and ignore the bigger picture with respect to money, sleep and parents happiness.

      1. andyswan

        Ya it has to be “and”. It meant a lot to me growing up that my Dad made it to the basketball game in the middle of tax season (CPA), and then went back to the office til midnight. It was both. That’s what I want to be.

        1. el_chapitan

          That is how it was for me growing up as well. My father was *always* at important events, and was always home at dinner, but that didn’t mean he didn’t work late. In fact, he would often work from home and you knew that if his door was closed, we weren’t supposed to bother him (though it was possible if needed)

    6. Matt A. Myers

      I’m glad I don’t have kids yet – though I hope I’ll have time in the next 3-5 years to start a family.I find having something to guide your routine – like your kids’ schedules – is beneficial to then allow your own schedule to fit in where it can. I think it’s a good idea to have a routine that’s specifically for yourself, so you’re at least checking in with yourself, where you’re currently at / what your current baseline is, etc..

  38. mikenolan99

    I posted my routine back in December… though in re-reading it I apparently never get to work… http://www.askbetterquestio

  39. Scott Barnett

    Hard to keep my routine given the travel I’ve been doing lately, but even on the road I try to keep it the same:- Up at 5am- Catch up on email/blogs/blogging- Work out (usually a run 5x/week and some weight work 3-4x/week)- Work (usually 8am – 8pm with lots of interruptions!)- Whatever I want (8pm – 11pm)- Fall asleep wherever I am at 11pm :-)Unscheduled but always present are the kids. I will fit in whatever they are doing (track meet, swim meet, homework, taxi driver, hanging out) somewhere in that schedule, at whatever time I am needed/wanted. I haven’t been able to do this as much with the travel, and that’s a shame. I wish I could teleport home each night….

  40. LissIsMore

    Damn! Now I have another thing to add to my GTD To Do List: “Get A Routine”.

  41. Nicholas Petroski

    A peek into the life of a new equity analyst:5 wakeup, shower, maybe shave5:30 grab breakfast (aka grab a half full mug of coffee on my way out the door) and run through the news6 leave for work and fight traffic for 30min to 1hr6:45-7 get to work and grab more coffee7-11:30 MS Excel/Word/Conference calls (there are about 4-5 coffees in this timespan as well)11:30 grab lunch and bring it back to my desk, 15min tops11:45-6 MS Excel/Word/Conference calls6-6:45 recap of news for the day7:30 arrive back home7:30-8:30 dinner8:30-10 reading/studying/maybe a video game10 sleep

  42. tyronerubin

    thanks I will take the credit.One of the motivators I suggested this post is energy. I work full time job and only have evenings to work on my own startup ideas. If anyone has any energy tips, please give details. Will read through as maybe routine has some clues to this.Thanks!

    1. tryingtocalmdown

      try XS energy drinks–it’s not just caffeine and sugar like Red Bull. Lots of B vitamins, too and great flavors. Or naps. 20-30 minute naps are awesome rechargers

    2. andyidsinga

      I’ve been finding that as I get older (I have kids too) that going to bed a little earlier in the eve and waking up earlier in the morning… gives me much more energy.currently :- winding down 9.30 to 10 with reading – then sleeping around 11.- waking up at 7I’d like to start waking up earlier – 6’ish – to get another hour and be able to slow down the morning rush πŸ™‚

  43. William Mougayar

    Fred- are you having enough fruit in the morning? 1 banana isn’t enough. I suggest a lot of berries,- rasp, blueb, strawb, blackb + kiwi, etc… Load up that Kashi with 1/2 pound to a pound of fruit is my suggestion. (not melon)I do not skip my bran/psylium/flaxseeds/nuts/chai concoction + lots of fruit in the morning. It’s more than a routine for me. It’s an addiction and a necessity, like medicine.

    1. fredwilson

      I add blueberries and raspberries when we have them

      1. William Mougayar

        OK πŸ™‚ Blueberries are very high in anti-oxidants.

        1. ShanaC

          So is pomegranates and leafy vegetables (yum – I have family who claims I could easily go vegan because I love produce)

          1. William Mougayar

            I can live on fruit, vegetables, grains and fish. What else is there? Oh….a bottle of wine.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      So you guys aren’t mad at Kashi? πŸ˜‰

  44. Guest

    accidental post.. can’t delete.

  45. William Mougayar

    Jackie Kennedy once said “The only routine with me is no routine at all.”

  46. Marcus Oberholzer

    It’s kinda refreshing that there was only one line in this post (and most of the comments) about work. The rest are the nuggets that make up the rest of life.

  47. leigh

    my routine is to think about how i need my routine back. less work. more yoga.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Even just re-focusing on a short breathing can be enough to flip you back into routine

      1. leigh

        short breathing is what got me here in the first place but i guess you mean without a paper bag yes? πŸ˜‰

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Hehe, smart-ass. Deep long breaths (exhale longer than inhale), for a relatively short period of time. ~10 breaths usually enough. πŸ™‚

  48. ErikSchwartz

    Wake around 5. Work and email for 90 minutes.Feed the kids breakfast around 6:30Train at 7:30 (work on Aether)Work (getting paid) from 8:20 to 5:20 take Aether meetings and lunches in SOMATrain home 5:20 (read kindle)Dinner with the gang 6Play with the kids until 8 pm bedtime (theirs)Work on Aether until I run out of gas (11-12)

  49. Jeff Jenkins

    Someone else with a low thyroid! I take my Levothyroxine at night.I get up at about 6:30 when my girlfriend (a teacher) wakes up. I check email and feeds, and then start working. At about 8am I’ll have breakfast and then (weather allowing) bike to work from midtown east to Union Square.I eat lunches with my former coworkers from ShopWiki, except once a week when I meet up with someone I know to catch up (this is a new routine, I’m trying to be better at networking)I finish working between 5 and 6, then head home to eat (and possibly cook) dinner. The rest of the evening is split between TV via Hulu, reading the news, and kindle books.My evening ends with my (ridiculous) dental care regime, meant to stop plaque while I have braces:- WaterPik to remove any large particulates- Floss- brush with a Sonicare toothbrush (3-minute gum-care mode)- fluoride rinse- put an elastic band on my braces for overnight (which will be my third or fourth time replacing the elastic on my teeth during the day) to align my biteI generally take my Levothyroxine pill just after brushing.I’ve also got a couple weekly routines:- On the weekend I go on a 30 mile bike ride around the perimeter of manhattan. It takes about 3 hours, but I feel great afterwards- On Mondays (starting this week, actually) I go to Astor Place hair Stylists and get a professional shave. Being forced to sit in one place with a hot towel on my face and no ability to access my phone is relaxing.

    1. fredwilson

      i love that circumnavigation of manhattan by bike. used to do it every few weekends. i’ve gotten away from that routine.

      1. Jeff Jenkins

        I hadn’t done the full loop it until earlier this month. I signed up for the Century Bike Tour, so I decided I needed to take things up a level from my normal 9 mile rides around central park.

        1. fredwilson

          i do it clockwise. and that downhill ride through harlem is the highlight for me.

          1. Jeff Jenkins

            I’ve been going counter-clockwise, since I don’t like going up the giant hill around the GW bridge. I’ll try going the other way next time!

          2. fredwilson

            i prefer riding up that GWB hill than riding it down. it is hard to get up. but it scares me going down.

    2. ShanaC

      favorite site in manhattan that you see when circling it?

      1. Jeff Jenkins

        Oops, I didn’t notice I had something to reply to. My favourite place is the east side greenway between about 165th st and 200th st. It’s beautifully curated and there’s basically never anyone there. You get a view of an extremely steep hill across the road in highbridge park and you get to pass under several different bridges.

  50. Richard

    Speaking of day is the official sign that the seductive warm nights of summer are here! Can any one share their summer routines? What do you add or subtract from winter?

    1. Jeff Jenkins

      I add a lot more bike riding to my routine and remove team sports (I do dodgeball in the other seasons)

    2. bsoist

      a lot more walking in the park as a family, I grill almost every day, which includes hanging out on the deck for hours with my kids, reading, talking, and enjoying summer beverages

    3. fredwilson

      more biking, more yoga, more beach time, more swimming, more relaxing, more napping.

      1. Richard

        Summer reading?

        1. fredwilson

          that too

    4. Dale Allyn

      We try to do at least one high-country hike (Sierras, 7,000′ to 9,500′) per week during spring/summer, depending on snow levels. We usually shoot for 8 to 12 miles. My preference is do this mid-week for privacy. This week it was Wednesday and not a soul around four beautiful high-country lakes. Great air; crazy beautiful wildflowers; animals and views. We usually start early and it takes a bit more than half a day. It’s great therapy. I happily work on weekends to avoid crowds in the mountains.During the winter we run/hike/walk in the American River canyon (behind our home). It’s steep country and quite varied with over 50 different trails and tracks. It’s too warm in the summer for me, so we move up hill as it gets warm.Edit to add: While my wife has pushed me to do this for years, I only started doing the hiking/running/walking thing again about 2+ years ago. Prior to that I was working essentially all the time (literally 12-18 hours per day, 7 days per week) and it was messing me up a bit. This balance is an important adjustment.

  51. graubart

    Interesting. And points out the benefits to having a short commute.It took me a while to find that a good routine helped me be more productive and feel healthier. So, my typical day is something like this:Wake up at 6Take the dog for a quick walk, then feed her.Head to the gym around 6:15.Catch the 7:40 train (or 8:00 if workout goes long). Scan the headlines from the NYT app while standing on the platform.On the train, catch up on overnight emails, scan twitter, then read a bunch of sites & feeds through FlipBoard.That gets me to the office around 8:30 and I’m usually there until 6:15 or so.The train ride home lets me set my priorities for the next day and skim the NYT OpEd section.Evenings I try to spend at least an hour or two with my daughter, helping with homework when needed or just hanging out watching tv.Around 10pm I do a final scan of any email that needs to be handled, then I pick up my guitar, either unplugged or with headphones.I try to get at least 45 minutes of guitar playing in each night as I find it’s the best way to clear my mind, relax and get a good night’s sleep. I’m usually asleep by 11:45 or so.

    1. fredwilson

      i did the commute for four years. i have a lot of respect for those that make that sacrifice. but i have to tell you that a ten minute vespa ride through lower manhattan is vastly mor enjoyable than the 6:20 out of chappaqua.

  52. Mark Essel

    Wake up 4-5am, read before michelle wakes up. Get out bed, clean up whatever the dogs left in the kitchen. Shower, hang out with dogs, and head out for either a commute (mon-tues) or a walk.On Mon-Tues I read on the train, then walk in Manhattan up to Central Park and down near work, where I stop and get a weird veggie juice drink. it’s about an hour-25min walk.On Wed-Fri I head out for a local walk for 2-2.5 hours or if it’s raining walk in the nearby mall for a couple of hours.After walking (9amish) I check mail (sometimes avc like today) and then get to work until 5:20 when in Manhattan to catch a fast train home, or till 7pm when at home.I have dinner with my wife Michelle (cooks half the time, take out other half), then hang with her on the couch to watch a little netflix and unwind together. I’m in bed by 9:30pm most days.

  53. bsoist

    I wake up around 4 have a cup of tea, do a little bible reading, scan my RSS feeds. I usually finish by 5, make some breakfast, and head to my office. I review my calendar for the next few days, and review the work lined up for the day. Somewhere along the way, the dog gets up for our walk and breakfast of her own. Then I work until about 10:30, when I check email, take the dog for another walk, nap, shower. This brings me to just before noon where my routine changes based on the day, but essentially I work until seven with very brief breaks for social media distractions. I am mostly disconnected by seven for time with the family – dinner, movies, TV, movies, sports, movies, games, and movies. I’m in bed by 11:30. Billy is home for the summer now, so I’ve been trying to work in time for a daytime movie with him every day too.I do 30 day challenges where I add something new to the routine. Things like playing the guitar every day are done later in my personal time, work or computer related stuff I do sometime during my work time.Of course, on Fridays my routine includes hair metal fridays at πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      i gotta check out hair metal fridays. that was the soundtrack of my misbegotten youth

      1. bsoist

        The crowd is thin these days, and they all get in very late, but it’s still a blast. The way I plug turntable here, you’d think I was the investor. πŸ™‚

  54. John@PGISelfDirected

    Soccer practice, Twitter, checking this blog…

  55. Paul Sanwald

    I’m also a big routine guy. I’m quite surprised at how close many routines are to mine:6:30: workout at boxing gym or long run, followed by run to work.8:30-~6:30: work6:30-7:30: dinner, time with wife. my most common dinner is a head of roasted cauliflower, and 2 eggs. weird, eh?7:30-10: work on music: practice, compose, etc.10-11: time with wife, then bedtime.for food we cook almost all our meals, I have steel cut oats every morning cooked in a rice cooker, typically take lunch to work (stew, soup or salad or something). evenings are not always so cut and dried, but I try to spend at least 2 hours on music every day.

  56. DCTech

    Ha..i too start my day with synthroid,,new to the hypothyroid drill…I need to start having dinner with family too important..will check out the shreaded wheat

  57. aminTorres

    Get up about 6:30amDo some emails, Look and read few faves photo and design blogs, read AVC, tech news + regular news,Do breakfast with the wife around 730-8amby 9:30, head to midtown to R/GAI get there by 10am to 10:30am usually.I am there usually till 6pm – sometimes later -get home at around 7pm, have dinner.Then I start work around 9pm, personal work that is.I am usually up till 2am to 3am which makes me realizehow little I sleep.Repeat.

    1. fredwilson

      working two jobs, one for the man, one for yourself, seems to be very common among AVC is gratifying to me to see that folks who are working so hard take time to read my daily musings

      1. aminTorres

        working hard to move to another AVC reader demographic. πŸ˜‰

  58. bfeld

    My “in Boulder” routine is very similar, although I’m about to make a hard shift for the next 90 days from manager hours to maker hours.

  59. reece

    i’ve always known your early morning routine, but how does that get affected when you go see a show etc? you still wake up @ 5am or does that get pushed back? (some studies show that waking up same time everyday helps alertness)

  60. JaredMermey

    “I will make an exception these coming weeks to watch the Thunder hopefully beat the Spurs and the Heat”No chance the C’s beat Miami? As a Knicks fan, it is like watching Worse versus Worst.

    1. fredwilson

      the Pacers were the best team left in the east. and once Miami woke up, they were toast. the only two teams in the NBA that have a chance against the Heat are Spurs and Thunder.

    2. K_Berger

      No chance. Hopefully OKC will take them. Or I would be happy with the Spurs too.

    3. JaredMermey

      i shouldn’t discount Philly yet either…

  61. ShanaC

    I always wake up and create a to do list in wunderlist. Goal is to complete all the tasks.I generally exercise around 9 – either cardio or weights. The reasoning is that ceertain exercises will exhaust you and helo you sleep better. Plus I usually finish dinner by 7:30 and I don’t like exercising immediately afterwards. I need to find a way to change this around for waking up reasonsI also write in a dairy every friday night based on a thing that is inspiring to me, and most friday nights I oil my hair with camellia oil (uhhh, deep condition curly hair thing?)

    1. fredwilson

      my oldest daughter has seriously curly hair. she gets some kind of treatment a few times a year that straightens her hair.

      1. ShanaC

        I embraced the curls. It is not for everyone, but I still have yet to figure out how to really straighten it (I discovered recently I need a flat iron). I’m willing to trade off a little bit of frizz for low maintenance (relatively speaking). Plus it makes me easily identifiable.If she ever wants to get off the straightening thing, she should talk to the devachan people down in soho. I’m not orthodox about their methods, but they do help somewhat.

        1. fredwilson

          i personally prefer the curls on her. she looked like shirley temple when she was little. but as will smith said about his daughter “its her body and she should decide what to do with it”

  62. bsoist

    btw, you really test my obsessive behavior with posts like this. I will resist the urge to tweak my routine based on what I’ve read here today.

    1. fredwilson

      just don’t take up hand gliding! πŸ˜‰

  63. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I too am a synthroid taker.Thank you for sharing your routine. It’s so cool to get a peek into someone’s life like that. I’d love to know the routines of all the leading entrepreneurs in the tech business.I have a routine by accident. It resembles most of these here, but starts a couple hours later πŸ™‚ (What if getting up before sunrise is a predictor of success?!) I also get almost no exercise, which is just awful. Part of my routine is to tell myself every morning that I’ll exercise tomorrow. Pathetic.

  64. daryn

    Fun post, Fred.”I am not an organized person, but I am a disciplined person” – that’s a great distinction to make. GG seems very organized, so it’s no wonder the two of you work so well together.Also, thanks for the reminder to go get my thyroid checked again πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      she is organized to the max. it is a wonder to see her in action.

  65. Adam Martin

    4 year old wakes me at 6.00am shouting about his now sadly stuffless toy cat.Make breakfast for family, 2 x yoghurts for kids, followed by 2 x bowels of porridge with cinnamon on (a recent addition thanks to having returned from working in Sweden). Wife eats at work.Run to gym, 7.00am, run home for 8.30am, then check Twitter, email, WorkFu (it is still running!).9.00am cycle to Google Campus, 9.30am arrive, double espresso from Ozone, decide what I’m having for lunch from Grab next door, it’s always Green Curry, work until 1.00, lunch break 10 mins, back at computer, managing user community, Skype chats with business users, more social media management, meetings, schedule meetings about future meetings.Back on bike, curse bus drivers then realise I do cycle on pavements and jump lights to stay ahead of the game, post rationalise cursing.Home 6.30pm, read with kids, make things with kids, 7.30pm kids go to bed.Shower. Cook dinner, no iPhone or Mac until 9.00pm, dinner with wife, record the latest Scandinavian drama on BBC 4, watch Mad Men or Thrones or look glum if neither is on. Work from 9.00pm to midnight.30 minutes reading something unrelated to work, book not Kindle, possibly argue with wife if she’s still awake about merits of Kindle v Book, run out of steam when she says ‘but you work in digital !’Sleep.

  66. Brandon Marker

    Cinnamon Harvest Shredded Wheat is, by far, the most amazing grown-up cereal on the planet. It helps to curb the craving for Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

    1. fredwilson

      yes indeed

  67. Greg Gortz

    I have been trying to build a routine for some time. Living in NYC compounds the problem because I want to partake in the NYC lifestyle. Spontaneity is one of the great things about NYC. To attend a show on a Tuesday night at 11 pm on a whim. But, this also means that a routine is hard to keep. Im curious if other have this problem (my guess is yes)I do know that a routine would help me be more balanced. Without a routine, I tend to work long hours and not find time for exercise, social life, etc. Too often this leads to burnout.

    1. ShanaC

      yes, and fighting burnout is always a problem for me

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I usually just rest more, eat tons of high-energy food (pistachios, lots of fruit), and then do a 90-minute Bikram class to get blood and oxygen through my body, etc., and in fact to keep myself needing to rest so I keep my mind at bay; Part of the recovery is having no expectations as to when you’ll be rested again, when the burn-out subsides.

    2. fredwilson

      i tend to do the fun stuff on the weekendsi do not work on the weekends other than trying, in vain usually, to get caught up on email

      1. Greg Gortz

        The inbox zero methodology is a battle I am currently losing.

        1. fredwilson

          It is a fight worth fighting but it is a lost cause. Kind of like our stay in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          1. Greg Gortz

            agree. I am a proud American with an inbox of 31 heading into the holiday weekend.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      My routine allows me to work hard when I am in the mindset, and then my work schedule is fluid so I can opt to do something that comes up serendipitously – and then I get a break, able to do something I’d enjoy.Right now I am in a slightly tired / burned out – just need to rest a bit more. My body lets me know.Becoming aware of your cycles is important for better self-regulation.

      1. Greg Gortz

        Agree. I know that I am most efficient in the early am, less so in the afternoon. I can get a lot of work done before 11 am. And so weird, your comment “your body lets you know” – I am big on “listening to my body” and knowing when I need a break.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Many people are “stuck in their head” – meaning they are in their mind thinking, and not in their body (perhaps not connected at all) – not feeling their emotions or signals from their body. There are many reasons why someone can be stuck in their mind thinking – usually distraction from feeling emotions that want or need to come up; Emotions could be suppressed from early childhood (3+ years old) and be affecting your adult behaviour (keeping you in your head), and only once exploring those to open them up and deal with them will make it easier to feel safe and comfortable being in your body.There’s truth to the wording of people being “grounded” and why it’s seen as a positive thing. :)The better I take care of myself the more I realize health gives you exponential gains – physical and mental energy wise, overall happiness capability and enjoyment of life. You attract this same energy as well, which acts as another amplifier effect. It’s pretty fucking awesome. It’s one of my goals to help everyone be able to reach this level of productivity, happiness.One way to help efficiency return in the afternoon is a nap. It’s hard for me at times to let myself be in a routine for a nap. I get stuck in the excitement and stimulation of the hustle bustle of the day, though when I am able I’m usually more productive overall – even taking the time away of nap-time.

  68. Arthur Maas

    Fred, would you call yourself a morning person? Do you think it’s possible to maintain a healthy routine like yours being a night owl?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, i am very much a morning person. i am at my best before lunch.i am ok in the afternoonbut by dinner, the energy fades. i can muster it to help my kids with homework but not much else.

  69. Carl Jonas Sjonander

    Bombolone and a double espresso for breakfast at the nearby bar. (Bombolone is the cream-filled donut they have here in Tuscany). Never been a big eater in the morning.Morning walk with the dog, planning the day.Work. I’m an entrepreneur so I decide from where I want to work. I Usually go to the local library where the wifi is free and fast. Quick sandwich for lunch.Gym at around 6 to 7,30. Ipad on the treadmill, with a bunch of articles Instapapered.Dinner at home at 9 pm with my wife. We cook, listening to Spotify. Pasta and tomato sauce is our standard. Red wine. (Right now I am into the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano). Ipad infront of the tv. Twitter. FB. Skype with family in the US. Pinterest. Blogs. AVC…Evening walk and bed at around 1 am.At least 7 hours of sleep. A must.

  70. DA

    You finish work at 6:30pm most nights? How is that (or a routine at all) possible at an investment firm? What if a big deal is closing next week? What if USV’s PR firm wants a quote/interview the night before a press release? What if the lawyers need you to review docs before a signing the next day? What if an entrepreneur calls you at 10:00pm with some bad news? What if you need to speak to an industry expert in London? What if you have to travel to Austin to meet a start up team?Routine is a complete fiction in my job – is VC really THAT different from PE?

    1. fredwilson

      it can wait. or i don’t get to it. there is a limit. for me it is 6:30pm

    2. toddgeist

      The idea that if I just work all night tonight, tomorrow I can go home on time, is a myth. There will always be another big deal, or an important deadline. Tomorrow never comes.After 25 years of working, I am just now beginning to realize this. As Fred said, there needs to be a limit. If I don’t have a limit, I will have no life.

  71. Muneeb Ali

    Routines are great for getting things done. Some people find it really hard to follow a routine though (natural drifts in sleep cycle, productivity spikes/lows, travel etc). How to religiously stick to a routine where things get done and you have time for family is the real question I think. Me? I use all sorts of gadgets and software (some that I wrote myself) for nudging me towards a routine. Still trying, but the data/graphs are very interesting to look at – it’s a funny feeling to see your habits/routine plotted on a graph!

  72. FlavioGomes

    Now that the Hendrickson hatch is upon me, I target two days a week at crack of dawn (weather permitting) and head to my favorite glide and toss spent wings to sipping browns. When the sun is just over the tree line…drop my dog off and head to the office. Then usually have a quick chat with sales and finance, hug a couple coders, shake hands with support, pour a pail of coffee and get on with my day. Head home to eat with the wife and kids, take whomever has an activity that evening to their respective locations and either respond to emails I didn’t get a chance to review or mix a few tunes that I’m working on in my studio. Have an hour with my wife with a glass of wine, head to bed around 11, read til twelve and shut’r down for the night.

  73. rudyc

    one of my biggest weaknesses that word dis…disipline..discipline. That being said, more importantly, how in the world did LA lose to the Thunder. I can’t help but wonder if losing Derek Fisher AND Lamar Odom killed LA’s hopes this year.Lamar Odom (BTW spell check unbelievably works try Odam, impressive), was a perfect fit in LA. Filled the middle, scored a few points, wasn’t selfish. After his stint in Dallas, I can’t help but wonder how much has his career suffered because of the Khardashians.But again there is NO way the Thunder beat the Spurs. The Spurs are all about discipline. There probably isn’t a better team in the NBA about discipline. Too bad they’ll lose to the Heat, who has much more talent but a lot less discipline.I guess in a weird way it goes to show sometimes talent beats discipline.

    1. fredwilson

      I think the thunder has more talent than the heat. I will give you your point about the Spurs discipline. They are the best TEAM in the NBA

  74. Adrian Palacios

    My wife and I have discussed waking up early; we feel there’s a trend where people taking on their part of the world tend to wake up earlier than others. From the tech world (Steve Jobs) to racism in South Africa (Nelson Mandela).Is it that they are so hungry they can’t sleep much, or are they so disciplined they can wake up no matter how exhausted they are? Or is it some other combination?Wondering what you all think πŸ™‚

  75. Dave Lee

    It’s helpful to me to have a daily focus with desired outcomes. My focus on weekdays:Monday – productTuesday – monetizationWednesday – productThursday – distribution, brand, engagementFriday – personnel, miscI then use the Pomodoro system to crank out 25-minutes blocks of focused work session throughout the day, usually 9:30am-4:30pm and them about another hour or so in the evening.

  76. Guest

    Holy shit Fred, how old are you? I was thinking you’re in your 40s?

    1. John Revay

      My Guess is that Fred is 50 going on 30

      1. fredwilson

        born 8/20/61

        1. Guest

          That’s a pretty hefty daily schedule. You takin’ VC steroids? lol

  77. Robert Thuston

    Need some tweaks to my own. Like yours… Does blogging anchor your routine?

    1. fredwilson


  78. Bryan J Wilson

    To those with early morning routines who aren’t exactly “morning people”: how did you make it work for you? Getting there has been a bit of a life-long struggle for me πŸ˜‰

    1. fredwilson

      having children did it for me

      1. Bryan J Wilson

        I was hoping for a smaller investment to make it work, but on the bright side, that’s not *too* far away πŸ™‚

  79. jasonpwright

    Routine is composed of individual actions but those actions are not taken to compose a routine. Don’t strive for routine, strive for action.

    1. FlavioGomes

      Yup..action usually trumps most things

  80. Lewis

    I usually get up about 5:45 a.m. Once spring comes in the Pac NW, the birds start chirping before 5 a.m. which is a nice alarm clock albeit a bit early. Have green tea, do a bit of stretching, 40 sit ups, 30 or so push ups. Shower and shave and leave home by 6:30 when going into Seattle. Eat some fruit on way in to office. 1/2 the time I travel by light rail where I can read if I don’t need my car during the day to go to meetings; other times I drive–earlier the better to stay in front of the commuting hordes. Read news and have coffee and oatmeal. Work until at least 6 p.m. or later depending on how much I avoided during “regular business hours”.An evening routine my wife and I do 2-3 times a week is practice dancing in our living room. We took dance lessons last fall and practice our hustle, rumba, salsa and foxtrot for 15-30 minutes. Nice way to bond and keep the obliques from becoming a spare tire. Usually read a chapter of Proverbs and something else. In bed by 11-11:30 most nights.

    1. FlavioGomes

      I like dancing with my wife too.

  81. matthughes

    I’m curious about the Hudson River bike path…How long is it? I assume it’s pretty popular? What kind of bike do you ride?I love to ride and make it a big part of my routine when I’m not traveling. When I lived in Napa Valley I rode through the wine country roads almost every day. Now living in Bend I ride my mountain bike several times a week.”I am not an organized person. But I am a disciplined person.” – really like this by the way.

    1. fredwilson

      the bike path runs from the battery (the southern tip of manhattan) to inwood which is the northwestern tip of manhattan. it is about 14 miles from one end of the island to the other. i start my ride in the west village so i don’t get a full 28 mile ride up and back. but its a good ride anyway.

      1. matthughes

        I would say New York has done a better job in recent years of developing ‘open space’ than any other major US city.Very impressive given the sardine factor is so high in Manhattan.

  82. laurie kalmanson

    compass > map

  83. John Revay

    Thanks for sharing your routine.Lots of inspiration in this post

  84. Emily Merkle

    Hi. I seem to always be online.I really enjoy this world. Sometimes I sense (like now) that all is not as it seems.I have no idea what it could be….go. I am here.

    1. Emily Merkle

      I live to work.I often stay up all night working into the next day…but to me it is not work, so –

  85. Rich Ullman

    what makes you such a big fan of the OKC Thunder? Durant? His backpack? #justwondering

    1. Rich Ullman

      never mind… i just searched and found the answer.… Agree with most of it. Durant is awesome and humble. Lebron is amazing and arrogant. SI has a profile on Tim Duncan that is all you need to read to root for him and the Spurs.

      1. fredwilson

        Duncan is the epitome of a great basketball player. he reminds me of Bill Russell

    2. fredwilson

      KD and James Hardeni love the way those two guys play the gamei also am into iBlocka

  86. Aaron Klein

    Reading about everyone’s routines has definitely made this a Fun Friday.Early on in my marriage, I was the husband who wasn’t there. Working until 11 or midnight, sleeping in until 8. Very undisciplined.And now I’m a master of routine, for better or worse. My regular day sounds pretty similar to yours, Fred.Up at 5:15, in the car by 5:30, at the gym by 6. Workout, shower and at my desk by 7:30am.Leave the office at 5:30. When I walk through the door at 6, the phone goes on the kitchen counter and I don’t pick it up until after the kids are in bed. Then another hour or so of work before hanging out with my best friend. In bed by 10:30 or 11.Saturday I take a little easier but still get a lot of work done. Sunday is my no-work day. Just spend time with my family.And that’s made it all work for us…

    1. John Revay

      Nice routine

  87. Pete Griffiths

    Routine and discipline as opposed to freeform and loose is a difficult balance. The former is highly correlated with efficiency which is great for many tasks. The latter is better correlated with creative activities which are in turn correlated with being effective i.e. doing the right things rather than doing something efficiently. So imho both are important and achieving the right balance depends upon your role and your temperament.

  88. chhhris

    I created this ifttt recipe that sends @fredwilson:disqus’s posts straight to my email inbox: the news first thing is a big routine, it helps me wake up. Most of what I read comes to my inbox (for better or worse). It’s great to have Fred’s posts emailed to me every morning because I wasn’t coming to AVC (or opening my Reeder iPhone app) as much as I wanted.I’d like to join the community conversation that takes place in the comments, but I haven’t been able to make it a routine yet, so for now, I’m just a happy consumer.p.s. I’ve been really intrigued with ifttt for a while, but this was the first time I found a really helpful way to use it.

  89. Jeff T.

    you will now be susceptible to endless pitches from 7-8am Mon/Wed/Fri while biking up the Hudson River bike path.

    1. fredwilson

      if that happens, i am riding downtown from now on πŸ™‚

  90. zach

    how can you like the thunder? Never in all my years watching sports have I ever seen a team celebrate incessantly and show up opponents on the court. Westbrook in particular has no class.

    1. fredwilson

      westbrook needs to grow up a bit. but their youthful enthusiasm is infectious

  91. Conrad Ross Schulman

    Hey Fred- thanks for posting everyday, u enlighten us and we really appreciate you paying it forward with your valuable knowledge & insight #thecommunity

  92. Donna Brewington White

    It’s amazing how interesting something as mundane as someone’s daily routine can be.Yet, I know that success is often made up of a lot of little things coming together in the right way so I am always looking for ways to tweak my lifestyle.As someone who did not grow up with a lot of discipline and structure, I have spent my entire adult life trying to capture this — so anytime I get a peek into “how it’s done” it is extremely fascinating.I am really struck by the distinction between being organized and disciplined. There is so much emphasis placed on organizational ability and yet as I think about it, the people who seem to accomplish the most are not necessarily always that organized. Many of them hire someone to be organized for them. But I don’t know that you can hire someone to be disciplined for you.

  93. Donna Brewington White

    Interesting that in interviewing we are often more focused on someone’s organizational ability rather than their discipline and as I think about it, the latter seems to be most consistent in determining success.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. It would be a good question to ask actually. As much as behavioral interviewing is like a staple, maybe the discipline and routines aspects are also good things to uncover. How would you frame a question that is meant to reveal what routines the candidate has?

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Glad I stumbled upon this comment.The key difference is discipline allows fluidity to occur, whereas organization by its nature requires controlled structures to confine to. You need organization skills to tap into of course, however I am sure focusing 100% on organization will have negative effects. How, I’m not totally sure. Perhaps by limiting or disabling creativity – which alone is enough to err on the side of discipline over organization IMHO.I’m cleaning up a blog post on routine over the next half hour where I had some more to it. I’ll let you know.

  94. dineshn

    One of the few times I’m tempted to comment, given what you described of your work schedule of “back to back to back meetings” – Fred, your time is probably much more valuable than mine, but that being said my calendar tends to get filled up fast too. However, I make it a point to make sure that at least 1/3rd of my daily time is kept free of meetings. Otherwise, I don’t get time to think, and if I don’t sit back and reflect and ponder, I find that I’m not very effective, or worse yet, am not making thoughtful, well considered decisions. Just my $0.02. Rest of your day and mine more or less match, except that instead of yoga, I meditate, after all, the mind controls the body πŸ˜‰

    1. fredwilson

      that is what “my time” is for”my time” is 5am to 8am

  95. george

    at a glance:5:00AM wakeup call (PST)check google.financecheck AppleInsiderpray my stocks go updrink lots of coffeego for a run along the beachfeed my fishboogie to workmake a differencethank God for one more day!

    1. fredwilson

      “pray my stocks go up”classic!!!!

    2. Techman

      Sounds great.”pray my stocks go up”Priceless.

  96. Prokofy

    BTW, aren’t you a little concerned with publishing a piece like this that all kinds of kids pitching start-ups are going to be organizing a stake-out at the Hudson River bike path? The only question is whether you will ride up or down.Also, why advertise your health conditions?

    1. fredwilson

      I am not worried about either thing

  97. panterosa,

    Friday is always hard to comment here on AVC – short work day, swim, pick up Panther Kitty. Hang out, then hand her to daddy for the evening. I get her back Saturday or Sunday. Monday is short also since it’s a swim day.I live two lives each week – the beginning half of the week as a (happily divorced) mother, and the last half as lover.As a mother I am up at 6:30 to send PantherKitty off to school with her dad. I have chai and some AVC reading, email time, and organizing the day’s tasks. @donnawhite:disqus mentioned performance management recently and the morning time is part of getting focused. Work is me wearing many different hats as single founder – maker, content and outreach. I should add in more yoga than I get in the mornings.PantherKitty is back from school in the afternoons, and we have games, and chill out time over dinner and with some cartoons or nature shows. She gets time in her room to develop her story lines – it’s how she focuses. Like wakeful dreams, sorting out the day she had and the situations. Sundays are very mellow, museum, movie, see friends.My half of the week not being active parent the last years was out and about as a single woman, but I have BF since end summer. He’s younger, in med school, so we are between his age crowd/interests and mine, and chill time from our schedules. Thursdays are gallery openings. We make sure to have ample time to be naked. I agree with the recent comment from @fredwilson:disqus – more sex!All is thrown to wind from June to Labor Day since the more you pay for school the less they go. Working then is truly hard to manage focus wise, but it’s nice to telecommute in my bathing suit and swim an hour a day for a month of it.

  98. maria

    Posting this as I go through page 2 of my routine. enjoy :)…

  99. kevinmurphy

    Fred, I couldn’t help but notice your mention of synthroid as part of your daily routine. Since July of 1986 I too have been starting my day with a pill. It doesn’t seem possible that I could think so little of something I have done almost 10,000 times which I would not be here today without. There are so many things in our lives that we simply take for granted…

    1. fredwilson


  100. Campryenwater

    I must be doing something wrong since my daily routine includes:4:30-5AM arise5A-5:40AM Prep to leave5:40-5:50AM on the bus, if it is not late.6:30AM-6:30/7:00PM Back to back meetings, tasks, activities, management adventures6:30-7:00PM leave8:00PM Home9:00PM Work at home11:00PM prep for night timeAnd the fun and salary I make is not anywhere close to what I think a VC does, but yet I seem to have less time for the “fun stuff”.JJD – Doing it wrong…

  101. TamiMForman

    Sure. But also sort of a hybrid. My reading of Fred’s writing is that he gets a lot from it, so I consider that time he’s spending on something that means something to him beyond work. Of course it’s like the old adage … do what you love and you never work a day in your life! I just mean that this post doesn’t have that macho “I’m working sun up to sundown” that you see all over the place.

  102. Nick Grossman

    For us the regularity of it is actually really nice – it means that Thursday is “our night”, which makes it feel special and also makes it easy to say no to other things.

  103. fredwilson

    We did date night every thursday without fail for close to twenty years. Now with only one child at home – a high schooler – we do date night several times a week but not on a regular schedule

  104. K_Berger

    If it isn’t regular, it doesn’t happen.

  105. fredwilson

    Commenting on AVC is email to me. Just a subset of my overall email. I spend a few hours a day on it. I used to be obsessive about email. Fortunately I dropped that obsession

  106. fredwilson

    ken – i loved the shot of the two of you in the infinite mirror room. about a week after gotham gal and i did it.

  107. Kirsten Lambertsen

    That is SO true.

  108. K_Berger

    Duplicate deleted.

  109. K_Berger

    Duplicate deleted.

  110. K_Berger

    I think you mean the other Ken Berger. πŸ™‚

  111. K_Berger

    And I am so on the ‘not happening’ side right now. Need to fix that ASAP.

  112. fredwilson

    i do. oops. sorry about that.

  113. Aysha Ali

    Hi Fred, i always wonder if you guys open all email and whether you get/got anxious about missing the next big something if you didn’t? Do you think your obsession dropped (even subconsciously) after USV bagged the biggies in your portfolio? Just asking no rudeness intended.

  114. fredwilson

    my obsession with email comes from my empathy for the people who send it to me.but that doesn’t i had to drop it.there are so many good investment opportunities out there. you can’t make all of them. that is not where my obsession comes from.

  115. Michael Elling

    fomotized, fomotic, fomotonic. modern day maladies!

  116. Aysha Ali

    OK, thanks or answering. You are a really cool person. Sometimes it seems inevitable, that email will not be answered-i guess we just have to respect the internal processes.

  117. ShanaC

    Find a person/company you admire. Sit down and ask them about critical problems they are having internationally for no charge, telling them this is the situation (aka the story above). Rinse, repeat, until you get a client.Most people appreciate having a problem solved for them, so the listening part is the most important part πŸ™‚

  118. Tom Labus

    Ask the boss what sectors he would like to focus on.If none, look at companies that you have a personal interest in. Nike if you’e a runner, etc.Come back once you have some target companies to see if anyone has contacts.Take boss’s daughter to dinner, pay. Tread carefully.

  119. testtest

    i would find 3 local clients, and then say i thought it was a better use of resources.that way you can meet people face to face, set up a free seminar, or lecture on skillshare, or whatever.but that’s me. it may even be fairly reckless and bad advice. not doing what your told etc etc. large company stuff gets lost on me. after all, not having an MBA i couldn’t tell you why it’s more important to get an international client from abroad vs doing the thing that will increase revenue the most.

  120. Aysha Ali

    so clever, i’m in shock!

  121. Ryan Frew

    Haha, thank you for the tread carefully comment. These can definitely be some choppy waters – no pun intended.Target sectors:-Airline industry-Manufacturing (such as steel)-Healthcare-Franchise RetailersPersonal interest:-Automotive@ShanaC:disqus , I’m going to put that suggestion to use for sure, as well. Giving it a few tries right now actually. Thanks.

  122. Ryan Frew

    Haha, I can appreciate that, Chris. I’m actually working on setting up some face-to-face/livestream seminars, etc. The managing partner is likely in agreement with you that the local client is most important – she simply offered this challenge to us because we are both International Business majors so she thought it would be a good learning experience, which I am thankful for.

  123. testtest

    what’s the lesson? how not to make the most money. there’s plenty of those lessons to be had even when things are working really well.i’m only half joking. there seems something wrong-minded about playing at business without regard to the main point of business: the results.

  124. Ryan Frew

    I definitely see where you’re coming from Chris. In this case, I think there are the obvious learning opportunities from landing an international client, but I believe also that she is trying to give us some insight so that we may be capable of continuing to help the firm grow internationally in the future. That said, this project is theoretically on the back-burner as the other intern and I focus on more pressing, profitable, and local clients. But let’s be realistic, if you pit two competitive young employees with something to prove against each other, and add a big incentive for the winner, it’s going to be on the front of both of our minds.