Jeff Bezos Is a Master of Productivity Because of This Secret: Starting Off Slow in the Morning

  • According to Bezos, giving his brain time to wake up is one of the keys to starting the day with more energy.

  • “First of all, I wake up in the morning and putter... I’m not as productive as you might think I am,” Bezos confessed in an interview.

Jeff Bezos' secret of productivity: puttering around
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If you’re the type of person who wakes up in the morning and lazes around for a while trying to find the meaning of life, congratulations, you wake up like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

At the end of the last year, one of the richest men in the world went on Lex Fridman’s podcast and shared some unexpected wisdom. In his chat with Fridman, Bezos talked his secret to waking up energized and ready to tackle a day full of tasks. “First of all, I wake up in the morning and putter... I’m not as productive as you might think I am,” Bezos said.

Bezos is slow wakeup. In the interview, the Amazon founder admitted that, like everyone else, he starts his mornings by lazing around. “Before I start my day, I read the newspaper, check my phone, chat with Lauren [ Sanchez, his fiancée], and drink my first coffee. So, I move pretty slowly in the first couple of hours.”

According to a study by Lehigh University, waking up is a vital moment in our morning routine because the brain transitions from a state of absolute rest and then begins to reconnect with reality. When you wake up, your brain switches from producing theta and delta waves during sleep to producing alpha waves in the first few moments after you open your eyes. It then returns to producing beta waves to start the day. Skipping or speeding up this process isn't the best move, as you literally start your brain off at a disadvantage. 

Bezos wake up routine starts with getting the optimal amount of sleep. However, unlike other CEOs like Tim Cook, the billionaire hasn't revealed the exact time his alarm goes off. During an event at the Economic Club of Washington in 2018, Cook confirmed his penchant for morning laziness, affirming his commitment to sleeping at least eight hours daily. This is the reason he goes to bed early and also gets up early. He also avoids meetings before 10 a.m.

There are some studies that support Bezos' morning habits and demonstrate a link between the quality of sleep the night before and physical performance the next day.

Our brains don't understand rushing. Even though life always seems like it's getting busier and busier, it's important to take your time to wake up so you have energy for the rest of the day. At least that’s what Geir Berthelsen, founder of the World Institute of Slowness in Norway, told the The Wall Street Journal.

According to Berthelsen, we should spend at least 20 minutes doing nothing after waking up every morning. You can just stay awake in bed for a few minutes after your alarm goes off and avoid checking your phone notifications. Afterwards, the expert recommends engaging in calming and relaxing activities like meditation or breathing exercises.

After waking up slowly, it's time to activate. After giving the brain enough time to wake up, experts recommend exercising to produce endorphins. These hormones create a painkilling and euphoric effect that motivates you to face the day with energy.

In the interview with Fridman, Bezos, who is 60 years old, confirmed that he's just like everyone else: Sometimes, he doesn’t want to go to the gym. However, the billionaire claims that he finds motivation because he knows it'll give him more energy.

“Most days, it’s not that hard for me, but sometimes it is, and I do it anyway. I don’t want to disappoint you, but it hurts. I ask myself: Why am I here at the gym? I don’t want to," Bezos said. "I know I’ll feel better later if I do it, and that’s how I find the real source of motivation. I notice that on the days when I skip it, I’m not as alert. I don’t feel as good."

Images | Pexels (Francesco Ungaro), Flickr (Smithsonian Institution)

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