On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
For NBC’s Today weather anchor, Al Roker, waking up at 4am would practically be a sleep-in. Instead, he wakes up 45 minutes earlier in order to get some time for himself. “I like to call it ‘me time,'” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I could get up probably 45 minutes later than I do, I just don’t like to rush. That’s when you make mistakes, you’re in a clumped state.”
On a typical day, Roker is up at 3.15am to get ready for his day. He showers, shaves, gets dressed, and jumps on the phone with his Today Show meteorologist to go through the day’s weather forecasts. During the call, he’s also multitasking, packing lunch for his son and himself and drinking a kombucha — Roker doesn’t drink coffee or tea.
Three days a week, he works out with a personal trainer. Otherwise, by 4.30am, he’s on his bike commuting to work. From there, it’s non-stop work as well as family commitments. Roker described a typical day in his life during an interview with Forbes:
I get makeup, I go over to 30 Rock and do the Wake Up with Al Show on The Weather Channel from 5:30 to 6:55 then I come across the street to Studio 1A, do The Today Show from 7:10 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then I go work out and go to my production company. I hang there until about 3 o’clock or so, come home, figure out what I’m making for dinner and make dinner. Sometimes if I finish in time I can take my son either to swimming or Taekwondo and my daughter may have a basketball game, so I go to that. We have dinner and then, depending on what the homework topic is, if it’s math, I’m out; my wife has to handle that. But I’ll work on English and Science. And then I try to hit the sack by between 9:30 and 10 o’clock.Al Roker: Losing 160 Pounds While Building a Successful Career | Forbes
On the weekends, Roker is able to sleep in a bit longer than 4am. He usually wakes up around the same time as his kids, around 7.30-8am.
For the past couple of decades, Roker has suffered from multiple challenges with his weight. After failing at a number of diets, Roker underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002 to lose weight. The procedure helped him drop 100 pounds, but he regained much of it back five years later after a family crisis. Since then, Roker has overhauled his entire lifestyle, and even wrote a book about his weight loss journey: Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle For Good.
In the Forbes interview, Roker explained how he created a system designed around healthy nutrition and fitness to maintain his current weight. “I’ve built exercise in. Obviously the food is one thing. I plan my meals a lot more but I also bike to work now,” he described. “My workout is pretty inviolable.”
“For example today, I normally work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 but I was doing the Katie Couric Show so I moved my trainer to 4:30 because I have to, this is what I do. I need to do this. The realization is that this is as important as any other appointment that I have.”
You learn from your experience, both the things that went well, your successes, and the things that didn’t go so well. I try to drill that home to my kids. You’re not going to succeed all the time. You are going to fail but every great invention or breakthrough in our world and in our history came from failure. Nobody makes a great discovery on the first try.Al Roker on Facing Racism, Crying at Work and Overcoming Mistakes: “You Can Come Back Stronger” | The Hollywood Reporter
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Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.