What gets the most successful people in Hong Kong out of bed? Whether they’re devoted to a morning workout, or prefer a slower start to the day, these four Hong Kong entrepreneurs share their ideal morning routines.
Arnault Castel, founder of Kapok
I think it’s important to start the day on the right foot. I am not a morning person, so I hate to feel rushed – a nice, slow routine allows me to cancel the stress from the previous day. I am a creature of habit, and love my daily rituals.
I always wake up at 7:30am, after a solid seven hours of sleep. I start by checking my phone, and I don’t feel guilty about that. I message my friends and family, to keep me in a good mood, check the news, a little bit of Instagram, and finally emails, to start problem solving and checking our orders for Kapok.
I always do the same three things when I get out of bed: I make a strong coffee, turn on my morning playlist and play with the cat. If I do my morning routine, I feel great throughout the day.
There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed in the morning. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed is definitely a thing, so I’m fairly strict. I don’t book any meetings until afternoon, so I have my entire morning to work and work out.
I’m very particular about having my inbox cleared and my task list shortened before I leave the house. I need at least eight hours of sleep, and prefer nine, so I like to be asleep by 10pm and up by 7am. I hold off on checking my phone for as long as possible (I sleep with it on DND).
On a perfect day, I’ll slowly get out of bed, brush my teeth, take my vitamins, drink my first cup of coffee, clear my inbox and small tasks, and then I sweat for an hour. After I cool down, shower, NuFace my neck, I’m ready to leave the house around noon. I’ll never skip my vitamins, coffee and exercise – I feel off-balance if I do.
Brandon Chau, chairman and MD of Noblesse Lifestyle Group, co-founder of Attire House
Without a routine, it’s easy to lose sight of your normal life, especially during COVID. I try to keep mine as much as possible, but can be flexible if I’ve had a late night. I normally wake up after 9am. I have never been an early riser, I value my good sleep very much. I check my phone for messages and emails, and if I have time, I’ll catch up on the news while I clean up and have breakfast.
Each morning, I take my protein shake, various supplements and egg whites for breakfast before I start my training routines. I try to exercise at home before going to work. I workout three times a week for two hours each, I find the exercise keeps me focused and in better spirit and shape.
Syed Asim Hussain, co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants
For me, mornings are sacred. If I don’t start my morning right, the rest of the day feels off kilter. This is always the quietest and often the calmest part of the day, so I fill it with my favourite things. I call my favourite people, have breakfast just the way I like, watch sports highlights, catch up on Colbert’s Late show and read through stories that catch my eye in The Economist. I used to dive straight into work emails and restaurant reports, but I have a little more wisdom now.
The most essential part of my morning is eggs and chai. Even if I have to be out at 4am, there will always be eggs and chai. After breakfast, I like to do some kind of workout, and, if I have the time, a steam in the tub with eucalyptus oil for my asthma.
By the time I jump in the car with my protein shake, I feel ready for the onslaught of madness that is the Black Sheep world. It has taken me many years to get to this point, where I can relax enough to take this time. It does not come naturally to me, but I know now how important it is.