“Mornings used to feel manic because the first thing I did was look at my phone. So I bought an alarm clock and now try not to sleep with my phone next to my bed. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and visualize the three things I want to get done. I always try to do the toughest thing first, which helps me feel productive and proactive instead of reactive.” —Natalie Mackey, 33, cofounder of cosmetic line Winky Lux
“I find that my creativity is most fertile in the morning. I get up around 7 or 8, and while my eyes are closed, I set an intention for the day. There’s something about the metaphor of morning as being full of opportunity and possibility that I really identify with.” —Robert Battle, 44, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
“I wake up between 6:30 and 7 and drink a large glass of water and a coffee in bed. I like to take 10 or 15 minutes for some breathing exercises after opening the windows to let some fresh air in. It’s crucial that I have that time for myself.” —Karen Aiach, 45, founder and CEO of biotech company Lysogene
“My day can be hectic, especially with four children under the age of 9. At least five days a week, before I walk out of my bedroom, I do a stretch routine at the foot of my bed. I go through a set of poses, flow, and breathing exercises for 10 minutes, then have at least two 16-ounce glasses of kombucha to feel hydrated. I try to listen to my body as much as possible.” —Christopher Gavigan, 43, cofounder and chief purpose officer of Honest Company
“First thing in the morning is a very efficient time for me. I have three kids, so I have to be mindful about when I get everything done. I get up at around 5:45 a.m., but my day starts the night before. I plan by looking at my calendar and pack a bag with a change of work clothes. I’m very disciplined about making sure I get to bed at the right time so I can get up, put on my workout gear, and have a high-energy start to the day.” —Sarah Robb O’Hagan, 45, CEO of Flywheel Sports
This story originally appeared on Real Simple.