This is an excerpt from Finding Mastery #143 with AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan, in which he shares why he gets up every morning at 4am.


The most central part of my routine is I wake up very early, around 4am. The first three hours of the day belong to me. Nothing owns me in those hours. There’s no boss. There’s no electronics. There’s nothing. I have meditation, I have exercise, I have reading, I have church.

Those three hours are where I center and balance myself. If you’re doing them from 4 to 7am, there normally aren’t a lot of interruptions. Most people would say, “I don’t have that amount of time. I got to take care of the kids. I got to get folks off to school. I have to do …”

That’s true, but you don’t start with three hours, you start with 10 minutes. You start with 15 minutes. I can tell you, you will get the time back. If you meditate, you’ll need less sleep. If you spend half an hour clearing your brain, you will do email at twice the speed.

There’s so many things that are time efficiencies. It sounds so incredible, but I have so much conviction that it’s worthwhile. I would tell you unilaterally on the other side of every minute that you spend gathering your thoughts, collecting yourself, whatever it is; meditation, prayer. That time where it’s you and your heart, not you and your brain. You and your heart, those moments will be repaid to you greater than one to one.


Listen to full podcast here.


CEO at AT&T Communications

John Donovan is CEO of AT&T Communications, a wholly owned company of AT&T Inc. Responsible for AT&T’s global telecommunications and video services, including its Business, Entertainment, andTechnology & Operations divisions.