Move over, Tim Cook: This CEO proves you don’t have to wake up early to be successful

All in all, people seem to have decided that you have to be an early bird to get the worm. But maybe this isn’t always the case.

It seems like the world has become obsessed with how successful people schedule their mornings. Article after article has chronicled how major CEOs wake up long before the crack of dawn to meditate, exercise or read comments from customers about what their company could do better.

There are even think pieces dedicated to how morning routines can make us millionaires, and all in all, people seem to have decided that you have to be an early bird to get the worm.


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But if you’re anything like me, you may be sick of hearing how the only way to make it is to start your day before everyone else. Not all of us are morning people, and while 4 a.m. wakeup calls may maximize time, they also sound exhausting and unappealing.

Well, for people like us, a new hope has risen from the media. It’s shocking news: You don’t necessarily have to be up at 3 a.m. to excel. Just ask the co-CEO and co-founder of dating site Coffee Meets Bagel.

In a Q&A with weblog Lifehacker, Dawoon Kang talked about how she spent a recent workday. And — get ready for this — when a lot of other CEOs had already gone for a run, eaten breakfast and done a million other activities, she was still resting peacefully.

“I woke up at 7 a.m., and I meditated for 10 min,” Kang told Lifehacker. “Then I took a hot shower (which is seriously one of my favorite parts of the day), and afterward, I did some yoga and stretching. After I made my morning coffee, I headed to work.”

Bless you, Dawoon, bless you. You have proven that a human being can sleep in (read: wake up at a normal hour) and still make it big in the business world.

In the interview, Kang shared other helpful tips that keep her on track in her career. One was diligently keeping a calendar, and following it.

“I rarely change plans,” Kang told Lifehacker. “By following this method, I don’t have to do as much decision-making about my priorities for the day, and I find there’s less room for procrastination.”

She also talked about delegating — something Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson recently said Tesla’s Elon Musk could do better. Branson indicated that “the art of delegation” was the key to happiness, and Kang appears to agree.

“I’ve also started outsourcing more things that I know aren’t my strengths, or that I simply don’t enjoy doing,” Kang said.  “I have an assistant at work, a personal assistant, a cleaner for my home, etc. It’s really helped me be more efficient and focused with my time.”

On top of her career advice, Kang detailed her setup at the office, and get excited because it sounds awesome. It’s peak millennial while also facilitating comfort and efficiency.

“I have two monitors: a large one and a laptop, and I have an ergonomic keyboard and mouse,” she said. “On my right, I have a small succulent, and I keep a vision board with some of my top company priorities for the quarter. I also have a book I’ve been reading: Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp. And tea, I always have tea.”

Take Kang’s workplace hacks, put them together with her curated environment, and you’ve already got a recipe for success. No wonder she doesn’t need to wake up before the sun to make a name for herself.


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Alexandra Villarreal|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at avillarreal@theladders.com.