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Hour-by-hour routine of Australia’s $400 million woman

Pink alarm clock on pink background, Australian $50 notes, fitness entrepreneur Kayla Itsines smiles at the camera.
Here's how Kayla Itsines and 25 other successful women plan their days. (Images: Getty).

Kayla Itsines is one of Australia’s richest people after selling her fitness platform SWEAT for a reported $400 million.

And while she doesn’t follow a strict 9-5 schedule to achieve her business goals, there is one constant rule she follows for her days: her routine is built around her meals.

Itsines’ 24-hour breakdown includes five separate periods for eating and drinking, and the entrepreneur also makes sure she takes an hour to herself everyday where she is non-contactable.

That’s according to a new study by card payment provider Dojo which analysed the daily habits of 26 successful female entrepreneurs, including Itsines, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce and Michelle Obama.

Chart showing hourly breakdown of daily habits of 26 female entrepreneurs.
Dojo has broken down the daily habits of female entrepreneurs.

The study of the women’s routine found there were four common trends to how these leaders structured their days.

An early start

“It’s hard to knock the benefits of a good night’s sleep, but oversleeping can be fatal, leaving us feeling sluggish and slow,” Dojo found.


"Most business owners on our list rise well before 8am, with most getting only 5-6 hours sleep. It doesn’t seem to stop them from cramming their day full, though."

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour starts her day at 4am, while Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd rises at 6am. However, Wolfe Herd also tries to simply rise with the sun, and does so be sleeping with the blinds open.

Oprah Winfrey has a different approach altogether. She doesn’t set an alarm at all, she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I have never set an alarm, I don't believe in them. They are … alarming! I put the number in my mind and I wake up before that, usually between 6:02 and 6:20, because the dogs are trained to go out around that time.”

Rinse and repeat

Many of the founders and entrepreneurs have rigid routines, with a goal of reducing decision fatigue.

“Most of the entrepreneurs we analysed say that having a strict routine works purely because of its repetitiveness. While this may seem banal or tedious, it takes away unnecessary distractions from their creative work,” Dojo said.

Dojo suggested female business owners block out certain times of the day for certain tasks. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to when you feel most and least energised, and use that to its advantage.

Exercise is critical

Breaking a sweat is important not only for physical, but also for mental health.

As Thrive Global’s Marina Khikedel has noted, the simple act of ending or beginning your workday with a walk can help you maintain the right mind-frame.

It’s something successful entrepreneurs follow religiously, with all bar six having set times to exercise everyday.

WATCH: Why you should incorporate a walk into your day.

Try to find balance

“There’s no disputing that all the women on this list are incredibly busy. Not only are they all exceptionally noteworthy and influential in their industries, but a lot of them are mothers too,” Dojo said.

"So one of the most exciting things we found was how they juggle their work-home balance

“Rather than working flat out for eight hours at a time, most of these influential entrepreneurs split their work between other activities such as exercise, meditation, social/family time – something incredibly important for Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.”

Beyonce, Itsines and Obama all schedule in several hours of leisure time a day, while Rihanna books in personal days into her calendar where she completely shuts off from work.

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