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Routine Examination #003: Antonio Neves

Antonio Neves is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning journalist, and author. At least that is what he'll tell you when you ask for a bio or a quick intro. But he's a bit more than this, as I've had the chance to learn over the course of our friendship.

Antonio is a great speaker, a terrific friend, a coach, a husband, and very, very soon, a father to twins. He and I always enjoy catching up when we find ourselves in the same zip code, whether it's about work, family, flying, or speaking. To me, Antonio embodies hustle and drive that results in accomplishment, so I was interested in how he shapes his routine to accomplish all that he does. 

What type of routine (frequency-wise) do you look to set (daily, weekly, etc.)?

Daily: Prayer; Meditation; Workout; Blocked out reading time; Blocked out writing time; Walking the dog.

Weekly: Outdoor activities with my wife; Calls with family; Time with friends; Preparing a couple of home cooked meals.

What time do you wake up each morning?

On a standard day when I wake up at home in Los Angeles, 6 am. If I have an early morning flight, which is often (I flew over 175k miles in 2015), a 4:15 am wake-up is standard.

What is the first thing you think about each morning (before you even get out of bed perhaps)?

“Don’t hit snooze! Don’t hit snooze!”

From there I tend to feel, and fight, an urge to check email and social media which 8 times out of 10 I’m successful. When I resist those urges, I give thanks for another day to create, love, and be useful. Then I ask myself, what’s most important about this day? Oh, and while we’re on this topic, sometimes the first thing I experience in the morning is the periodic existential crisis. I find the longer I lay in bed the more my brain is susceptible to fears and limiting beliefs. When this happens, I acknowledge them, put them back where they belong (not in my brain) and get up and take action.

What thing do you have to do in your personal life every day?

Work out. Maybe it’s because I’ve been an athlete my whole life. If I don’t sweat, something just doesn’t feel right and my mind gets a bit too active. A nice run, even if short, does my body, and most importantly mind, some good.

What is the last thing you do before “quitting” or “leaving” work for the day?

Identify what’s most important for the next day. This clears up head space so I can start the next day in a good stride.

What do you read on a regular basis?

I’m still a New York Times print subscriber. My day doesn’t feel right if I don’t get some of that ink on my fingers. Magazine wise, I dig British GQ, Architectural Digest, Esquire and New York Magazine (I binge read these on flights). Blog wise, a daily must read is Seth Godin.

Who do you speak to on a regular basis?

My accountability partner and dear friend, the author Bassam Tarazi. Bassam always keeps it real while providing support, guidance, humor and asking the tough questions (the kind I would ignore on my own).

What do you wish were a part of your routine?

Competing and being part of a sports team. When I regularly compete with a team, I have a blast, love the competition, and it shifts something in my brain. There’s an different type of edge that isn’t there otherwise.

What part of your routine do you hope to stop one day?

Binge watching Netflix shows.

My takeaway: the routine for tomorrow starts today.

View all past Routine Examination interviews here.

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