Over the weekend, Axios published a leaked version of U.S. President Donald Trump’s daily schedule from the past three months. We learned that Trump is an early riser–he usually wakes up no later than 6 a.m.–and he blocks off many hours, including the first three hours of his workday, for what the White House calls “executive time.”
According to Axios, Trump rarely spends his morning hours in the Oval Office. He can reportedly be found in the residence watching TV, reading the news, and making countless phone calls to aides, members of Congress, friends, advisers, and other officials. His first meeting of the day–say, an intelligence briefing or 30-minute meeting with his chief of staff–is usually scheduled for 11 a.m. or later.
The leaked schedules indicate that over the last three months, Trump has spent about 60% of his scheduled hours on “executive time.” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims that unstructured time is a key part of Trump’s working style. “President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors, and the results speak for themselves,” she says. “While he spends much of his average day in scheduled meetings, events, and calls, there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive president in modern history.”
Still, given the president’s sleeping habits (and, we imagine, his workload), we have a few recommendations for how he might up his productivity.
- As an early riser, Trump shares his “lion” chronotype—a classification based on your natural sleep habits—with CEOs like Tim Cook and Sallie Krawcheck, who are up and about by 4 a.m. That means Trump is actually wired to be most productive earlier in the day. According to Daniel Pink, the author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, morning people like Trump should tackle “analytic and decision-making tasks” first.
- Sleep specialist Michael Breus says that for early risers, the morning hours are best spent on strategic tasks or morning meetings. By 3 p.m., an early riser would be best served by shifting gears to simpler tasks—which, for Trump, might include firing off tweets or other “executive time” activities.
- Tweaking his schedule isn’t the only way Trump can live up to his marketing. Breus also recommends that early risers exercise in the late afternoon or early evening, a suggestion that Trump, who famously does not believe in exercise (apart from golf), could take to heart. Breus also stresses the importance of personal time, which he says morning people frequently don’t prioritize–though Trump doesn’t appear to have that problem.