Sara Blakely: How Spanx Founder and Businesswoman Spends Her Time

6 months ago   •   4 min read

By Zero Machina

Sara Treleaven Blakely is an American businesswoman and the founder of Spanx, which is an American apparel company that sells high-quality shapewear, leggings, swimsuits, and more.

In 2012, Blakely was listed on Time magazine's "Time 100" annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Since then, she has continued to make a name for herself as an inspiring entrepreneur and philanthropist.

As a mother of 4 who believes it's her calling to support women, Blakely has a lot on her plate. This article takes a deep dive into how she spends her time and juggles everything on her to-do list.

Morning Routine

According to a profile published by Balance the Grind, Sara Blakely starts her day early.

Most days, she wakes up at 6:30 am.

Shortly after waking, she does yoga at home, then focuses on getting her 4 children ready for school.

Breakfast and Beverages

Blakely saves time during her busy mornings by enjoying a smoothie made with the following nutrient-dense ingredients:

  • Frozen wild blueberries
  • Dark cherries
  • Kale
  • Dates
  • Cinnamon
  • Spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts

Something that differentiates Blakely from a lot of entrepreneurs — and a lot of Americans in general — is the fact that she doesn’t drink coffee. She even said in an interview with The Cut that she’s never even tried it.

If Blakely needs some extra energy, she gets it from green tea mixed with honey (which comes from a local beekeeper in Georgia) and homemade cashew milk. She also enjoys a Soy Chai Tea Misto from Starbucks, according to an interview with Marie Claire.

A “Fake” Commute

Once her kids are off to school, Blakely finishes getting ready and leaves for work.

She has discovered that she gets her best ideas in the car. That’s even where she came up with the idea for the name of her company.

The problem with this is that Blakely has a very short commute — a mere 6 minutes — from her Atlanta home to Spanx headquarters.

Blakely told LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman during a podcast interview that to solve this problem, she drives “aimlessly in Atlanta” for about an hour so she has time to let her ideas flow before she arrives at work.

Workday Routine

Blakely spends time in the office every day. However, her work routine varies from day-to-day.

Stay in Your Lane(s)

Even though she’s the CEO of Spanx, Blakely told The Cut that she has “a few lanes” that she stays in at her company.

She explained that most of her time is spent with the design team “actually putting products on” and talking about how they can be improved. She also works with the brand, creative, and sales teams. When time permits, she takes interviews, travels, and gives speeches.

Different Days, Different Themes

Blakely divides her week up into themed days.

Monday is her “think day,” for example. She blocks off the entire day on Mondays to do creative work and brainstorm ways to grow and improve her company.

Wednesday is her “meeting day.” This is when she schedules the majority of her meetings with direct reports and other key professionals.

On Thursdays, Blakely works with her product and creative teams. This leaves Tuesdays and Fridays open for other issues that might come up throughout the week.

Evening Routine

Blakely aims to finish her workday between 4 and 6 pm. She tries to pick her children up from school as often as she can, too.

An Evening Bath

To unwind at the end of the day, Blakely likes to soak in the bathtub for 5-10 minutes, adding lavender Epsom salts and lighting a candle to create a peaceful ambiance. She gets “really, really warm” and then gets out.

Blakely finds that taking a bath helps her to calm down and stay warm when she gets into bed.

Work and Personal Boundaries

Sara Blakely strives to maintain boundaries between her work and personal life. This includes leaving work at work, and focusing on connecting with her family.

She notes that she has traditions and routines that she likes to maintain with her loved ones, such as making pancakes in funny shapes on Sunday mornings. Sticking to these traditions and boundaries helps Blakely to create more balance and avoid burnout.

Key Takeaways from Sara Blakely’s Schedule

You don’t have to be the billionaire founder of a global brand to follow in Sara Blakely’s footsteps. Here are some ways that you can take inspiration from Blakely:

Start Your Day with Movement

If yoga isn’t your thing, consider starting your day with another type of exercise. You could go for a walk, for example, or attend a cycling class.

Cut Back on Caffeine

For some, the idea of giving up their morning coffee is downright laughable.

If you feel like coffee makes you too jittery, though, try enjoying a mug of green tea or a chai misto. You may even want to replicate Blakely’s fruit and veggie smoothie to start your day in a more nutrient-rich way.

Create Themed Days

If you have control over your schedule, try dividing your work week into themed days. Set aside one day for creativity, another day for meetings, another day for administrative work, etc.

Establish and Uphold Boundaries

Aim to create boundaries between your work and personal life. Avoid checking email when you’re at home, for example, and enjoy uninterrupted time with your loved ones instead.

Wind Down at the End of the Day

Try taking a bath, doing some stretches, or reading a book to wind down before you head to bed.

Master Your Schedule and Follow in Blakely’s Footsteps

Do you want to be a master of your schedule like Sara Blakely? Do you want to ensure no one bothers you on your creative day or tries to schedule a meeting on a day when you need to work with your sales team?

For help juggling your calendar and staying organized, give Undock a try.

Undock suggests meeting times according to your schedule and preferences, so you can stay productive and maintain clear boundaries at work (and life).

Sign up and check it out today.

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