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Why Jeff Bezos sets aside time to 'putter' every day

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Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, arrives to deliver a keynote speech at the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 12, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

One would imagine that Jeff Bezos — as the world's richest person and CEO of Amazon, a trillion-dollar company — doesn't have a lot of free time.

But Bezos actually sets aside time every day to putter.

According to the recently published book, "Invent & Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos," Bezos says it's a valued morning activity for him.

"I get up early. I go to bed early. I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee. I like to have breakfast with my kids before they got to school," Bezos said at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. in 2018, which is included in the new book. "So my puttering time is very important to me."

Bezos said the time to rest and recharge helps him make high-quality decisions.

"That's why I set my first meeting for ten o'clock. I like to do my high-IQ meetings before lunch, because by 5 p.m., I'm like, I can't think more about his issue today. Let's try this again tomorrow at 10 a.m."

Bezos, 56, also prioritizes sleep, unless he is traveling to different time zones.

"[I]need eight hours. I think better. I have more energy. My mood is better," according to the book.

Still, despite these self-care habits, Bezos isn't a fan of "work-life balance." In 2016, he told Thrive Global he prefers the idea of work-life "harmony," to "balance," because balance tends to imply a strict tradeoff.

"In fact, if I'm happy at work, I'm better at home — a better husband and better father. And if I'm happy at home, I come into work more energized — a better employee and a better colleague," he said.

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