Sep 11, 2023 - News

How I Wake Up: Jim VandeHei

Photo illustration collage of Jim VandeHei inside a red alarm clock.

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Axios

We've been intrigued by Jim VandeHei's new interest in transcendental meditation, described in his column about life and leadership in the Axios Finish Line newsletter.

  • So we caught up with our Axios co-founder/CEO, who also co-founded Politico, to hear how he starts his days in the uber-busy media universe.

⏰ Wake-up time: 4:30am to 5am, via iPhone alarm.

  • Seven hours of sleep, per Oura Ring.

😴 First thing he does: Check texts and emails as "coffee engine cranks up."

  • He is in work mode starting "in my dreams and then within minutes of waking. Stop judging!"

🧘‍♂️ Power workout: CorePower hot yoga sculpt.

  • Or alternating days with weight lifting and twice-weekly 6- to 10-mile jogs.

🧠 Morning zen: To kill distractions, VandeHei and his Axios co-founders Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz picked up transcendental meditation last year.

  • "In an ideal world, I meditate and pray each morning," VandeHei says. "In the real world, um, let's say I am a work in progress."

ğŸž Must-eat: Two slices of Ezekiel bread with six egg whites, or oatmeal with real maple syrup and fruit.

💡 Must-do: Writing in the mornings "when my mind is fresh and clear."

❌ No TV or radio: "I am text-only in AMs religiously."

🛻 Commute: To the Axios HQ in Clarendon, via Ford F-150.

🌇 Confession: "I am probably too nutty about my routine and should lighten the hell up."

Check out more morning rituals:


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more