4 a.m to 5:30 a.m.
Wintour says she typically wakes up between 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on workdays, and the first thing she does is read both the British (she’s originally from London) and the American newspapers online to make sure she knows exactly what’s happening in the world.
Then she often goes to play tennis and has breakfast, which consists of mainly “Starbucks,” she says.
After her Starbucks run, she heads into the Vogue offices in downtown Manhattan, usually arriving between 8:00 a.m and 8:30 a.m.
At about 9:30 a.m, she begins her meetings with Vogue fashion or features editors or the Conde Nast digital team.
“I could also be reviewing pictures that have come in from a recent shoot, or reviewing clothes to be photographed for an upcoming cover,” Wintour says.
Wintour (who has been known to wear sunglasses at the office) describes her management style as hands-off; she says she does not believe in micro-managing and likes to hold informal meetings involving one or two people.
“I feel very strongly that it is important to empower those who are working with you,” she says. “They will work much more effectively if they can make leadership decisions on their own.”
But at the same time, she is a “great believer” in having one large meeting a week with the whole staff, “so everyone feels involved and part of the conversation.”
At around 2:30 p.m., Wintour sometimes schedules off-sight meetings, to either meet with designers for lunch or head to The Metropolitan Museum (where she throws the Met Gala every year in May) to plan events or attends an outside presentation. After her meetings are over, she heads back to the office.
At 5:00 p.m., Wintour leaves the office to head home with a take-home bag which she calls her “magic box of tricks.”
The bag is full of Wintour’s homework for the night, which can include resumes, idea pitches, copy and other publications for her to look at.
It also contains what is called “the dummy,” or sample pages from whatever issue of the magazine is being worked on at the moment.
“It’s super important to me to get everything done at night so I can keep on top of the work and nobody is waiting for my feedback,” Wintour says.
However, she says the biggest thing that she has learned over the three decades as the head editor of a major fashion magazine is to learn to “love a surprise.”
“However much you might talk to an editor about what a shoot or a piece might be when it comes in, it could be something completely different. And sometimes, that’s completely okay,” she says.
The above was taken from an interview with Masterclass.com
Anna Wintour’s 4 Time Management Tips
If she’s not in a meeting, Anna Wintour is getting things done on the go. Here are Anna’s tips for managing your time throughout the course of a day:
- Become a morning person. Anna wakes up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and reads the British and American newspapers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian), looks at Twitter and Instagram, exercises (usually tennis), responds to emails, and mentally maps out her day. If you wake up early, you can get a head start before the tasks of the day creep up on you
- Keep meetings as small as possible. Arriving at the office between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Anna’s day typically consists of various meetings ranging in size and intimacy, from one-on-ones with editors in her office to fashion and features meetings with up to 40 people. Anna prefers small meetings—they tend to be the most efficient—but larger meetings are an important time for everyone to get on the same page.
- Get work done even when you’re out and about. Throughout the day Anna will often have meetings outside of the office, at the Met or designers’ studios. Even so, she makes a point of responding quickly to emails and queries from her entire Vogue team to keep things moving forward.
- Know when to take work home. You’ll need a system for staying on top of things that works for you. Anna, for example, has the “take-home bag”: At the end of each day, the take-home bag is filled with a variety of things that need Anna’s feedback or approval, including a mock-up of the issue that is currently in production. Anna goes through the mock-up every night and comments on it with Post-it notes. She then goes over her notes with the art department and editors the next morning. The take-home bag will also include drafts of articles for upcoming issues, pitches for future stories, photographer or stylist portfolios, invitations, and scheduling questions.