Let’s Leverage Your Spare Time as Great People!

Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates are definitely household names, whose legends - Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Bill Microsoft - have solidly held the crown of market leader. As super-busy entrepreneurs, how they spend their spare time to strike a great work-life balance?
Leadership team from companies in a meeting
Credit: Berkowitz Pollack Brant
By | 7 min read

What do people like Tim Cook do in their spare time? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Tech giants CEO’s DO HAVE A LIFE and some pretty exciting habits.

Here’s a list of things Tim Cook (Apple), Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), and Bill Gates (Microsoft) do in their spare time.


Since taking the wheel of the tech giant in 2011, CEO Tim Cook has established himself as a private individual, more focused on discussing Apple than his own life. Still, we can piece together some clues about his daily schedule:

Waking up brutally early

He usually rises at 3:45 a.m. Once he’s up, he gets to work reading through some of the 700 to 800 emails he gets every day.

Working out

Cook hits the gym around 5 a.m. but doesn’t work out on Apple’s campus. He prefers the privacy of an outside gym.


It’s not clear whether or not Cook enjoys a regular breakfast, but he dug into scrambled egg whites, sugar-free cereal, and unsweetened almond milk during a sit down with New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin.

He also ate bacon but prefers turkey bacon.


He occasionally grabs lunch with random Apple workers in the company’s cafeteria.


Cook’s best-known hobby is his love of fitness, hiking, and cycling.


It’s reported that Cook likes to catch seven hours of sleep a night, meaning that he has to turn in by 8:45 p.m. to get enough rest before his early wake-up.


Cook is also on the board of directors for Nike, where he has US$3.4 million in stock options.


Cook often travels for work. Apple spent US$93,109 last year on Cook’s private plane. But he keeps it domestic when it comes to personal trips, visiting spots like Yosemite National Park.


Cook likes to spend money on political causes. He’s thrown fundraisers for politicians such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.


Besides paying for his nephew’s college education, Cook plans to give all of his money to charity when he dies.

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change.”


Waking Up

He typically wakes up between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

Reading the news

Pichai may run an internet behemoth, but he’s old school about consuming the news.

“Believe it or not, I read a physical paper every morning.”


While he’s reading, Pichai usually eats an omelet for breakfast. The Chennai, India, native also keeps up what he calls his “very English” habit of drinking a cup of tea.

Taking walks

Pichai takes meetings on the go when he can. It’s not unusual for him to wander away in the middle of a meeting, only to return with the solution to whatever problem is being discussed.


Pichai is a vegetarian, and he tries to carve out some time to exercise later in the day if he gets a chance.

He’s also an avid fan of cricket, which he excelled at in high school.

Family time

Since 2015, Pichai promised to be home every night in time to put his kids to bed himself.

The family also has a pup named Jeffree.


Waking Up

Bezos is a big believer in getting enough sleep. He wakes up every morning naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock.


Bezos reportedly never schedules early-morning meetings, to spend quality time with his family.

“I like to putter in the morning, so I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee. I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school”


When it comes to meals, Bezos has a taste for unusual dishes. He was photographed eating an iguana once.

And, during a meeting with Woot founder Matt Rutledge, he ordered octopus with potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt, and eggs for breakfast.

Bezos also has a fondness for food trucks.

In 2014, he told Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget about a phenomenally popular truck outside of Amazon’s headquarters. “It’s out of control, actually,” he said.

Cleaning up

One after-dinner ritual Bezos always adheres to is washing the dishes.

“I’m pretty convinced it’s the sexiest thing I do.”

Working out

It’s unclear whether Bezos has a workout routine. However, photos of the CEO at a recent conference elicited comparisons to Vin Diesel, as commenters noted his muscular appearance.

Star Trek

Amazon now runs several popular original series, like “The Man in the High Castle” and “Transparent,” but the Amazon CEO is a Trekkie. Bezos even made a surprise cameo in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond.”

Other than watching “Star Trek,” Bezos has another space-related hobby: gliding about in a submarine looking for old NASA rockets. He often brings his kids along for the adventure.


Bezos makes sure to get enough rest. He sleeps for eight hours every night.

“I prioritize it, I think better. I have more energy. My mood is better.”



Gates claims to enjoy the chocolate cereal Cocoa Puffs, but his wife Melinda told Betsy Layne High School students that he usually skips breakfast.

Reading the news

Gates checks the headlines every morning. He typically reads The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist

Working out

Back in 2008, Gates was known to work out on the treadmill after waking up, while watching DVDs from the Teaching Company’s ‘Great Courses’ series.

He also loves to play tennis.


Since stepping down from the helm of Microsoft in 2006, Gates has thrown himself into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which donates money to research and charitable organizations.


When it comes to lunch, Gates has one favorite meal in particular. In a Reddit AMA, the billionaire responded:

“Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger”


Gates is a famously voracious reader and always sets some time aside to hit the books. He also recommends a ton of titles on his personal website.

Family time

When he’s not working or reading, Gates spends time with his three kids. He especially enjoys touring unusual locations like electric plants and missile silos with his son.

He also enjoys playing bridge on the weekends.

Cleaning up

In 2014, Gates told Reddit that he washes the dishes every night, adding that:

“Other people volunteer, but I like the way I do it.”


And, when it comes time for bed, Gates makes sure that he turns in early enough to snag seven hours of shut-eye.

Contributed by Charly Junco Founder @ Productivity.Land, Mentor & Teacher

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