Sky Dayton: “I Get To Work With Brilliant People Every Day Creating This Future”

The entrepreneur on what gives him energy.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Sky Dayton: The first thing I do each morning is open my notebook and write down everything that’s on my mind, every task, every loose thread. Once all the odds and ends are written down, I have the free mental space to create the day.

TG: What gives you energy?
SD: It feels like we’re on the verge of cures for all diseases, universally available online education, space travel, abundant clean energy, and yes, even flying cars. All of these possibilities are emerging on an accelerating curve. I get to work with brilliant people every day creating this future.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
SD: I fly an airplane. I can have meetings in three cities in a single day and still see my kids at night. It’s like a time machine.

TG: How do you deal with email?
SD: I do whatever I can to completely handle each email as soon as I read it. I try to reply at that moment, or I delete it. Anything left I strive to resolve by the end of each week.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
SD: Usually I go to my notebook, grab a loose end and tie it up. If I’m at all weary, I close my eyes and do nothing for that 15 minutes, or I go for a walk, which I find magically therapeutic. My wife and I read a book recently called “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” about the day-to-day routines of 161 people, from Charles Dickens, to Albert Einstein, to Thomas Edison to René Descartes — and a common denominator was long walks. Oh, and sleep (surprise!).

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
SD: I’ve found “burn out” to have more to do with the people I surround myself with. When working with people all positively moving in the same direction with energy, I feel great no matter how difficult the challenge. It just flows.