Efficiency is an art form for Deneen Howell, whose clients include former President Barack Obama, novelist James Patterson and former House Speaker John Boehner. The Williams & Connolly partner and her husband Donald Vieira, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, have two children—Jasper, 8, and Vivian, 5—and two goldfish. Howell, 46, is co-chair of the employment counseling and litigation practice group and co-chair of the transactions and business counseling practice group at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm, where she’s worked since 1998. Here’s what a typical workday looks like for Howell, who lives in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood.

Pushups and Planks  I set an alarm on my phone and I usually get up between 5:45 and 6. First thing I do is check my phone and see if any emails have come in from the night before that might make me need to shift my to-do list. Right now what I’m doing is a workout challenge. It’s a series of pushups and planks, so I do that. Then I have my debate about whether I wake up the kids first or I take a shower first. They could always benefit with a little more sleep but I feel like as a family we can benefit with a little more time spent getting ready.

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