Best-selling author and investor Tim Ferriss has interviewed hundreds of incredibly successful people, from billionaires and chess prodigies to professional athletes and movie stars.
While writing his latest book, Tools of Titans, he asked most of them about their perfect morning routines and has tested their suggestions.
Ferriss has revealed the five morning rituals that he’s adopted after a lot of experimentation on what works best.
He’s only human, and doesn’t manage to do all five rituals every morning:
“If I hit three out of five, I consider myself having won the morning. And if you win the morning, you win the day.”
Here are the five rituals most important to Ferriss.
1. He Makes His Bed
“It’s hard for me to overstate how important this ritual has become,” Ferriss writes.
Making his bed every morning is a strategy that helps him execute on his first task of the day. This sets the tone for the rest of the day and helps give him a sense of control over his life.
“No matter how s—ty your day is … you can make your bed,” Ferriss writes. “And that gives you the feeling, at least it gives me the feeling, even in a disastrous day, that I’ve held on to the cliff ledge by a fingernail and I haven’t fallen. There is at least one thing I’ve controlled.”
It also means that at the end of the day, before going to bed, he is reminded of having gained control over his day at the very beginning. This helps him go to sleep with this feeling.
2. He Meditates
Ferriss asserts that four out of every five of the world class performers he’s interviewed have some kind of daily mindfulness practice. The most common mindfulness practice Ferriss encountered is meditation.
By meditating, “you’re practicing focus when it doesn’t matter (sitting on a couch for 10 minutes) so that you can focus better later when it does matter (negotiation, conversation with a loved one, etc.),” he writes.
Ferriss recommends first timers try listening to guided meditation or taking a course from Tara Brach, such as this one:
3. He Exercises
Ferriss recommends doing five to ten repetitions of any kind of exercise first thing in the morning. Ferriss does pushups, but you could do whatever you like.
“The 5 to 10 reps here are not a workout,” he says. “They are intended to ‘state prime’ and wake me up. Getting into my body, even for 30 seconds, has a dramatic effect on my mood and quiets mental chatter.”
After his reps, he likes to take a “30- to 60-second pure cold shower.”
4. He Drinks Tea
Ferriss drinks tea mindfully in the morning. He says it gives him the chance to be present through focusing on the act of drinking tea.
He has a particular type of tea that he drinks:
“This name [titanium tea] was a joke, but it stuck,” Ferriss writes. The tea consists of one teaspoon of pu-erh aged black tea, one teaspoon of dragon well green tea, and one teaspoon of turmeric and ginger shavings. He also adds coconut oil or Quest MCT oil powder.
It’s “excellent for cognition and fat loss,” Ferriss writes.
5. He Journals
Ferriss does two kinds of journaling:
One is for “getting unstuck or problem solving (what should I do?),” and the other is for “prioritizing and [for] gratitude (how should I focus and execute?).”
There are four categories for expressing gratitude: An old relationship that helped him out, an opportunity he had that day, something great that happened yesterday and something simple that is near him or within sight.