Tim Ferriss is obsessed with excellence. His life's work is understanding greatness and making it into a formula more people can follow.
He wrote "The 4-Hour Workweek," "The 4-Hour Body" and "The 4-Hour Chef," all of which focus on efficiency, productivity and optimization.
In Ferriss' new book, "Tools of Titans," he distills 10,000 pages of notes that he took in the course of interviews with more than 200 world-class performers and experts on his popular podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, and comes up with some key takeaways.
He wrote "Tools of Titans" for himself, he says. In the process, he has become an expert on excellence.
In a recent live chat on discovery platform ProductHunt, Ferriss reveals his top three "must have" daily habits.
Ferriss journals almost every morning.
"I don't journal to 'be productive.' I don't do it to find great ideas, or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren't intended for anyone but me," he says in a blog entry. "It's the most cost-effective therapy I've ever found."
If committing to journaling every day feels overwhelming, Ferriss suggests starting with five minutes each day.
"Could b----ing and moaning on paper for five minutes each morning change your life? As crazy as it might seem, I believe the answer is yes," Ferriss says.
Ferriss recommends a brief meditation first thing after waking up each day.
It took Ferriss a while to get into meditation, he says in a podcast episode about his own morning routine. But 80 percent of world-class performers meditate, he says, so he eventually got in the habit.
His practice takes up 21 minutes a day: One minute to get settled and 20 minutes to meditate.
Ferriss recommends a couple of apps for help getting started: Headspace or Calm.
"Start small, rig the game so you can win it, get in five sessions before you get too ambitious with length," says Ferriss. "You have to win those early sessions so you establish it as a habit, so you don't have the cognitive fatigue of that practice."
The final habit that Ferriss says is essential is a way of staying fit.
He recommends Gymnastics Strength Training, an exercise regimen developed by former U.S. national team gymnastics coach Christopher Sommer; Acroyoga, a combination of acrobatics and yoga; or indoor rowing on an ergometer.
But he says all that's important is "some type of physical training/movement."