After asking over 100 successful people about their mornings, Tim Ferriss adopted this 5-step routine

This is why Tim Cook and other successful leaders wake up around 4:00 AM
This is why Tim Cook and other successful leaders wake up around 4:00 AM

Best-selling author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has interviewed hundreds of ultra-successful people, from billionaires and chess prodigies to professional athletes and movie stars.

He's asked most of them about their morning rituals and, along the way, has tested out their suggestions.

In his latest book, "Tools of Titans," the author details the five morning rituals he's settled on after experimenting with those of the most successful people.

Ferriss is human, too. While he aims to check off all five rituals every morning, that only happens about 30 percent of the time, he writes: "If I hit three out of five, I consider myself having won the morning. And if you win the morning, you win the day."

Author Tim Ferriss
Jerod Harris | WireImage | Getty Images


"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 deal with all of the intangibles and curveballs that life throws at him. It gives 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."


More than 80 percent of the world-class performers Ferriss interviewed practice some type of daily mindfulness, however briefly.

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 a meditation app, like Headspace or Calm, or listen to a guided meditation, from Sam Harris or Tara Brach.

Break your snooze habit with this 5-step strategy
Break your snooze habit with this 5-step strategy


Ferriss is a big advocate of doing five to 10 reps of any exercise first thing in the morning. He prefers pushups, but you could try situps, squats or lunges.

"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."

What successful people eat for breakfast
What successful people eat for breakfast


"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.

He chases that with a glass of cold water.


Ferriss alternates between two types 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?)."

When he's writing what he's grateful for, he considers four categories: 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.

Again, Ferriss only checks off all five routines 30 percent of the time. "But you can always knock off at least one," he writes. "And if you tick off three, I find the likelihood of the day being a home run infinitely greater."

Don't miss: Why Tim Ferriss saved $120,000 and then planned to lose it all