Richard Branson drinks 20 cups of tea a day—here's the rest of his daily routine

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson
rune hellestad | Getty Images

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson marches to the beat of his own drum. He dropped out of school at age 16 to start his own business, prefers to work from his hammock or tub rather than a desk, and never goes anywhere without a notebook.

The billionaire entrepreneur also drinks a surprising amount of tea (English breakfast) to keep him energized: "I'm talking 20 cups a day," Branson wrote recently on his blog.

"Having a cup of tea is not only tasty and refreshing, it gives me a moment to stop and think without being distracted, and a chance to chat with friends, think through ideas, or sit for a second and simply be," he wrote in a separate post. "We often gather around the kettle for a brew here, and I'm sure many more great ideas will be dreamed up over a cuppa."

Besides making time for tea, here's what the rest of Branson's day, which starts at 5:00 a.m., typically looks like:

Billionaire Richard Branson learned a key business lesson playing tennis
Billionaire Richard Branson learned a key business lesson playing tennis

He exercises

Branson knocks out a workout right away, preferring to either play tennis, bike, jog or kitesurf. Exercise, he claims, boosts his productivity significantly.

"Then I eat breakfast and spend time with my family," he wrote. "Exercise and family time put me in a great mind frame before getting down to business."

He answers emails

"The reason I like to wake up early is so that I can work through my emails before most of the world logs on," Branson said.

And, since he works from the British Virgin Islands for at least six months out of the year, he added: "I like to be online early, so that I am accessible and available to our offices in other time zones."

He reads the news

Catching up on the news typically leads to writing, says Branson, who updates his blog multiple times per day. "No two days are the same: one day I'll be writing about conservation, the next I'll sharing family photos from Necker Island, and then the following day I'll be offering business tips to help young entrepreneurs find their stride," he stated on his blog.

In general, he's always "connected and engaged," he said. "Being a modern business leader is all about having your finger on the pulse and knowing what you're talking about."

Richard Branson's tips for success
Richard Branson's tips for success

He works through lunch

"I grab food when I can, normally scheduling a meeting over lunchtime," wrote the self-made billionaire. "I'm not a fan of formal meetings and would much prefer to lighten the mood with a shared meal, or if I'm pressed for time, a walking meeting."

He eats dinner with friends and family

Group dinners are "where stories are shared and ideas are born," Branson said, which is why he has a notebook on him even at dinner, just in case a big idea emerges.

He goes to bed around 11:00 p.m. "I need around six hours sleep do it all again — a little differently — the next day," he says.

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

Don't miss: Billionaire Richard Branson: I've never felt like I've 'made it'

These successful people share how to get more done in your 24-hour day
These successful people share how to get more done in your 24-hour day