DiscoverThe Tim Ferriss Show#253: Morning Routines and Strategies

#253: Morning Routines and Strategies

Update: 2017-07-1914
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This is a special episode of the podcast. After more than 200 conversations with the world's top performers, you start to spot certain patterns. These are the shared habits, hacks, philosophies, and tools that are the common threads of success, happiness, health, and wealth.

These commonalities were the premise of my most recent book, The New York Times #1 bestseller Tools of Titans -- a compilation of my favorite lessons, routines, and tips of many of my guests.

In this episode, I've gathered some of the best advice from past guests about morning routines. This includes conversations with:

  • Jocko Willink
  • Seth Godin
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Scott Adams

Enjoy!

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at tim.blog/podcast.

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a few listeners podcast before you know it is my job to tease out the habits routines tactics and breakfasts or lack thereof of world class performers I really dig into the nitty gritty of what you can apply and this episode is a special episode of the ten First Radio Hour normally speak with one in long interviews but the Timbers Radio Hour is thematic soul I will look it's a meditation or I will look at failure or a look at how people handle a specific problem or opportunity and then Paul highlights from my conversations with multiple guests in this particular episode I went in search of morning routines morning routines are very important for a lot of reasons now routine may sound boring but encourage you to keep mind that the quote of WH outing which is quote routine in an intelligent man the person of course is a sign of ambition now why would that be the case and we're going to come back to why that is the case when I get to my own personal example but first let me give you an idea of who can chat with in this episode I talk to Jusco will ink a legend in the Special Operations world and former U S Navy seal commander he's also black belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu was more than two hundred pounds and sixty plus strict pull ups here's Jack when I wake up in the morning I'm thinking about the enemy what can I do to be ready for that moment which is coming then bestselling author Seth Godin discusses the importance that diet plays in the structure of his day well if there's a laptop or not unconscious I'm at work the also interviewed Academy Award winning actor and Grammy Foxx to ask about the first sixty minutes of his day all we got home retire the play came in the pocket wonder shape he's moved on to you to pull the bars everything and Adams creator of Dilbert shares how he begins the day and discusses the six dimensions of humor and there's a process once you clear your mind after what you may use different words for this but I know you do the that in First Radio Hour on creating your ideal morning routine the same mentioned that and this is a quote of course that routine in the intelligent person is a sign of ambition and that is the case because at least from my perspective your morning should have a predictable and scripted boot up sequence what does that mean that means that you have an algorithm a set of steps that produce an optimal day for you more often than not that is dictated in the first sixty to ninety minutes of your day so might be as simple as say making your bed in the morning look up the Craven making your bed for nursing video and Clinton speech all about this it could include journaling could include any number of things and by putting those particular steps on autopilot having that boot up sequence you conserve your cognitive calories for the things that matter most meaning rather than deciding what you can have for breakfast what type of toothpaste you can use where you can sit on the toilet whatever might be your sparing yourself that cognitive burden so that you can apply your energy where your unique strengths can best be applied later and I've heard it said before I do believe that if you win the day so in my case what are some of my mornings and I've written about this in tools the Titans have talked about it elsewhere it varies very mildly from week to week from month to month but right now czar wake up crying state this is per Tony Robbins so I jumped in a call pull it could be a cold shower come out I do twenty minutes of transcendental meditation which could also be for instance head space or some type of guided meditations say by Taryn Brock or Sam Harris and that is for state awareness and then I sit down with a cup of tea very often to air plus turmeric and ginger and I use a journal most often that is a five minute journal and this is to clarify my in my intense objectives and also gratitude for the day which decreases anxiety I find that to be an important precursor for me personally for optimal output and that is really it literally that takes about thirty forty minutes and if that means is very hard for me to bite off except because I'm a night owl and love sleeping late if I need to sleep thirty minutes less to get that boot up sequence completed that is a worthwhile investment and I will very often to make that up later with a thirty minute let's just say caffeine nap in the day you can Google caffeine out front know what that is so am I completely psychotic and obsessive and so on probably but not because of my interest in morning routines almost every guest on this podcast has an interesting approach to the beginning of the day whether that is highly highly structured or completely unstructured there's thought behind it their habits and practices can help set the stage for you so without further ado let's get started Django will link spend twenty years in U S Navy and commanded seal teams three Task Unit bruiser the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit in the Iraq war upon returning to the U S judge has served as the officer in charge of training for all West Coast seal teams designing and implementing some of the most challenging unrealistic perhaps psychotic combat training in the world after retiring from the Navy he co founded leadership and management consulting company and author the number one your Times bestseller extreme ownership how U S lead and when he did his first ever interview on this podcast he also hosts a fantastic podcast called jock o podcast which you check out desk in our conversation I started by asking Django least in this excerpt what his morning routines look like and how he would structure his ideal day here's what he said the wakeup early wake up at four forty five mm I like to have that psychological win over the enemy and you know for me that when I wake up in the morning and I don't know I'm thinking about the enemy in what they're doing I know I'm not active duty anymore but still in there that there's a guy that's in a cave somewhere and he's rocking back and forth and he's got a machine and hand grenade in the other hand and he's waiting for me and we're going to me and when I wake up in the morning I'm thinking to myself What can I do to be ready for that moment which is coming which is coming and so that that propels now to bet that I work out early the morning she waited for forty five what's the next thing aside from like brushing teeth and doing the usual do the usual start working out and try out ideally I'd like to get done with my workout by the time the sun comes up and so now if there's waves by the oceans all the surfing and done with that and what is the morning workout was a typical morning workout look like either you know I do a lot of polls pushups and dips deadlift and do squats sprints I mean it's everything that everybody knows everything that everybody just right swing kettlebells you herpes you know it's it's all that and it's like a sixty minute workout A longs for you it depends it depends on what's going on um I will I'll try and do some strength movements to be strong you know dead lifts cleans clean and jerk something like that ought to make myself stronger or even if it's something like just dead hang pullups and I'm just not all do something like that to make myself strong and sometimes I can take awhile because I just want to relax and you know hit singles or doubles on deadlift or cleans or whatever and then when I get done without all do some kind of a metabolic condition of some kind you know I'll be sprinting or rowing or swing a kettlebell or light away clean jerks for wraps or something like that so that's what it looks like for me to finish training when the sun comes up hit the waves since they are there which is good policy and what is that you know the whole come back and start during normal human stuff that's on the work begins I know I have I have commanded a consulting business so all of clients to talk to all females to push out and also to ensure that business I normally don't get hungry until ten or eleven o'clock in the morning so around ten or eleven o'clock s or one you know to to start to graze on some fruit and I'll do that and and then by binding them feel pretty lucky too much and what is is what is your diet generally look like Jenner looks like steak steak and chicken and salad Paley owh yeah yeah I don't know you know I'm no stranger some mint chocolate chip ice cream or a mobile team or whatever again I'm not I'm not you know competitive bodybuilder and so you know I eat some normal food right in and belch when that when when the spirit moves you when you think the word successful were the first people are first person comes to mind so for me you know a part of the world that obscene is a very dark place it's a dark place that's what war is and when your job which my job was was to expand that darkness in many ways I mean it's a war is about killing people and so for me when I look to someone that successful it's someone that brings some light into that darkness so for me the first people that come in my head are Mark Lee who is one of my guys for SEO killed in Iraq Mike months or one of my guys second seal killed in Iraq posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and Ryan job one of my guys wounded in Iraq blinded in both eyes made it home medically retired from the from the Navy Mary's High School sweetheart daughter pregnant and finished his college degree and after his twenty second surgery to repair the damage that was done to his his head and face there were complications and he died as well but all of those guys in all that darkness they did things they made the sacrifice that was completely selfless and to do that and to live and fight and die like a war that to be a success and those guys are my heroes what do you struggle with and I ask that because I mean we've we've only just met but it's hard for me is a civilian to fathom what what you and your friends have been through impossible for me to fathom and I mean it makes me just feel shame for ever complaining about a bad day or hard day given what you guys have experienced in the states that are involved from the sacrifices and the sadness and tragedy that is part of that job would you struggle with whether it's in the business sphere or just in in life in general are open to talking about it I certainly I know that I use to do it when I had these icons in my head as I got Richard Branson has got all figured out everything perfectly he's just he's on cruise control hitting homeruns every time he gets that and as I've slowly gotten Branson directly although I have met him for I realize that people all have and this is something that you talk about the detachment when I find myself I've always had kind of impatience and anger issues it's helped me to be aggressive in sport and in business negotiation but it's also causing problems for me and I've realize that one of the ways I can tone that down is by realizing like everybody had everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about in some way with the things that you find difficult or the struggle have struggled with it it's an interesting question because and this is a filler answer in case you couldn't tell that is when I start off with It's an interesting question that means I'm not really quite sure what to say um I've you know I've been I've been lucky I've been blast I've had a life that I would not trade with anyone in the world when you talk about Ramadi I had that was the highlight of my life because leading man in combat which is something which was something that I always wanted to do and something that I felt that I was destined to do and when I was in that situation I knew that I wasn't I don't look back and say Oh I wish that no I knew it then this is it this is this is what you have been waiting for your whole life and what you really have been preparing for your whole life and I was lucky to be there and I was lucky to have incredible guys to work with both in my unit and in the other units the Army and Marine Corps that we work with I was lucky enough to have guys that were so brave and so dedicated and I will use the word fearless not that they didn't have fear but that they overcame it all the time and so I'd say if there's anything that I struggle with now it's just that does anything else matter is there any answers and know the answers No nothing else matters nothing else is close and show you have to deal with that and I don't struggle is a strong work because I don't sit there and I you know wishing I was back well okay I do that you know sometimes that I often wish I was back but I don't dwell on it because it's gone and I'm so happy that I could be part of it and I was able to work with such tremendous guys and I try and keep their memory live everyday in my own at the The Next up is Seth Godin I love Seth he is one of the most influential marketers in the world and has a log which nearly anyone at the top of the marketing world has read at some point is followed by the who's who of people in the persuasion and influence game whether that is in marketing advertising or otherwise he's authored eighteen maybe more bestselling books that are translated into thirty five plus languages has founded several companies and most of all if you look at all his various projects he challenges the status quo in all areas he loves testing assumptions which makes me love you Seth for listening thank Seth his books include linchpin tribes the Dipper Cal and what to do when it's your turn and currencies and it's always your turn in this short clip Seth talked about self discipline The busy trap and give some best practices anyone can use with your parent or a so called one Trapper The Who on the subject of eating what your eating habits look like what is your diet look like it's really not good it's not good well it's not because I'm bored by it but people are fascinated when we got to dinner so I don't eat wheat I don't eat dairy I don't eat cilantro I don't eat meat because each time I sort of just what I eat I feel better and so I feel like I'm in a happy place where I can make fascinating interesting food and mostly happily in restaurants without being obsessive about it what is the first Seine two hours of your day look like in what is practice what is your what is a typical breakfast practices one more decision I don't make so it's a frozen banana hemp powder almond milk dried plum and some walnuts in a blender and then I make coffee for whoever comes over that morning and for my lovely wife's have probably done an hour and a half of stuff on mine to forests thirty and then another world didn't break when I was asleep and then I can get to work what is the half hour tree Irish Internet tree on Azure computer trash look like what what types of things are you doing in that half hour for the most important thing is that the block work because it didn't have to take evasive action but I love the guys that iPad it's the best twenty nine bucks a month I spend because it doesn't crash and it works and then I try to clear the mailbox I've lived in the inbox Zero since before it was Queen and now my brain is free and so then I try not to be in the mouth around it I've done actual productive work then I come to the apartment where I work and other people join me here sometimes and we work on the Alton VA which is a school I am building and that's what I do for work and was last time you worked at home if you ever did well if there's a laptop or not unconscious I'm at work in the sense that what I do for living is notice things right right I guess the reason as I've long considered getting an office as opposed to operating out of coffee shops and miscellaneous locations and that is the context behind the question is I do much better in this room this room is I couldn't recreate them for ten million dollars it's got so much patina patina on the patina and that sets the bar for me about the fact that I don't want to compromise just to do next thing I look at the last thing of the thing before that as I am proud of that don't do something new not for the all to be a way I wouldn't be running and still it was the single important educational thing I've ever done and I keep trying to do is the next things gotta be worthy of it the semis with his neighbors could you elaborate because a lot of questions from my fans on Twitter and Facebook are related to education and they generally came in the form of the number of themes one was you could you have elaborate on his face Education manifesto on the other was Hey I have a kid who's in fourth grade I have a kid who's just going to be entering school what sets you in my shoes and dress tackle those right off the bat but as that is context could you could you tell us more about what you're up to this is a rant and is not about what I'm up to is about what was up to the rant is this sooner or later parents have to take responsibility for putting their kids into a system that is and getting them and teaching them to be cogs in an economy that doesn't wanna cause anymore and parents get to decide I'm a huge fan of public school semi kids to public school I think everyone should go to public school because it's a great mix master of our world but from three o'clock to ten o'clock those kids are getting homeschooled in the league in home school or watching the Flintstones but again homeschooled in learning something useful and I think we need to teach kids to things one how to lead and to have solve interesting problems because the fact is there are plenty of countries on earth where there are people who are willing to be obedient and work harder for less money than us so we cannot out obedience competition therefore we have to lead the rout solve the other people I don't care what country they live in Wyoming where across the world who want whatever scares the way you teach your kids to solve interesting problems is to give them an interesting problems to solve and then no criticize them when they fail because kids aren't stupid if they get in trouble every time they try to solve an interesting problem don't just go back to getting an A by memorizing was in the textbook that it's so important here and I spent an amount of time with kids I produce did the Wizard of Oz The Musical in fourth grade he is to help run a summer camp I think that it's a privilege to be able to love trusting energetic smart eleven and telling the truth and what we can say to old is I really don't care how you did your vocabulary test I care about when you have something to say and we can teach our kids from a young to be that kind of people we want them to be and anything that's worth memorizing is worth looking up now so we don't need to have him spend a lot of time getting good grades are going to a famous college because famous college to work any more famous colleges and the point anymore the point is is there an entity that will have trouble living without you when you seek to earn a living because if there is we'll make a living fine And you're waiting in the placement office for someone to take you you will be persistently undervalued is you talked earlier about writing daily is a practice listening to the audio books is a practice many practices that you would suggest to the overwhelmed busy parent who wants to start to be more proactive in this department they have an eleven year old practices are exercises that they are that you suggest well you know super well The busy trap and it doesn't This is a myth
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#253: Morning Routines and Strategies