Arguably one of the most inventive minds in human history, Nikola Telsa developed a set of remarkable habits that he believed helped him excel in numerous fields.
Telsa provided us with an interesting insight into his dietary habits in a 1935 interview: “Why overburden the bodies that serve us? I eat but two meals a day, and I avoid all acid-producing foods…I partake liberally of fresh vegetables, fish and meat sparingly, and rarely.”
Of his exercise and bathing habits, Telsa commented: "I walk eight or ten miles every day, and never take a cab or other conveyances when I have the time to use leg power. I also exercise in my bath daily, for I think that this is of great importance. I take a warm bath, followed by a prolonged cold shower."
With around 300 patents attributed to him, it may come as no surprise that Telsa completely immersed himself with his work. Such dedication often came at the cost of sleep, he said: “Sometimes I doze for an hour or so. Occasionally, however, once in a few months, I may sleep for four or five hours. Then I awaken virtually charged with energy, like a battery…There is no doubt about it but that sleep is a restorer, a vitalizer, that it increases energy. But on the other hand, I do not think it is essential to one's well being, particularly if one is habitually a poor sleeper."
John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American business magnate and philanthropist. He is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history. Rockefeller was born into a large family in upstate New York that moved several times before eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio. 1 2 3
John D Rockefeller rose at 6 am and begun the day by reading the newspaper. At 7 am, he strolled through his house and gardens before sitting for breakfast at 8 am. He developed the habit of giving a dime to each new employee and a nickel to every veteran. Breakfast usually finished at 8:45 am and Rockefeller played a game of Numerica, a form of solitaire, while he digested his food. He arrived at work at 9:15 am and spent an hour replying to his correspondence. From 10:15 am to noon Rockefeller hit the golf course for a few games.
After some rounds of golf, Rockefeller showered and cleaned himself before lunch which was typically served at 1 pm. He played a few more games of Numerica from 1 pm to 2:30 pm. After eating and playing Numerica, the American business magnate kicked back on his coach while his mail was read aloud to him. In the late afternoon, he spent 2 hours between 3:15 and 5:15 motoring and then rested for an hour at 5:30 pm.
From 7 pm to 9 pm, Rockefeller ate dinner and again practiced the habit of playing Numerica. If he was joined by guests, they would listen to music and socialize between 9 pm to 10 pm.
Rockefeller slept from around 10:30 pm to 6 am, when his routine started all over again.
Steve Jobs usually woke up at 6am to get some work completed before the rest of the household rose. At 7:30 am, Jobs ate breakfast with the family, helped the children with school and then sent them off. Job typically arrived at the office at 9:30 am and would be busy with meetings until 12:30 pm.
He had lunch at around 12:30 pm which would last about an hour. At 1:30 pm, Jobs headed to the design labs to check on new product development and would sometimes tinker with the designs. At 3 pm, the American business magnate returned to his office and often spent the remainder of the day dealing with his correspondence. Or preparing for any upcoming keynote presentations.
In the evening, at around 5:30 pm, Job enjoyed dinner with his family which included vegetables picked from their garden. Prior to his cancer diagnosis, Jobs followed a fruitarian diet, however, this eventually changed to a pescatarian diet so he would consume more protein. After dinner at around 6:30 pm, Job’s wife, Laurene, accompanied him on a walk.
10 pm onward was a dedicated to music, meditation, and spiritually. This part of his routine was said to have helped Jobs recenter spiritually and mentally before bed.
Walt Disney sometimes woke up at 5:30 am and headed to the golf course to play a few rounds before work. He’d typically play five holes, skip the rest of the course, and then finish on the 18th. After golf, Disney ate a simple breakfast consisting of toast, eggs, juice and sausages. He aimed to arrive at the office by 8 am and would start the day by reviewing storyboards and holding meetings / conferences. The late morning until noon was dedicated to WED enterprises, Disneyland, and catching up with work around the studio.
Disney did not approve of employees taking long lunches and himself would only have a glass of V8 tomato juice and a coffee for lunch. Although, he was known to be a prolific snacker – constantly carrying around nuts or crackers in his pockets. After lunch, Disney would spend the rest of the afternoon in meetings or writing letters. When he wasn’t working, the American entrepreneur practised different hobbies such as polo, calisthenics, ice skating, and dancing.
When work was finished for the day, Disney would enjoy a scotch mist before heading home to spend dinnertime with his wife and two daughters. He would prefer to eat simple dinner instead of expensive cuts of meat and his favourite meal was chilli and beans.
Some nights Disney didn’t go to bed until midnight and even spent a period of his career working 14 hour shifts every day.
Mark Twain followed a simple morning routine. He would wake up and eat a large, hearty breakfast before heading to his study to work until 5 pm. Occasionally, Twain skipped breakfast and would later emerge from his work as dinner was ready to be served. Twain’s family didn’t approach the study but instead blew a horn to get his attention. Later, after dinner, Twain would assemble his family and read to them his day’s writings. He suffered from poor sleep and would resort to alcohol to ease him to bed.