What do most of the greatest thinkers of all time have in common?

Aside from a super-human dedication to their craft… the one thing that stands out is routine.

From scientists and inventors to businessmen and philosophers, humanity has produced all sorts of incredible thinkers over the years. Studying their habits is one of our favorite pastimes – and while some of them may seem overboard (like reading 500 pages every day), there’s always something to be learned from each.

So! Whether you decide to adopt some of these habits yourself or simply enjoy learning about how successful people operate, you’re sure to find something interesting from these healthy habits. Let’s check ‘em out!

1. Keep a strict routine

Image source: Thinkergy


This one is perhaps the most common of all. Sticking to a regular routine helps you find balance and control over your life.

While some claim that it’s important to wake up early, that’s not always true. Yes, Benjamin Franklin was famous for his 5am wake-up call… but Einstein didn’t wake up until 9am, and was known to start his workday around 11am!

So the lesson here is that you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn yourself. The goal is simply to keep your circadian rhythms on a steady beat. As long as you’re going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, you’ll find that your mind is much more at ease. This also helps to establish the other habits on this list!

2. Get your blood pumping (ideally in the morning)

Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest inventors to ever live, and was a close competitor to Thomas Edison. He also had a weird morning routine. Every day, he would curl his toes 100 times on each foot.

Image source: 365 Sleep Tips


He believed this stimulated his brain cells. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly didn’t hurt… and you’ll find that pretty much every successful person includes a good amount of exercise in their daily schedule. And, if you can get it in early, go for it – mornings are by far the most common time to get the blood moving.

Einstein kept it a bit more simple, taking a 2-mile walk to Princeton each day. Which leads us to our next point…

3. Take a walk every day

Charles Darwin loved lunchtime – but not because of the food. He treated lunch like a special occasion, taking time to walk his dog and gather his thoughts. Then, he’d eat something rather light and take care of a few non-essential tasks before getting back to work.

There are tons of benefits to taking a walk. It gives you a break from whatever you’re dealing with (which can often lead to a “eureka!” moment), it keeps your body (and brain) in good shape, and it promotes relaxation.

4. Take some alone time

This one can easily be combined with the previous point – though some prefer to sit and, well, not think (as best they can).

Take Dr. NakaMats, one of Japan’s most popular inventors. He makes it a point to spend time alone every single day (he prefers the bathroom, but it’s really up to you). And since he’s currently 91 years old with 3,300 patents to his name, we’re inclined to follow his example.

Not only that, neuroscientists have discovered that we process things differently when we take some time for self-reflection – even opening our imagination up in new ways.

5. Read every day

This tip comes from Warren Buffett, though it’s shared by many of the world’s best and brightest.

Mr. Buffett knows his stuff, and it’s paid off for him – he’s one of the richest men in the world. He gives credit to his voracious appetite for learning. In fact, he reads 500 pages every single day!

Naturally, this is overkill for most of us. However, there’s still something to be learned. Even though you may not be able to finish an entire book before breakfast, you could at least find an interesting article or two to devour along with your oatmeal.

6. Do a headstand

This one’s a little weird – but it could work for you!

Composer Igor Stavinsky is famous for his many compositions (including The Rite of Spring – which notoriously caused a riot when it was released). He’s also famous for standing on his head… every single day.

He believed this got the blood flowing to his brain, and we’re inclined to believe him. Headstands are also becoming a global trend, with many benefits being suggested by yoga experts and health practitioners alike.

If you’re new to the idea, check out this article to get started.

7. Have some fun (and family time)

Image source: DVNT Kiteboarding


Becoming brilliant isn’t all hard work! Setting aside some “playtime” can be incredible for your mood, enthusiasm and mental health. Make it a physical activity and you’re taking care of multiple items on this list all at once!

Serial entrepreneur Richard Branson wakes up at 5am every day, but he doesn’t start work just yet. First, he plays tennis – or even goes kitesurfing. He claims that “exercise and family time put me in a great mind before getting down to business.” Sounds good to us!

So, what do you think? Do you share any of these habits? What’s your favorite way to start the day? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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