I Lived a Week like Tim Ferriss – What I Learned from his Morning Routine, Extended Fasting, Stoicism and More!

4 hour workweek book

“One of my goals is to catalyze an army of good self-experimenters”– Tim Ferriss

I was lounging on the couch in my New York apartment late one evening watching a Ted Talk titled “Tim Ferriss Shares How to Master Any Skill by Deconstructing it”. Tim shared a video of himself shoving a tube inside his right quad for a muscle biopsy. His goal was to use a vacuum to twist the muscle tissue inside his leg in order to pack on muscle faster. My goal was a little less ambitious; I wanted to learn a new software visualization tool called Tableau for my new job…damn!

The self-proclaimed human “guinea pig”, Tim Ferriss is the ultimate self-experimenter/crazy person. A diehard fan since discovering the 4 Hour Workweek, I decided to answer the call to arms to become a solider in Tim’s army of self-experimenters. Could I live a full week like Tim Ferriss? Would I learn anything? I wanted to push the limits (minus the muscle biopsy).

I scoured the corners of the web in search of what a day in the life of Tim Ferriss might be like. His morning routine is especially well documented: Make your bed, mindfulness meditation, 5 Minute Journal, Morning Pages, Bullet Proof Coffee and so on. Noted. I can do this…

After his morning routine, things took a strange turn. I read how Tim likes to do a 3-day fast at the end of each month and is an avid follower of Stoicism, which he puts in practice by attempting to make himself uncomfortable at least once a day.

For example, Tim Ferriss will lay down in the middle of Starbucks for 10 seconds or ask for 10% off his coffee at the register. I can’t subject myself to this embarrassment (and starvation)! Or maybe I can…

Overall, my main goal from this was to have 4 hours of productive work each day and in the process MAYBE learn something new about myself or add something useful to my (lack of) routine. Enjoy!

Day 1 – Monday

The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?” – Tim Ferriss

  • 10 AM:

Without feeling guilty, I woke up around 9 and snoozed all the way to 10. Tim does this – so can I.  Eager to try Tim’s Titanium Tea, I immediately began boiling some water.

You can watch Tim make it here, but it’s basically black + green tea, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter all mixed together.

  • 10:15 AM:

As my tea cooled, I enjoyed 20 minutes of mindful meditation, which helped my morning grogginess. One recurring thought was that one of the pillows from my couch got in Chinese food last night (it didn’t).

  • 10:45 AM:

I took my first sip of Titanium Tea and with oily lips began my 5-minute journal. I tried to print it, but got a paper jam. Still in my meditative state, I shrugged it off and journaled on my MacBook instead

  • 11:00 AM:

Shocked that it’s almost noon, I’m pumped for what Tim blocks out as idea generation time – this sounds fantastic. I decide to find out what Stoicism is all about and lay down to read “Seneca – Letters from a Stoic”.

  • 12:15 PM:

Off to the track for some HIIT work.

  • 1:00 PM:

For the next 4 hours, I plan on getting some work done. I’m still shocked how time just seems to be melting away.

  • 5:00 PM:

Great success! A productive today and I’m off to a good start. I make dinner and begin to unwind. I watched the Buccaneers vs. Steelers MNF football game. Today felt like a vicious stiff arm from Vance McDonald on Chris Conte – owned it.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Conte should go ahead and retire
  • 12:00 AM:

Unclogged the paper jam and slept.

Day 2 – Tuesday

“Remember: having time isn’t hard nor necessarily desirable in and of itself-just quit your job and go on unemployment. It’s how you use time and trade it for experience that counts” – Tim Ferriss

  • 11:00 AM:

I attempted to wake up naturally and was STUNNED to see it was 11 already. Mental note to set an alarm for 10!

  • 11:50 AM:

After finishing my meditation and 5 minute journal – time seems like its melting away like coconut oil in my tea. Also I’m starving.

  • 1:15 PM:

Spent my morning – err afternoon – reading “On Writing Well”. I decided to skip the gym because of the rain! I feel sluggish waking up this late.

  • 7:00 PM:

Finished an article I was working on and did some meal prep for the week. Watching Parts Unknown on Netflix. Satisfied with today’s work, but not sure if I dig sleeping in this late! I think I’m discovering that I am, in fact, a morning person.

Day 3 – Wednesday

“What are the worst things that could happen?” – Tim Ferriss

  • 10:00 AM:

Woke up and snoozed for 5 minutes before my landlord comes banging on my door. Apparently there’s been a mouse in the complex! What!

  • 10:58 AM:

I’m enjoying my new morning rituals: meditating and journaling. The theme of this week is “How is it already this late!”

  • 11:50 AM:

I love the idea-generating portion of my morning – probably my favorite part of the day.

Side note: my apartment has remained clean through Wednesday, which never happens.

  • 1:05 PM:

I made it to the gym! Not the best workout – but felt good. I’m getting nervous for upcoming 3 day fast. I make a mental note to savor every bite of this meal.

  • 2:00 PM:

I feel like my day is just starting. I gelled my hair into a Mohawk – Tim Ferriss week has me feeling crazy.

  • 6:00 PM:

Feeling nice and productive – I spent some time reading more Stoicism. Could’ve sworn it was closer to 5PM…

  • 10:15 PM:

Spent some time lounging in the evening before sitting down to write. I drank some tea with Lion’s Mane in it and my mind is buzzing. Scared I won’t be able to fall asleep!

Day 4 – Thursday

“Stop wishing and start doing.” – Tim Ferriss

  • 10:00 AM:

I woke up at 9:20 and snoozed all the way until 10. One of my favorite things is just lying in bed in the morning – feels incredible.

  • 12:00 PM:

After my meditation and morning journal, I had an errand to run in the city. I spent some time walking through Central Park

IMG_20180927_124719
Delicious!
  • 1:00 PM:

Did you know Whole Foods has Bullet Proof Coffee? Walking up to the barista I felt nervous ordering the mythical coffee with butter. After mustering up the courage, I approached the bar and ask for one.

She asked if I would like “gee or butter”, to which I replied butter. Next, she asked if I would like to add octane oil “for the brain” and I said of course. She rang me up for $5.44 for a medium-sized coffee – not too shabby.

I watched as she blended the butter, oil, and coffee together. Feeling more confident, I inquired if a lot of people order it and she replied “Yes” enthusiastically, but added “usually in the mornings. To me it still feels like morning. Another lady behind the counter chimed in and claimed she drank it every morning and swore that it suppresses her from all the delicious snacks surrounding her while working in Whole Foods.

She said she even has to force herself to eat lunch because she’s just not hungry after drinking this concoction – she even threw the word “ketones” at me. I’m impressed!

I thanked them for my cocktail and headed back to Central Park. Did you know Bullet Proof Coffee has 441 calories? It tastes delicious though. I love the feeling of the buzz of caffeine warming your body – the added butter and octane oil enhance the experience.

  • 5:00 PM:

I spent the rest of my afternoon working and relaxing. I prepared my final meal before my fast: a low carb salad with chicken, broccoli and walnuts.

  • 10:00 PM:

Fucking nervous about my fast – 4 hours in!

Day 5 – Friday

“You develop confidence through action, and you have to have courage first.” – Tim Ferriss

  • 10:00 AM:

Oh shit! I woke up feeling hungry. After meditating, journaling, I am out the door for a 4 hour walk through Central Park to help me transition to ketosis faster. While I’m gone, a worker from Handy cleaned my apartment. I highly recommend their services!

central park
I thought I walked the entire length of the Central Park…
  • 3:00 PM:

I listened to a Joe Rogan vs. Neil Degrasse Tyson podcast on my walk – both are extremely enlightened individuals. Kept me entertained!

Also, Central Park is a monster. I can’t help but get twisted and turned and lost. I walked around 8 miles, but the route I took is pretty hilarious. Overall, I’m feeling great and not hungry (yet!).

  • 5:20 PM:

Almost 24 hours in – Wowza! I’ve been taking KetoForce throughout the day to help my body easily transition to ketones as I burn through my glycogen stores. I don’t feel hungry at all.

I also had an enormous realization. I am a slave to food. Most of my thoughts throughout the day revolve around what I will eat next or what time will I be eating. I’m here to slay that demon and become more disciplined!

  • 11:00 PM:

A chill evening. I felt hungry until I drank more KetoForce and had a tea w/ a scoop of coconut oil. My fingertips are tingling – what is this? Heading to bed and will try to sleep in as late as possible.

Day 6 – Saturday

“I often ask myself, what if I just did the opposite for 24 to 48 hours?” – Tim Ferriss

  • 11:20 AM:

I slept in! I peed and realized I was extremely dehydrated. So far, the mornings have been the easiest and I don’t feel any hunger. I am also definitely in ketosis based on my keto sticks

  • 12:20 PM:

Insanely deep meditation, probably the deepest state I’ve ever reached while trying to meditate – hands down. Grabbing an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (don’t @ me). Also, I subconsciously have been rocking a beard – seems appropriate while fasting.

  • 1:00 PM:

Holy moly I can feel the caffeine pulsing throughout my body. Also, my body parts fall asleep so quickly when I’ve just been lounging.

  • 3:36 PM:

I feel fantastic and not hungry at all. Music sounds phenomenal. Head is very clear. I’m finding work very easy to do

  • 5:50 PM:

My fingertips are so tingly and my arms keep falling asleep – such a strange sensation. An interesting side effect. I have now made it 48 hours! I am starting to day dream about what I’m going to eat when I break my fast: halal or pizza? Hmm…

  • 10:30 PM:

The nights are by far the worst when I get food cravings. I pulled up pictures of mozzarella sticks and pasta – fuck I’m hungry! Have to stay strong.

Day 7 – Sunday

“Much like you would train your body, you can train your mind.” – Tim Ferriss

  • 11:30 AM:

Slept in as late as possible.

The one day I couldn’t make it all the way through my 20 minutes of meditation! Just couldn’t do it. I don’t feel hungry, but I’m still anxious to eat and imagining my future pizza to arrive.

Last night was especially hard to sleep because I was so dang caught up on food! I’m proud for staying strong!

  • 12:30 PM:

I showered and went and got another iced coffee from Dunkin. Black. It’s a beautiful day out and so I decided to go for a walk. Ironically, I found myself in front of the grocery store and I went ahead and got my food for the upcoming week!

I wish I had gone for more walks during my fast – mental note for next time!

IMG_20180930_150212
Well worth the wait!
  • 4:00 PM:

I ended my fast! I made it exactly 69 hours – very pleased. A funny thing happened, I ate a slice of pizza + 5 mozzarella sticks and within 5 minutes – literally 5 minutes – I had horrible diarrhea.

Is it possible the grease from the cheese made its way through me that quick? Sheesh!

  • 9:00 PM:

I had diarrhea a few more times, but that was expected. Sorry you had to read this :). Otherwise, an awesome day watching football and relaxing!

Key Takeaways

It was a terrific, productive week! I was able to do things that I had never done before, but was interested in. Here are my main takeaways:

  1. Meditate Daily

This was one of my favorite parts of the day. I have done some meditation on and off the past few years, but never made it a daily ritual. This helped set my day up for success and I will continue to do this!

  1. Read Morning Pages

This has helped me channel my inner creativity. Already in Week 2, I plan on finishing the full 12 weeks. I highly recommend this as this has helped me immensely with my writing.

  1. Practice Stoicism

Reading stoic philosophy made my day feel wholesome. There were some mind-altering thoughts on friendship, wealth, happiness, and even dealing with death. I highly recommend starting with Letters from a Stoic.

  1. Drink Bullet Proof Coffee / Titanium Tea / Nootropics

Drinking these cocktails was the spark plug to my day and I couldn’t wait to drink it each morning. I was always curious about adding supplements to my day with Lion’s Mane being the first nootropic I ever tried. Which brings me to my next point:

  1. Three Day / Extended Fast

The hardest, but most fulfilling part of week – I believe fasting helped build mental toughness and will power, especially in my workouts the next week. I plan on doing this maybe once a quarter and I will continue to take KetoForce as a supplement during my fast.

Thank you Tim Ferriss for opening my eyes to so many new ideas. I will continue to experiment and find what works for me.

What does your daily routine look like? What is something you do everyday that you find beneficial? Please share!

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