Nikola Tesla was a genius inventor, engineer, and physicist who lived a life of routine and discipline.
His daily routine was carefully crafted to optimize his productivity and creativity.
Tesla's routine is a lesson in self-discipline, a critical factor in his extraordinary life. However, he died unlauded for the many incredible things he invented.
Tesla is the true unsung prophet of the electric age, without whom our radio, auto ignition, telephone, alternating current power generation and transmission, radio, and television would all have been impossible. Elon Musk's Tesla car company is named after him.
Inside a day in the life of Nikola Tesla
- Walking was a daily exercise to stimulate brain cells.
- Three-time a week visits to the barber for half-hour scalp massages
- No lunch, warm baths followed by cold showers
- Walking up to 10 miles a day and flexing toes 100 times before bed to relieve stress
- Dining promptly at 8:10 p.m., reading evening papers at his regular table
In his book "Inventor of the Modern," Richard Munsen writes that Tesla started his day by dressing meticulously and regularly wearing a black derby, silk shirt, cane, green suede high-tops, and gray suede gloves – but absolutely no jewelry.
The morning was for preparation and planning, getting into the right mindset for the day ahead.
Tesla was a genius, and he sums up his passion for anything mechanical and electrical: "We wind a simple ring or iron with coils; we establish the connections to the generator, and with wonder and delight we note the effects of strange forces which we bring into play, which allow us to transform, to transmit, and direct energy at will."
The unsung genius of his time never ate lunch. Instead, he took warm baths, followed by lengthy cold showers to stimulate his brain cells; he regularly walked, often up to ten miles a day, with a walk from his hotel to the laboratory, a journey that took about half an hour.
Tesla's afternoons were dedicated to experimenting and working on his projects.
He was focused and disciplined, with only a three-times-a-week visit to his barber to interrupt his rigid routine.
Tesla dined promptly at 8:10 p.m., usually alone, and only the head waiter at his hotel would be permitted to serve him; sometimes, he would entertain a group of reporters or investors.
Dinner was a time for reflection, a break from the day's work, and a chance to recharge.
After dinner, Tesla often returned to the laboratory for several hours of additional work, a testament to his dedication and love of his craft.
He slept only a few hours a night.
Nikola Tesla's daily routine was a mix of strict routine and discipline, which optimized his productivity and creativity.
His schedule is about making time for the things that matter to him.
Whether walking or spending time alone, we can all learn something from Tesla's routine and incorporate elements of it into our lives.