Daily Routines

Jocko Willink: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

When it comes to daily routines, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that tops the structure and output Jocko Willink’s day. With early morning Instagram posts of his wristwatch captioned with motivational quotes, Jocko is both inspiring his followers as well as keeping himself accountable to his daily routine.

Don’t think about it. Don’t rationalize anything. No snooze button, no “Just five more minutes.” Just get up when your alarm clock goes off.

Jocko Willink Takeover — On Quitting, Relationships, Financial Discipline, Contrast Baths, and More (#395) | The Tim Ferriss Show

Jocko wakes up between 4.30-4.45am every day and go straight into a workout, which revolves around a four-day split (pull, push, lift, squat) and also includes some core exercises and cardio work.

“I do a lot of pull-ups, pushups and dips. I dead lift and do squats. I do sprints. I swing kettle bells, I do burpees,” Jocko explained on a Tim Ferriss podcast.

“I’ll try and do some strength movements to be strong; dead lifts, cleans, clean and jerks, something like that to make myself stronger. Or even if it something like just dead hang pull-ups and I’m just maxing out but I’ll do something like that to make myself stronger.”

After his training session, he’ll hit the San Diego beaches for a quick surf then come back to work on his numerous projects, which includes:

  • Working on his leadership and management consulting business, Echelon Front, which has partnered with clients such as Shell Oil and Citi Bank.
  • Hosting his weekly Jocko Podcast with Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner Echo Charles which requires 15-20 hours of research, “I prep for episodes all the time. Planes. Airports. Before I go to sleep. While eating lunch or dinner. I’m always reading the next book. Taking notes. Highlighting, researching, studying.”
  • Writing his next book. To date Jocko has authored five books, including the leadership manual Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win, as well as four children’s books.

Jocko skips breakfast and will have lunch as his first meal of the day, “steak, and chicken, and salad.” In a Success magazine profile, Jocko admitted to having a sweet tooth, “Do I have chocolate chip cookies? Yes I do. Do I have mint chocolate chip milkshakes? Yes I do. I love them. They are fantastic. But when I have them, they’re worth it. I earned them. I did something. I worked out super hard. I stayed clean on food.”

Jocko also performs 24-hour and 72-hour fasts regularly throughout the year.

I fast for twenty-four hours regularly. I do seventy-two-hour fasts approximately every three months. And you know what, they aren’t that big of a deal. When I’m fasting, I still do everything that I normally would if I were eating. I work. Work out. Train jiu-jitsu.

Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual (2017) | Jocko Willink

After wrapping up his work day, Jocko will head off to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Victory MMA, co-founded with Dean Lister. Jocko has been practising BJJ for a large part of his life ever since he was introduced to it in the 1990s.

Jocko winds down his day by spending time with family, playing some guitar, and dinner — usually steak and vegetables again. Before heading off to bed at 11pm, Jocko will get everything ready for the next day, including writing his to-do list and laying out his training gear.

Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some.

A day in the life of a retired Navy SEAL commander, who wakes up at 4:30 a.m., trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and doesn’t eat for 72 hours at a time | Business INsider

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.