March 31, 2014

This Infographic Reveals the Daily Routines of History's Greatest Creative Minds

It's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, allowing our creative endeavors to go by the wayside indefinitely until we can work them into our schedules. But it's interesting to remember that every single one of our creative heroes all have (or had) the same number of hours in a day to complete their work. RJ Andrews of Info We Trust has put together an enlightening infographic using the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work that illustrates how some of history's greatest creative minds fit their creative work into their daily life.

Every creative person works differently -- that should go without saying. But, if you're finding yourself in need of some inspiration (or just some entertainment), Andrews' infographic really puts things into perspective. We've talked about habits of highly successful writers before, and what's really intriguing, is that these creatives -- and not just the writers, but the musicians, philosophers, and scientists, too -- more or less practiced these same habits, like waking up early, taking walks, and, as demonstrated below, sticking to a schedule.

Each creative person's schedule highlighted in the infographic is designed like a clock, with different colors representing the different kinds of tasks they completed each day, from their creative work to their basic human needs (eating, sleeping, spending time with family). Also included are more in-depth facts about each routine. For instance, Victor Hugo's bathing habits are included in his chart, but it's noted that he took public ice baths on the roof of his home.

Check out the infographic below (click to enlarge):

There is no one right way to work or express your creativity -- as demonstrated in the infographic. You may do your best work first thing in the morning, while others may do it in the dead of night. However, one thing that seems to play a big role in the success of influential artists is keeping a schedule. As Daily Rituals author Mason Currey says in his book:

In the right hands, it can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of limited resources -- a solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one's mental energies.

Have you found that keeping a schedule helps with your creative work? Let us know in the comments below.

Link: Creative Routines -- Info We Trust

[via Huffington Post & Filmmaker IQ]

Your Comment

14 Comments

7 hours of sleep seems like the winner. Interesting indeed, thanks.

March 31, 2014 at 5:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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nate

Great post, V !

March 31, 2014 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stefan Antonescu

Great post! Looks like I'll be doing some walking.

March 31, 2014 at 6:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alexx

This is a great article that examined the things that were very common for all of the artists examined in Daily Rituals: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/05/daily-rituals-creative-mi...

March 31, 2014 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The key takeaway from this book, as well as other books discussing creative work (ie, "Manage Your Day-to-Day") is that, for whatever reason, creativity flourishes in the confines of a strict and well-kept schedule—including weekends, vacation time, and holidays.

March 31, 2014 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lazy Victor Hugo...a boss who gives hope to the rest of us.

March 31, 2014 at 8:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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maghoxfr

You're definitely right! :)

March 31, 2014 at 10:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

Discipline! Routine! Really enjoyed this post. Very interesting to note how these great minds divided their daily doings. Of course it wasn't always exactly like displayed here, but I think it shows that by cultivating some sort of habit, creative productivity can arise and might be easier to achieve. I for one like to keep track and write down what i do (and when i do it) on a daily/hourly basis.

April 1, 2014 at 12:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Interesting. I keep wondering what was the structure of one regular working day of female philosophers, writers, scientists and musicians. If there was such an infographic on women, how would I compare it to today, given that all those artistic and intellectual women from history belonged to aristocracy or upper class and had no obligation to earn their living. As much as history offers interesting data, I often feel excluded from being able to inherit most of it...

April 1, 2014 at 2:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jelena Markovic

As a younger person I feared routine and often thought it was a sign of being boring. Now for the first time in my life I have a job that enables me to walk to work, get up and go to bed at the same time everyday, and I have weekends that are restful and invigorating. Beleive it ir not I work in the film industry! I also make point of having a real solid breakfast. Anyway my point is that I feel as though I have more creative energy than ever before. My problem solving skills are better too and I find dealing with interpersonal conflicts at work and so forth much easier. Not to be a total cheeseball but routine rocks. Great article NFS!

April 1, 2014 at 11:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marmar

If you want to set-up repeatable checklists and routines you can use this web application:

GTD Agenda.com

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

April 6, 2014 at 12:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dan

Jelena:
I think you are my greatest mind in this post.
I agree with you but I also think that a good routine pays better and faster than no routine at all.
Even when that routine means to work on something two or three days a week.

My teacher use to say me:
The only way to get your goal is through
patience, persistence and discipline.
Of course I'm hysteric, variable and way chaotic but not stupid to recognise a good advice from that crazy old man. jaja

April 7, 2014 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Raul

This is an awesome article I'm a bit of an insomniac and I'm so excited about the music i'm writing right now that my clock is a crazy hybrid of Mozart, Flaubert, and Freud. I think that I'll track it for a few weeks and see what it looks like! Kudos for thinking outside the box on this one!

April 7, 2014 at 9:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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What I've learnt - Sleep 7hrs, drink a lot of coffee and have a long walk....

September 24, 2015 at 5:02AM

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Kayode
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