The Daily Routines of 26 Most Creative People in History
Perhaps what stands out most is how few of these most creative people in history had good old-fashioned day jobs.
What image do you conjure up when thinking of the most creative people in history? Eccentric geniuses whose minds just keep churning brilliant ideas, right? Well! It turns out that they lived a pretty much similar life like us. But what is it then that made them so creative? We will share an infographic of the routine of most creative people in history and let you analyze what it was in their routine that made them so creative.
From artists to writers, scientists to philosophers, these individuals have left an indelible mark on the world and continue to inspire us with their works. One commonality among many of these most creative people in history is their dedication to their craft. As the infographic shared below shows, most creative people in history spent the majority of their waking hours devoted to their creative pursuits. It is this single-minded focus and devotion to their art that allowed them to achieve greatness. As Charles Darwin mentioned many times that he has been able to achieve whatever he achieved just because he was devoted, punctual and was able to focus on one subject at a time.
Vincent van Gogh is also one of the gifted people who could focus on a single subject without getting distracted. He is the creator of some of the most remarkable artwork known to mankind including starry night and Sunflower. He also had a notoriously difficult life, struggling with poverty, mental illness, and rejection from the art world.
Writer Franz Kafka was the only one in this group who had a profession unrelated to his creative field: he was, famously and miserably, a bureaucrat at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute in the Kingdom of Bohemia (not as cool as it sounds). Philosopher Immanuel Kant lectured at a university in the mornings, American writer Kurt Vonnegut taught at a school, composer Wolfgang Mozart gave music lessons here and there, and Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, treated patients. But the rest spent virtually all their waking hours—in some cases, hours most people spend sleeping—devoted to their creative and intellectual work.
The infographic is accompanied by the subjects’ thoughts on productivity. Japanese writer Haruki Murakami likens his strict daily routine, which involves writing from 4 a.m. to noon, to a form of mesmerism, while Pablo Picasso is quoted as having said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
We can say that the most creative people in history have left an indelible mark on the world with their contribution. From da Vinci to Shakespeare, van Gogh to Einstein, these individuals were passionate about their craft, lived a punctual life and unsurprisingly didn’t have an old-fashioned full time job. They remind us that with hard work and perseverance, we too can achieve greatness and leave our own mark on the world.
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The graphic suggests there may be other routes besides vigorous action, actually—the award for Most Leisure Time goes to Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor, who sandwiched three to four hours of writing a day between church-going and obsessively tending to her peacocks, among other hobbies. Peacock-raising wasn’t the strangest obsession in the bunch, though: that would be French writer Victor Hugo’s habit of taking an ice bath on his roof every morning. There’s one productivity tip we’ve yet to try out.
To play around with the full interactive infographic, go here.
[Image: Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou via Shutterstock, Haruki Murakami]