Daily Routines of Creative PeopleA Visual Approach

Looking through an intricately designed fence onto a street in the morning. People and cars are visible

Last week we discussed the daily routine of Benjamin Franklin and other creative people. We talked about how important daily routines are in reducing decision fatigue and thereby fostering creativity.

The site podio.com built a visual representation of the routines of famous creative people. We have embedded it below for you.

Things that Stand Out

  • The list is stacked with early risers. Voltaire, John Milton and Haruki Murakami got their inspiration early. They woke up at 4am to be exact (beating good ol’ Mr. Franklin by a full hour)

  • There is an exception to every rule. Pablo Picasso and William Styron were night owls getting up well past 10am

  • Right after waking up, or after a short 30 to 60 minute break to eat breakfast, everyone started creative work

  • Most of these geniuses had at least two multi-hour stretches of creativity during the day. Others, like Beethoven, worked on their craft for 8-hour stretches at a time

  • Exercise features prominently in the routine of most of these great artists

  • The craziest schedule goes to the writer Franz Kafka, and who can blame him. He worked throughout the day at the Workers Accident Insurance Institute, and then wrote from 11pm to 6am, slept for 2 to 3 hours after battling insomnia and then headed to work. He would also catch an afternoon siesta

Of course, no two schedules are identical. Everyone’s creative zone is different. Once successful people find their creative zone, they codify them in a routine and stick to them. As French author, Gustave Flaubert said:

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work

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Data Diane is a team of Tapwage data journalists who spend their time geeking out on data to help you find that perfect career