How does your daily schedule compare to those of history’s greatest achievers?
Info We Trust has gone all kinds of viral with this intriguing visual breakdown.
It spotlights the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Benjamin Franklin and several other legendary pioneers.
Whose schedule does yours resemble?
Charles Darwin excelled in short bursts, his primary work ticked off before noon. This was accompanied by a final surge of productivity as he lay awake in bed, presumably with a very frustrated wife at his side.
You can imagine the pillow talk.
Beethoven rose at 6am and prepared coffee with no less than 60 beans per cup — counted one by one for the perfect brew — then embarked on a gruelling eight hours of composing.
Mozart sauntered through the morning taking a full hour to get dressed. His greatest work came from just four hours of creative output: two in the morning, two before bed.
What this poster reveals about creative routine:
There’s no such thing as a universal creative routine.
Our body clocks are unique.
Another busted myth is the affiliate belief that you must dedicate a life to the grind if you want to achieve big. It’s simply not true.
(At least it wasn’t in the 19th century…)
Some of the all-time greatest creative minds produced their magnum opus in short bursts of highly productive work.
Quality beats quantity.
And what’s this? Exercise?
For most of these legendary figures, exercise was a cornerstone of the day.
Dickens didn’t need the latest fitness DVD, or a gimmicky Insanity regime. He took a 3 hour shuffle through the London countryside, like a boss.
And he still found time to write the novels that your kids will one day study in school.
John Milton spent four hours pacing up and down his garden. Why? I don’t know. It sounds excessive. But I bet he wasn’t sourcing slush for Instagram.
What else do these great achievers have in common?
Most of them read.
Reading is a timeless hobby with a massive upside.
My view on reading is simple:
If you don’t do it, your mind becomes stale, and so will your ideas.
Here is my current routine:
8:00: Wake up, douse myself in petrol station coffee.
8:30: Eat breakfast and take dogs out.
9:00: Check morning stats, compile data, email affiliate managers.
10:30: Improve campaign related creatives.
11:30: Set up split tests, optimise, record data.
13:00: Lunch, coffee, fresh air, read.
16:00: Manage campaigns, minor creative work.
18:00: Take dogs out, read.
19:00: Dinner, badger girlfriend.
20:00: Any remaining work and emails.
21:30: Downtime, read, Lazy Spa, The Times on my iPad.
My only productive creative stints are 9:30 to 11:30, and a brief window in the late afternoon.
I probably average about three hours per day of quality work, and the rest of my time is spent in cruise control.
So, what does your schedule look like?
Are you grinding balls to the walls like Balzac? Or working hard and fast between trips to the snuff jar?