The average person is probably interested in knowing how the daily routine of great people developed. Did they have to sacrifice anything to achieve outstanding success? For example, sleep or time to solve household or financial problems. You can find out about this from the book by Mason Curry, which collected information about the life of 161 celebrities, including Leo Tolstoy and Georges Sand, Picasso and Haruki Murakami.
“Genius Regime. The Daily Routine of Great Men”
The title of the book speaks for itself. This is the debut work of an American author who has worked as an editor for a number of publications: The New York Times, Metropolis, Print, Slate. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he is today known as the author of five works and a successful blogger. “Genius Mode” is his most popular book published in Russian.
The Brooklyn-based author analyzed the lives of geniuses in literature (53%), music (12%), visual arts (11%), as well as prominent architects, scientists, choreographers and philosophers. The main conclusion is that great people had a daily routine. He was purely individual: some worked at night, others in the early morning. Creative personalities set themselves up for work in different ways. Someone needed fresh air for inspiration, while others needed strong drinks. But there was no question of any spontaneity.
How many women are included in the book? The daily routine of great people described by the author concerns 26 outstanding women, which is 16%. Not all surnames are familiar to the Russian man in the street, but two of them are absolutely known to everyone. We are talking about the writers Georges Sand and Agatha Christie. Surely many people know and Toni Morrison, now living 88-year-old novelist, Nobel laureate and author of an amazing book called “Beloved.”
It is curious that most of the celebrities were not married, devoting most of their lives to creativity. Those who were married had to find time to do what they loved. They raised children, were busy with the housework and even had a permanent job. Toni Morrison, for example, taught at the university, worked in a publishing house, raised two sons alone. Thinking over the works took place at home, after which late in the evening she sat down at the table to write down everything that was born in her head during the day.
Who else can you read about in the book about the daily routine of great people? About those who created several centuries ago, for example, about Mozart (photo is presented in the article). The brilliant composer of the 18th century. perceived as such a darling of fate, to whom writing was given without any effort.
However, he often had to literally be torn between visits to influential patrons, concerts and lessons that he gave in order to earn money. During his stay in Vienna (1781), he described his day as follows: early rise (by six the composer had already had his hair combed); composition of music; from 9:00 to lunch – lessons; visits; concerts; meeting with Constance Weber, at that time the bride of Mozart; composition of music, which lasted until one in the morning. And in the early morning it all started all over again.
All outstanding accomplishments are workaholics. What else distinguishes the daily routine of great people? Curry found that many of the creative people preferred walking. Seren Kierkegaard, the famous 19th century Danish philosopher, was so inspired during his travels that he rushed to his desk, forgetting to take off his hat or put down a cane. Beethoven, whose photo is presented just above, also belonged to the lovers of walking. The composer always carried a pencil with a notebook in case inspiration came to him.
He worked in the morning, getting up at dawn. Before lunch, I went out for a walk several times in order to keep working until 2-3 o’clock in the afternoon. After the meal, the composer set off to explore the surroundings, walking until the evening. At the same time, he went to the tavern, where he read, learned the news, and spent time with friends. Sometimes he visited the theater, but preferred to go to bed at 21:00. At the same time, in the evening, the composer did not practically write.
An indicative description of the daily routine of great people can be the daily routine of the most famous psychoanalyst of the XIX-XX centuries. Like everyone else, he was a workaholic. His morning began at seven o’clock. The daily ritual was a light breakfast and a meeting with the barber. Freud carefully looked after his beard. The main meal took place at one o’clock in the afternoon. Until that time, the psychologist received patients.
After dinner, he was expected to have an energetic walk, visit the publisher, buy cigars, which he loved very much. From 15:00 to 21:00 he again met with patients, after which he spent some time with his family. Freud was busy editing the magazine and writing articles late at night, shutting himself up in his office. His working day ended by one in the morning.
Many of the creative people were friendly with sports. Famous writer of the XIX century. – another confirmation of this. It is known that he spent 15 years in exile on the island of Guernsey. Describing the daily routine of great people, Mason Curry analyzes exactly this period of Victor Hugo’s life.
The writer got up at dawn and after drinking two raw eggs went to work. Before lunch, he interrupted only in order to make a dousing with cold water, which could be watched by ordinary passers-by, for Hugo did it on the roof of the house. Lunch time passed at the reception of guests, so in those days it was customary. But after the meal, there was a two-hour walk or a long exercise on the shore, swimming. In the evening, the writer again sat down at his desk, but only in order to answer letters.
Tchaikovsky: the ability to highlight the important
The daily routine of great people demonstrates the ability to see the line between what is important and what is secondary. For the latter, they set aside the most unproductive time. This feature is especially well seen on the example of PI Tchaikovsky. The famous composer, who spent the rest of his days near Klin, adhered to a strict schedule. He, like many, got up quite early – before eight o’clock. At 9:30 I was already starting work, but at first I did not my favorite job – proofreading or reviewing personal correspondence. Before embarking on creativity, he freed himself from everything that might distract him.
Two-hour afternoon walks were obligatory for him. He considered them very important, because he took care of his health. Before supper, the composer went for a walk again. By the way, it was at this time that new ideas visited him.
We offer you another example, presented in the picture just above. Honoré de Balzac used another method of recuperation for productive work – a short nap.
It should be admitted that Mason Curry has done a tremendous job to debunk the myth that creative individuals who have achieved success acted spontaneously, being people “out of this world.” We made sure that their work was organized, they concentrated as much as possible on their activities, devoting considerable time to it.
Some even kept track of their day. Hemingway, for example, kept a scrupulous count of working hours. He worked from five in the morning, and he worked standing, setting himself the task of writing at least 700-800 words daily. Berres Skinner, the ideologue of behaviorism, also kept a timetable for his activities. When writing articles, he used a timer.
For greater productivity, creative people took care of their physical activity, went for walks, played sports, without neglecting rest. However, some were not devoid of bad habits that were difficult for them to give up. Freud, for example, smoked a lot, and Balzac could not do without coffee.
The daily routine of great people testifies to the fact that in order to do what they love, many limited their social ties. This characterizes Simone de Beauvoir, a French writer and feminist ideologue. But there are also opposite examples. Communication was important for Picasso’s inspiration, so he gladly received guests. But he did it no more than once a week.