Lessons From How Famous People Spend Their Time

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Information about Lessons From How Famous People Spend Their Time

Published on April 3, 2014

Author: MEAPA

Source: slideshare.net


How did famous people spend their time? In this presentation based off of the book Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, examples provide insight into how famous people use the 24 hours they were given each day.

How Do You Spend Your Day? Michael Edmondson, Ph.D.

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

The workaholics: these people don’t need schedules because they don’t find it too hard to work and they’re always working. Exs: George Gershwin, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Kierkegaard, Voltaire, and Henri Matisse.

The extremely orderly: these people kept to rigid schedules that they followed every single day. They also tended to be somewhat reclusive (which makes sense, since a rigid schedule doesn’t really allow for the interruptions caused by a social life). Exs: Simone de Beauvoir, Kant, Benjamin Franklin, Proust, Flaubert, Juan Miró, and Philip Roth.

The 2-3 hour a day folks: These are people who were content to do just two or three hours a day (and, usually, they believed it was counterproductive to do more than this). Exs: Anthony Trollope, Henry James, Martin Amis, Thomas Mann, Richard Strauss, Henry Miller, and Graham Greene.

The hopelessly disorderly: people who write according to no fixed schedule (and often suffer months where they produce little or nothing). Here I also include people whose writing habits are incredibly bizarre and idiosyncratic (Gertrude Stein, for instance, would drive out into the country and look for a cow, because she liked to look at cows while she wrote. Then she’d sit on a rock and maybe get half an hour of writing done before she was tapped out for the day). Exs: Jane Austen, Frederic Chopin, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ann Beattie, and Tom Stoppard.

There is no one way to get things done. Six lessons 1. Be a morning person • Mozart, Georgia O’Keefe, Flank Lloyd Wright and Jonathan Edwards 2. Don’t give up the day job • William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in the afternoons, before commencing his night shift at a power plant • TS Eliot’s day job at Lloyds bank gave him crucial financial security • William Carol Williams, a pediatrician, scribbled poetry on the backs of his prescription pads. 3. Take lots of walks • Tchaikovsky – believed he had to take a walk of exactly two hours a day and that if he returned even a few minutes early, great misfortunes would befall him. 4. Stick to a schedule • Le Corbusier, Immanuel Kant, and William James 5. Practice strategic substance abuse • Ayn Rand and Graham Greene (Benzedrine) • Beethoven counted 60 beans for each cup of coffee • Balzac drank 50 cups of coffee a day 6. Learn to work anywhere • Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Somerset Maugham


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