Creative Routines

“We all have the same 24 hours that Beyoncé has” and its various iterations took the web by storm in late 2013 as the megastar became the figurehead of not only having it all, but being able to somehow do it all too.

How do creatives – composers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers – find the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their craft. Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works.

Creative Routines Poster

Creative Routines Poster

There are enough data to visualize a portion of the hundreds of creative lifestyles. Click the poster to discover:

Gustave Flaubert, Ludwig Van Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, Maya Angelou, John Milton, Honore de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, W.H. Auden, Charles Darwin, P.I. Tchaikovsky, Le Corbusier, Benjamin Franklin

Design Highlights
Representing each day as a continuous 24 hour cycle invokes the ever spinning wheel of time, and more simply the face of a clock with midnight placed in the “12 o’clock” position and noon at “6 o’clock.” Colors mark major categories of activity – work, sleep, exercise, etc.

Creative Routines Legend

Comparing the routines of these creatives is fascinating. Some work in the early morning, some work better late at night. Many begin their day with coffee and use tobacco and alcohol. Considering that our modern concept of exercise was not developed until the mid-20th century, it is fascinating how many of these people spent their afternoons taking vigorous walks.

Beethoven vs. Mozart

Perhaps most fascinating, is reflecting on how you spend your days compared to these creative masters. Do you have a routine that helps you be productive every day?

Data are from Mason Currey’s book DAILY RITUALS. Order it from Amazon and learn more at Mason’s site. The original poster is below for link reference

Info We Trust is a data adventure exploring how to better humanize information. To learn more read the opening post here. The creator, RJ Andrews, is an engineer and proud Northeastern University and MIT graduate. Please reach out through facebook, twitter @infowetrust, or the contact page.

First Edit

by InfoWeTrust


271 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on Sherrey Meyer, Writer and commented:
    Lately there seems to be a lot of interest in creative productivity. Following closely on the heels of my own post on productivity for writers, I came across this excellent post of collected data on some historical figures from a variety of creative talents. I think you’ll find it interesting.

  2. I love this. I have been using the spiraldex by Kent Oz, (check it out here:, but I like the option of one round circle. I found a new app as well called Owaves. It seems it’s only for iPhone, though. I’m now an Android girl.

  3. THis is excellent and fascinating! I’m touched by the fact that so many of these creatives took walks throughout their day!

  4. On a non – school day (graduating senior, yay!) , I wake up at 8, take my equivalent of an early morning walk (pilates and ballet barre online for 2 hours), take a nice cold shower, eat breakfast at 11, read a novel or an art/Fashion magazine until around 3, work on Web design or photography or poetry until 5:30, have dinner at 6, play Turks board games with mother at 8, then work or watch one of three serials until sleep at 11.

    I am very domesticated, as you can see.