Portrait of the Artist as a Man
January 11, 2015

Routines of People Way Cooler than Me

Want to develop a better work routine? Discover how some of the world’s greatest minds organized their days.
Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).

The greater part of success is routine. You have to show up and do the work. This is the biggest thing I have learned from the last 6 months of living with a morning protocol.

Before I started Wrestling with Franklin, I changed up my daily routine to something pretty similar to his (5th line above!). I don’t remember if that was intentional but it’s been such a useful thing, especially recently as I am writing more.

This is what my daily routine looks like:

5am: Wake up; Feed the cats; Make coffee.
5:30a: Write, research.
6:30a: Get ready for work.
7-11a: Work.
5:30p: Exercise.
7:30p: Relax.
9p: Review the day.
10p: Zzzzz….

There’s some variability with work - deadlines or meetings or big projects will keep me later which usually means taco’s for dinner so I get an approprite amount of recouperation time.

My weekends look the same though much more flexible. I’ll typically spend the whole morning each day reading and relaxing, make me and Alyska breakfast, before doing some Bunny Rope business stuff or errands for Doomsday(1).

I do sleep in occasionally if I’m having a bad allergy day and didn’t sleep well or to just catch up a little if I’ve been exercising hard and need it.(2) In those cases, I just start my day when I’m up - I got up today, made coffee, and immdiately started writing.

Routine creates space in your day to accomplish specific things. The more you do a thing the easier it becomes. You build muscle to lift that weight, create neural pathways to remember that language. Its evolutionary - respond to new stimulus or die.

When you create routine for creative work, you’re body contours itself to that purpose. You build a creative habit which gets strong the more you use it.

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<a data-preserve-html-node=“true” name=“3Source” <=“” a=“”>I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.
- Peter DeVries.(3)

  1. As an aside: I wonder about my industriousness. I feel like I spend waaaaay too much time in the internet when I could be researching. I see valie on a little brainless time but I feel like reading on topics for projects should be more satisfying if not more pleasurable. More on this later when I get to the week on Industry. Probably. ↩︎

  2. Slept until 9 today, in fact, because of a party last night. It was glorious until the cats went crazy because I didn’t feed them… ↩︎

  3. This quote has been attributed to Peter de Vries, William Faulkner, Somerset Maugham, and Raymond Chandler. There’s a little investigation available here. ↩︎


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