Gunshot Alarms and 50 Cups of Coffee: Bizarre Habits of History’s Most Brilliant People

Want to fashion your daily routine after Mozart? Freud? Or Maya Angelou? Now you can. The data gurus over at Info We Trust have assembled a visual mapping of Mason Currey's book Daily Rituals, charting behavioral patterns of history's most brilliant people. The infographic shows how masterminds from Honoré de Balzac to Benjamin Franklin structured their days for optimal productivity and efficiency.

It's a fascinating examination into these men and women's lives. Some of the more curious behaviors we noticed:

• Honoré de Balzac would sometimes drink as many as 50 cups of coffee to power his 13+ hour workdays.
• Victor Hugo's daily alarm clock was a gunshot delivered from a nearby fort.
• Maya Angelou used to commute from home to different hotels and motels, where she would spend 8 hours writing.
• Of the 16 individuals shown in the infographic, only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart got fewer than 6 hours of sleep in a night. On average, the composer clocked in 5 hours.
• Sigmund Freud dedicated one hour each day to "walking around Vienna's Ringstrasse at terrific speed."
• John Milton, who went blind in his 40s, spent 3 hours dictating to his aide, and another 4 pacing up and down his garden.

And then there is Benjamin Franklin. This guy is in a class all his own. He rose each day and dedicated his time to "Powerful Goodness," asking himself each morning, "What good can I do today?" The remaining 17 hours were filled with work, dining, music, and personal examination. Franklin is officially our daily routine hero.

Photos: Creative Commons
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