How Some Famous Creatives Worked.

This is a fascinating infographic from Info We Trust regarding the daily habits of some famous creative individuals. I’ve included my own observations based on the data below the image. You can click on the image to see it full-size.

The routines of some famous creative individuals.
The routines of some famous creative individuals.
  • Length of Work: Gustave Flaubert (5.5), Ludwig Beethoven (8), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (12), Thomas Mann (8), Sigmund Freud (12.5), Immanuel Kant (11), Maya Angelou (9), John Milton (8), Honore de Balzac (13.5), Victor Hugo (2), Charles Dickens (5), W.H. Auden (11.5), Charles Darwin (10), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (6), Le Corbusier (8.5), Benjamin Franklin (8).
    • Note that several individuals (4) worked relatively short days – Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Dickens, and Tchaikovsky.
    • Others (6) worked exceptionally long days – Mozart, Freud, Kant, Balzac, Auden, Darwin.
      • Note that Mozart and Kant both spent four hours working at their ‘real work’ – the rest was their ‘desired work.’
      • Freud may have utilized an addiction to cigars to power through the days.1Also, 2.5 hrs. were spent reading – most likely a leisurely activity for Freud in some senses. Similarly, Balzac used up to fifty cups of coffee a day to power through his lengthy work hours. Auden meanwhile utilize a stimulant (benzedrine, similar to amphetamines) to work long hours, crashed hard afterwards with vodka, and slept only with the use of a barbiturate (seconal). Finally, Darwin utilized snuff during the work day, reading makes up two hours of his work day, and solving problems while awake at night in bed consumes another two.
      • Overall, this indicates to me that the individuals in general either required addictive substances to retain focus and allow for the longer creative hours or that they worked in the sense we would consider work less hours, but then were productive in other areas for numerous other hours.
    • Some (6) worked average days – Beethoven, Mann, Angelou, Milton, Le Corbusier, Franklin.
  • Sleep: Flaubert (7), Beethoven (8), Mozart (5), Mann (9), Freud (6), Kant (7), Angelou (7.5), Milton (7), Balzac (8.5), Hugo (8), Dickens (7), Auden (7), Darwin (8), Tchaikovsky (8), Le Corbusier (7), Franklin (7).
    • None of these individuals slept less than 5 hours nightly. Only Mozart and Freud sleep significantly less than 8 hrs.
    • Seven hours per night appears to have been the average (8), though a decent number slept 8 (5).
    • Only two slept more than 8 hrs.
    • Only three napped during the day – none for longer than an 1.5 hours.
  • Exercise: Flaubert (1), Beethoven (2), Mozart (0), Mann (.5), Freud (1), Kant (1), Angelou (0), Milton (4), Balzac (.5), Hugo (2), Dickens (3), Auden (0), Darwin (1.5), Tchaikovsky (2), Le Corbusier (.75), Franklin (0).
    • A significant number did not exercise at all (4).
    • Most seemed to prefer walks (9).
    • A few emphasized strenuous exercise (4).

I hope someone will work on further expanding this data set. This infographic is fascinating – but far too limited to derive significant conclusions about the type of schedule that creatives have utilized historically. For example, I feel that Winston Churchill and JFK would need to be included (both of whom took lengthy afternoon naps), it would be interesting to see more religious individuals (e.g. Calvin, Luther, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa), and also an analysis of the existence (or non-existence) of social relationships (this shows that they ate meals, but not necessarily how much time was spent interacting with family/friends). 

Prayer Keeper Android App – First Release.

The Short Of It

As I share somewhat frequently, prayer is difficult for me. I think this has a lot to do with my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but that is really neither here nor there for the current topic. All you really need to know is that I am always looking for ways to facilitate my prayer life and one of those ways was through a mobile prayer list application that would allow me to keep track of prayer requests, note when and if they were answered, and allow me to record “less important” requests alongside requests I wanted to pray for on a daily basis and not have the latter get lost in vast sea of needs.

Prayer Keeper Detail Page Screenshot
Prayer Keeper Detail Page Screenshot

I couldn’t find one fitting my needs currently available, so I created specifications for the application and contracted Karan Rawat, a programmer from India, to develop the application. Prayer Keeper is the end result. The application was primarily designed for my specific use case and needs, but I’m making it freely available in hopes that others may find it a blessing as well.

Feel free to comment on this post with feedback on the application, feature requests, etc. I’d like to keep the apps development going, though this will be constrained by available resources (namely time and money).

Download

You can get Prayer Keeper through the Google Play Store (for free) here.

Current Features

  • Create a list of individual prayer items.
  • Mark prayers as answered and they are added to an answered list so you can look back and see how God has answered prayers in the past.
  • Mark  prayers as archived if they haven’t been answered but you aren’t still praying for the request and they’ll be moved off your current prayer list to the archives list.
  • Have a prayer item move back to the top of the list every x number of days (no matter how many other items are on the list).
  • Marking a prayer as “Prayed” will move it to the bottom of the list – ensuring you are always praying through the items you haven’t prayed for in a while…or the items you consider really important and want to move back to the top of the list.
  • The ability to export one’s current prayer list and answered prayer list to a CSV file, which can be edited on almost any smart device (e.g. tablet, smartphone, computer, etc.) using a text editor or spreadsheet application.

Future Features

  • Design:
    • New main program icon which will also appear when the application launches.
    • An aesthetically pleasing UI design.
    • A startup splash screen.
    • Move the about information out of settings.
    • Attempt to make UI responsive so auto-fits on various screen sizes.
  • Keep a timestamp of when an item was last prayed for and how many times it has been prayed for.
  • Keep track of how many times items have been prayed for cumulatively.
  • Maintain statistics over time of answered vs. non-answered prayers.
  • Allow for selection of multiple prayer list items and management at one time (e.g. mark as prayed, delete, mark as answered, mark as archived).
  • Allow for long-hold on prayer items to open an options menu to manipulate an individual prayer item rather than needing to go into the detail view.
  • Rename the detail view.
  • Write a web user interface which syncs with mobile app, to allow prayer lists to be utilized and maintain from mobile or web interfaces.

Alternatives

There are a few other prayer list applications out there. Here are a few I’ve stumbled on, in case this one doesn’t meet your needs: