It has been noted that Planck followed a strict schedule and according historian J. L. Heilbron was an “economist with his time”. He’d wake up at exactly 8 am, have his breakfast, then go to work. During term, he’d write and lecture in the morning, have lunch, rest, play the piano, walk, then deal with his correspondence.
After World War I, Planck in an effort to push scientists to continue their research famously used to say “persevere and continue working”.
Planck was a talented musician and often hosted parties for professors and musicians in which he’d often perform with other guests. Planck also enjoyed mountain climbing and continued to climb well into his 80's.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. 1 2 3
Sigmund Freud woke up at 7 am, ate breakfast and then each morning he had his barber visit his residence to trim and groom his beard. His wife, Martha Freud, prepared his attire for the day and would even place toothpaste on his toothbrush for him. Freud started to see patients at 8 am and finished around noon.
His main meal of the day was served at 1 pm, Freud was not fond of gourmet meals therefore did not eat wine or chicken. Instead, he preferred boiled or roast beef. The father of psychoanalysis did not engage in much small talk around the table, a habit which is said to have made his guests quite uncomfortable at times. Following the meal, Freud took a vigorous walk around Vienna’s Ringstrasse and would regularly stop to buy cigars and deliver or collect papers to his publisher.
Work recommenced with consultations at 3 pm and afterwards, Freud saw more patients usually lasting until 9 pm. In the evenings, Freud ate supper with his family, followed by card games with his sister in law. He was later accompanied on an evening walk by his wife or daughters and occasionally dropped by the café to read the newspaper.
During the late evenings and night, Freud headed to his study and was engrossed in reading, writing or revision of psychoanalytical journal submissions. He would stay working until 1 am or sometimes even later.
Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees since she first went to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania in 1960. 1 2 3
In the period of her life when she studied chimpanzees, Jane Goodall woke up before sunrise at 5:30 am and set out into the rainforest to locate the chimps she was studying. She’d usually climb to the location where the chimps slept at night. Jane then spent the day following, observing and studying the chimps.
Nowadays, Goodall spends most of the year on the road therefore all her days are different but normally she still wakes up early and aims to start work by 6:30 am. The British primatologist typically begins the day by checking her emails, dealing with her correspondence and completing any writing that’s due. Breakfast is light, just some toast and a coffee.
Jane doesn’t have very much time for leisure, she was quoted in a recent interview “I’ve got no time for hobbies. What is a weekend? It doesn’t exist. What is a holiday? It doesn’t exist.” However, when at home she spends the evenings with her sister and her family. And when possible, she’d take the dog for a walk.
To help her to sleep at night, Jane listens to audio books.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, known as Leonardo da Vinci, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography. 1 2
Leonardo da Vinci notoriously did not follow regular sleeping patterns. Instead, he only slept for 20 minutes every four hours or two hours in every 24. Therefore, he had no set beginning or end to his day. Leonardo ensured he always had time to incorporate journaling in his day. He used this habit to note down ideas, doodles and observations of the world. These notes could be rather detailed and cover several different aspects of his life.
Leonardo also practiced self-affirmation to extinguish any self-doubt he may be feeling or provide him with courage in challenge circumstance. Some example of phrases he would note down include: “Obstacles do not bend me.”, “I shall continue” and “Every obstacle is destroyed through rigor.”.
Finally, Leonardo had a deep interest in the human body and took his own well-being seriously. He was extremely athletic as he knew that only maintaining a fit physiological state could bestow a healthy mind.
Darwin’s day started at 7 am and was followed by a short walk. At 07:45 am, he would take a solitary breakfast and then work in his study from 8 am to 10:30 am which he considered his best hours. In the drawing room between 9:30 am and 10:30 am, Darwin would read his own letters as well as read aloud family letters. Later, Darwin would return to his study to work until noon.
At midday, typically alone or sometimes accompanied by a dog, Darwin would visit the greenhouse before taking a walk around a gravel track near his home called the ‘sandwalk’– he called this his thinking path. Lunchtime was usually at 12:45 pm and spent it with the whole family. After lunch, he would read The Times newspaper and respond to his correspondence. From 3 pm to 4 pm, he would rest in his bedroom sofa and smoke tobacco while listening to his wife, Emma Darwin, read light literature. The remainder of the afternoon, 4 pm to 5:30 pm, was spent walking, working and clearing up the day’s business.
From 6 pm, Darwin rested again in his bedroom and listened to his wife reading aloud. The family dined around 7:45 pm while Darwin had high tea. His after-dinner routine varied, if he wasn’t hosting any guests, he played a couple games of backgammon with Emma, followed by readings, listening to her play the piano and then more readings aloud. In his latter years, Darwin retired to the drawing room to join the women and never stayed with the dining room with the men.
Darwin normally left the drawing room by around 10:30 pm and headed to bed, but usually suffered for a poor night's sleep.