Charles Darwin spent most of his day chilling out


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Charles Darwin spent most of his day chilling out



The afternoon schedule doesn’t break down quite this easily because it sounds like it varied, but he spent about four and a half hours a day on various types of work.

9:30-10:30-Reading/replying to correspondence
12:00-4:00-Walking, napping

It’s a shame we consider that “slacking” and for the lower classes even then it would have been a pretty light schedule, but still not surprising that he could get so much done.


Different people have different work styles. Some writers mull over paragraphs, self-edit, rewrite over and over, and spend all day reworking sections, and thus will spend literally years on a single book. From the sound of things, Darwin would have breakfast & coffee, then write nonstop for 1.5 hrs, take an hour break (while still being productive), then do another 1.5 solid hours of work. After some serious rest and chilling out, he’d do another 1.5 hrs of nonstop work. And he was super productive and focused during those brief periods.

Honestly, sounds like my work schedule – broken up with walking the dog, doing errands, going to the store for food, cleaning, writing emails, bills, or posting a short ramble about Darwin on the BBS.


Yeah i think calling it slacking makes it seem like he was procrastinating and not spending a lot of time working. He was a man of means so he was able to afford to set his own schedule for the most part, which is not too different from people working from home these days. It takes discipline to do so but the upside is that you can break up your working time more effectively by taking naps or going out and not burning out.


Reading and writing might be part of work as well, if they’re work-related.

Still, four to six hours of focused work are going to be more productive than 8+ hours of marking time, no question.


I expected this article to be about marijuana. I am disappointed in Boing Boing :wink:


In an odd bit of coincidence, I’m friends with one of Darwin’s direct decedents, who somehow along the way made themselves the curator of Darwin’s physical image. The upshot is that any time someone wants to use a licensed photo of Darwin, they’re the ones to approve it, and they get a small cut of the license fees. So they now have a lifestyle very much like Darwin, spent writing books and teaching classes in between lots and lots of travel to adventurous places.


I consider creative loafing and being an idler to be essential components of my daily productivity. I worked in more structured traditional corporate environments earlier in my career but would probably throw myself from a cliff if I had to go back to that.


Interesting. Aren’t all photos of Darwin in the public domain now? Why would they have to be licensed?


A great deal are (such as the one on this article, I’m sure) but there’s others that are apparently considered property of the family, and can only be used by request. To be totally honest it was confusing to me, as well, but that’s how the man makes a chunk of his living. When he’s not on the news talking about how awesome cicadas are, that is.


Cicadas are awesome though :smiley:


If somebody knows his direct, personal email, it might a good idea to forward the article and this comment to G.R.R. Martin…


He’s who I had in mind in my link above :slight_smile:

GRRM’s recent conversation with Stephen King was illuminating. Martin seemed genuinely frustrated and confused in regards to King’s prolific output, saying that he sometimes barely got through a single page per day, while King puts out chapters.


His image may be trademarked, like those of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, in which case you’re free to use the photos noncommercially but have to license them if you’re using them in anything you intend to sell.


King is pretty open about his method, he even describes it as verbal diarrhea. I’ve read enough of his books to agree with it, sometimes his stuff reads as stream of consciousness. It works for some books, not so much for others. It works for him but not all authors approach their craft the same way… Though would be nice for GRRM to hurry the hell up


step 1: Already be wealthy
step 2: …
step 3: Profit

Sounds like a good plan


This worked out well for Darwin right up to the point when a pair of gentleman of low repute attempted to create a disturbance in his local environment. A brief fracas followed and due to that, his was left with no choice but follow the instructions of his frightened mother and relocate to live with his mother’s sister and her husband.


As an observational life scientist his time walking can certainly be classified as work.


On the playground was where he spent most of his days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all, shooting some b-ball outside of the school