Charles Dickens was one of the greatest writers in history but also was very obsessive. He hated having even a single hair out of place, so the writer kept his comb nearby and ran it through his hair hundreds of times a day.
Every day before he began work, Benjamin Franklin essentially used to lie in his bathtub naked in a practice that could be seen as “air baths.”
Leonardo da Vinci did not believe in a regular sleep cycle and instead opted for the polyphasic cycle, which means he took multiple short naps throughout the day.
Nikola Tesla also had a strange sleeping pattern, and really only rested two hours a day. He also curled his toes 100 times per foot every evening before going to bed because he thought it boosted his brain cells.
Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu could be the greatest inventor in history. He patented patented the floppy disk in 1952 and also more than 3,300 inventions total during his lifetime.
Many of his greatest ideas hit him when he was close to drowning as he believed starving the brain of oxygen had many mental benefits. He also believed in brainstorming in a room with 24-karat gold as it would block out television and radio waves that hurt the brain of creativity.
Thomas Edison made his associates pass rigorous interviews to work with him. The inventor made them eat a bowl of soup while he watched, and if they applied salt to the soup before tasting it he automatically dismissed them. The test aimed to see who among the candidates have too many assumptions.
Greek mathematician Pythagoras had a totally meatless diet, but he refused to eat beans and even forbade his followers from ingesting or touching them. A popular belief is that Pythagoras even refused to escape through a bean field when attackers ambushed him and eventually killed him.
Anthony Trollope was a prolific writer, but strangely enough, he timed his writing. He only wrote for three hours a day and was able to produce 250 words every 15 minutes, meaning he’d end the day at 3,000 words. If he finished the book he was writing before the three hours he would still continue writing.
Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright that had up to 50 cups of coffee a day. It might have helped his productivity but he also suffered from stomach cramps, headaches, and high blood pressure.
Friedrich Nietzsche liked to work standing up and he criticized a colleague once for lounging or sitting when he worked.
Beethoven always kept a tub of water on hand because his process of writing was a bit strange. He used to write in between visits to his washstand including writing and then pouring water all over himself and the floor and then continuing to write when done.
Albert Einstein was a bit of a strange guy, and his chauffeur said that, among many other weird occurrences, would take his violin along on birdwatching treks, playing music with tears streaming down his face.
Demosthenes was a well respected ancient Greek statesman and gave many prominent speeches. He often rehearsed these speeches underground for long periods of time and even practiced the speeches with stones in his mouth.
Despite having access to more advanced writing material, Edgar Allan Poe wrote on thin pieces of paper and then pieced them together to make scrolls for easier storage and he thought it helped with productivity.
Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky stood on his head for 15 minutes each morning to clear his head.