Karl Marx’s seven habits of highly effective people?

Via Ken Opalo and Stéphane Helleringer this reportedly from a Prussian spy who visited Karl Marx in the 1850s:

In private life he is an extremely disorderly, cynical human being, and a bad host. He leads the existence of a real bohemian intellectual. Washing, grooming and changing his linen are things he does rarely, and he likes to get drunk. Though he is often idle for days on end, he will work day and night with tireless endurance when he has a great deal of work to do. He has no fixed times for going to sleep and waking up. He often stays up all night, and then lies down fully clothed on the sofa at midday and sleeps till evening, untroubled by the comings and goings of the whole world.

This sounds somewhat like me before children, and like a surprising number of my mostly childless (and most productive) colleagues. then again it also sounds like people I know who only play video games. So maybe the causal link to academic productivity is weak.

And from @kjhealy, a 32-tear old Karl Marx and family, recorded in Soho by the 1851 UK census as “Charles Mark—Doctor, Philosophical Author:


And speaking of productivity, this is kind of incredible.

Hat tips to Suresh Naidu and @MaxCRoser.

18 thoughts on “Karl Marx’s seven habits of highly effective people?

  1. Marx sounds a lot like Thomas Edison. Edison was famous for never sleeping more then a couple of hours. This was because he took naps all the time; when he got tired he sacked out, when he had a lot of work to do, he kept doing it then went to sleep. There’s a dissertation in there somewhere.