Day Job: Franz Kafka

"In 1908, Kafka landed a position at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute in Prague, where he was fortunate to be on the coveted “single shift” system, which meant office hours from 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. Although this was a distinct improvement over his previous job at a different insurance firm, which required long hours and frequent overtime, Kafka still felt stymied; he was living with his family in a cramped apartment, where he could muster the concentration to write only late at night, when everyone else was asleep. As Kafka wrote to Felice Bauer in 1912, “time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.'"

–Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Mason Currey.