Learning to establish a routine to make space for creative inspiration while avoiding creative burnout.
I am a self-declared morning person. I love getting out the door with running shoes on, scaling the hills as the sun rises over the hills in the distance, illuminating the barges on the bay, and trickling up the top of Bernal Hill where I meet it. Then it’s back down to get moving on my daily to-do’s. I find that starting early is the best way for me to give my mind a chance to wake up and think freely before committing itself to the day’s tasks.
Though there are certainly other creative thinkers that prefer to start their days on a different note. Take for example, Benjamin Franklin who liked to enjoy an “air bath” each morning, in which he sat around naked, whatever the weather. Or looking to a more recent example at Airbnb’s CMO, Jonathan Mildenhall, who makes it known that he not be disturbed by any form of communication between the hours of 6-8am, as it is his time to focus and build his spirits for the daily grind. Whatever the case, people are creatures of habit, yet some habits seem to allow room for more creative inspiration, fueling creativity.
Cooper recently wrote about “The Creative Habit” in their online journal, giving praise to the establishing a predictable pattern to your day. They wrote that a “deliberate workflow helps eliminate stress, increase focus, and allow your brain to think creatively.” I agree with this sentiment, though fear a lifestyle that is too structured, resulting in a robotic movement through the motions each day. As with anything, it appears the best solution is a healthy balance: create a structure for your day, but also commit to trying something new each week. I’ve often heard the best way to stay inspired is to try something new, anything new, whether that be trying out a new way to work or a experimenting with a new recipe.
As I move forward in establishing my daily pattern, I’d like to commit to trying at least one new thing a week, challenging my skills and inviting potentially uncomfortable situations. I’d invite you to take the challenge as well.