My migraine decided to stick around so I’ve moving very slowly today. I did get up at my regular time and paint this morning though. I’ve established a very comforting routine in the morning and it is the time I seem to be most productive.
I was thinking about this when I ran across this article on Flipboard, in 99% Productivity Insights for Creatives – “How Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic” by Mark McGuiness.
Here is how Mark says routine helps with creativity:
By repeating the same routine every day, all these creators are effectively hypnotizing themselves, deliberately altering their state of consciousness in order to access the “deeper state of mind” that allows them to work their creative magic. The different elements of the routine become associated with this creative state of mind, so that they can re-enter it by simply repeating the steps of the routine.
If you want to develop your ability to enter the creative zone at will, you should know that there are three conditions for a really effective hypnotic trigger:
Uniqueness – it should be something (or a combination of things) you don’t associate with other activities, otherwise the effect will be diluted.
Emotional intensity – the kind you experience when you’re really immersed in creative work.
Repetition – the more times you experience the unique trigger in association with the emotions, the stronger the association becomes.
So to fine-tune your daily routine for maximum creative magic, make sure the key triggers have these qualities. For example you might want to save a particular album for listening to while you work, or be careful not to use the same notepad for sketching ideas as for your to-do list. And when you have a particularly good day, make a note of something in your routine for that day, that you can associate with the emotional state – and use the same trigger the rest of the week.
My morning routine is pretty simple. I get up, shower and get dressed for work and then I head to the kitchen with the cat. I play with him for a few minutes (I try to tire him out by having him chase the red dot from the laser pointer around) and then I turn on the radio and make a cup of tea.
I get my paints out of the freezer (see previous post on that) and check my email and take a quick browse through Facebook and Twitter while the paint warms up. Then I get out the brushes and paint. I spend anywhere between 30 to 75 minutes painting depending on what time I get up. Then I have some breakfast, pack up the paints, clean my brushes and head to the office.
Do you have routines? How do they help your creativity?