Building a rock-solid routine

05.28.2013

As a creative director—just a creative person in general—I've had a lot of trouble lately producing work that I feel is up-to my acceptable level of quality. I feel like I haven't "created" anything for a long time.

As a creative director—just a creative person in general—I've had a lot of trouble lately producing work that I feel is up-to my acceptable level of quality. I feel like I haven't "created" anything for a long time.

Today I started reading "Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind" by Scott Belsky, founder of Behance. After the first chapter I have a renewed motivation and hopes that I have not permanently lost my creativity.

As a way of recapping each chapter, mostly for myself, I will be writing a short blog post highlighting each section of the chapter with a brief snippit of my take away.

Chapter One: Building a Rock-Solid Routine

Laying the ground work for an effective routine
The absolute best quote from this section is "creative work first, reactive work second". The key to getting creative work done is to focus on it first. Spend the best part of the day on creative work and push other people's priorities to the afternoon. If you jump into emails in hopes of "clearing the decks" before getting started on your own work you will never get to it.

Harness the power of frequency
Frequency makes starting easier, keeps ideas fresh, keeps the pressure off, sparks creativity and fosters productivity. Routine.

Honing your creative practice
In order to succeed the way you want to, you must have a strategy. For creatives the strategy is to have a practice—regularly and reliably do work in a habitual way. "...lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become a professional if you do it when you don't feel like it. And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby" - Seth Godin

Building renewal into your workday
When you're tired you put off the important, more complex challenging tasks, AKA creative work, and try to knock out the simple mundane items. By the end of the day you usually don't have the energy or motivation to get to creative work. It's an endless cycle. You need the right amount of rest. "...sleep is more important than food. You can go a week without eating and the only thing you'll lose is weight. Give up sleep for even a couple of days and you'll become completely dysfunctional."

Making room for solitude
You have to make solitude an essential part of your daily routine. If you can't create solitude at home or at the office find someplace you can like a park. Learn to meditate and practice being alone and doing nothing except what you're doing—nothing.

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