Creative people have found incredibly bizarre ways of increasing their productivity. For instance, Steve Jobs reportedly sat on top of toilets, dangling his toes in the water to facilitate the flow of new ideas. Stephen King lived his 9-to-5 as a schoolteacher and his off hours as an author of horror and supernatural fiction. Not all unusual habits of exceptionally creative people are worth copying. However, best-selling author and emotional intelligence guru Dr. Travis Bradberry has identified six underlying truths that remarkably creative people uphold (at least most of the time).
Set your alarm clock early.
While there are outliers to the norm (e.g., Franz Kafka, who loved writing through the night), most creative thinkers are early risers. Ernest Hemingway rose at 5 a.m. every day to have solitary writing time. He said, “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to work and write to warm up.”
If the early wake-up doesn’t come naturally to you, you’re not barred from experiencing the morning’s creative hours. You just have to train. Stick to an early schedule—weekends included—and never nap. Eventually your body will fatigue enough to adjust to your new rhythm.
Consider exercise a requirement, not an option.
If you feel like you’re too swamped with work and life to hit the gym, then it’s exactly the time to go. Exercise gives you the “me” time we all need. It forces you to disconnect from your digital devices and gives you time to reflect on whatever it is that you’re working on. According to a Stanford study, 90% of people were more creative after they worked up a sweat.
Establish a routine and stick to it.
We often notice how our busiest days are our most productive. Sometimes, when a day is left unscheduled, it drifts by without a lot happening. Yet, when you set a schedule, even if it’s a Saturday, you accomplish a lot before bedtime. Psychologist William James has studied the impact of a schedule on creativity. He states that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.” Remember, pressure makes the diamond.
Visit LinkedIn for the complete list of strategies to boost your creative productivity.
Shop more of Dr. Bradberry’s words of wisdom below.
Do you have a knack for getting the most out of your day? Share your productivity tips in the comments!