“A sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. Performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.”
James Clear, author of the book “Atomic Habits,” says: “Creativity is a process, not an event. It’s not just a eureka moment…You have to commit to practicing your craft deliberately. And you have to stick with the process for years, perhaps even decades like Newton did, in order to see your creative genius blossom.”
I’ve been creating contemporary circus since 1995… It has always been my feeling that I am simply doing my job. Daily, as other people go to the office, a factory, or a shop, I go to the studio, the circus tent, or wherever I practice my art and creativity. People think ‘circus artist’ is a unique profession, but it isn’t in the sense that we do a regular day’s work just like everyone else. It’s been like that when I was performing, teaching, managing a company, or artistically directing a festival.
Routines can be fun, and if you only realized what they could do for you, you would probably wonder why you didn’t create them yet, if you didn’t, that is.
Here are some of the health benefits:
* Routines lead to improved mental health and better stress levels, more relaxation time, and less anxiety.
* Conducive to better sleep, a routine sleep schedule affects mental sharpness, emotional well-being, and energy levels that directly influence your creative and performative capacities
* Keeping a daily work routine and sticking to it demonstrates the positive effects on productivity, health, motivation, and self-esteem.
Routines are conducive to outbursts of creativity. This is how it feels for me when that happens:
An opening in the mind, a place where new ideas come from and establish themselves in the consciousness, begging me to write them down, to be the instrument of their realization.
It’s exciting. It undermines everything; it becomes the most important thing at that moment.
It brings me back to myself in a way that nothing else does.
It’s an exercise in openness and flexibility, the love of life, and who we are as human beings.
It gives me energy, propels me forward, and tells me where to go and what the next steps are.
It grows as I put my mind and heart to it.
It comes, and then I receive a little bit, and then it comes again, and then I have to write or record myself speaking while walking in nature, where it often happens. (part of my daily routine – walking in nature)
It’s like I’m a petri dish, and everything is growing within me so the world can see the sprouts of this creative burst when I will finally decide in what form to present them.
Elizabeth Gilbert quotes Tom Waits speaking to a song in a moment of inspiration like this, in the middle of the highway: “Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving? If you’re serious about wanting to exist, come back and see me in the studio. I spend six hours a day there, you know where to find me, at my piano. Otherwise, go bother somebody else. Go bother Leonard Cohen.”
He sent that song to his daily routine at the piano.
It’s all about very simply showing up. Show up daily for your work. Find out what works best for you, when are you most productive, and when is the best time to eat, read, walk out in nature, brainstorm, and meet others… You know best!
Experiment a little and choose your routines well; your life and livelihood depend on them.
If this speaks to you – share it.
Your comments are welcome, and if you are a creative leader or want to be one,