I recently wrote about how I transformed my creative process through the power of a flexible daily routine.
For a few weeks, I experimented by trying out different habits to support my creative exploration, purpose, and well-being.
Through a process of experimentation, I discovered activities that shifted my mindset, helped me feel in alignment, and generally built up my creative confidence. These included journaling, keeping a sketchbook, and hypnotherapy. I started to weave these habits into my every day, and they naturally became things I loved to do. I tried them at different times of the day, and naturally found a rhythm and timing that I’ve stuck with.
I figured out how to weave the essential things into my every day. I could see each action was helping me make progress with the things I care about. I could feel myself becoming a better artist and a more effective coach.
Each day I take action from an authentic place. I’m not waiting for a quiet window or a holiday to feel like myself and experiment with my passions.
My Daily Routine
Morning pages (as described in The Artist’s Way)
Hypnotherapy / guided imagining
Daily sketchbook in watercolour, acrylic, or pencil
Running / yoga / 7-min workout
When I first started to experiment with a daily routine, I was overwhelmed by how long it seemed to take. When I added up the time it took me to do all of the activities, it was coming close to 4 hours. I didn’t understand how I’d be able to do these things AND do my work, my life admin, be social, and everything else.
I was determined to make it work. I’ve been in a period of shifting my mindset from an all-or-nothing way of going about my life. I’ve been weaving my art practice into my every day so that it is fully aligned with my identity. I could see that a routine could help me make the leap. So, if it took 4 hours each day, then so be it.
As I got committed, I also realised there were a few key elements to my routine that had the most impact. I could strip the 4 hours back to an essential mini-routine. This would allow me to do a little bit of the most impactful activities each day.
Instead of writing 3 pages for the morning pages, just 1. Instead of going for a 30 min run, I could do a 7-min workout using a fitness app. When 30 mins of hypnotherapy seemed like a luxury, I could spend 2 minutes looking at positive affirmations saved to my phone.
This brought my routine down to a 20-minute minimum, and 4-hour maximum, with a 2-hour average, which seemed about right and very achievable.
Over the past few months, I’ve identified a few key benefits and outcomes:
A routine provides a framework for my exploration and experimentation, which ultimately has given me more creative freedom.
I have a reminder to do work that is purposeful and meaningful each day, so I keep alignment with my mission and values.
Self-care and spiritual practice is part of my authentic code, and my routine helps support this.
I believe creating a routine is a personal project. There’s a long history of artists and creatively minded people having habits that support their development, and each one seems to be unique to the person, and possibly even the time of their life. I expect my routine to change as I change, and I am looking forward to letting it evolve.
If you are thinking about putting together a daily or weekly routine to help support your creative development and well-being, take a look at the activities listed in my previous blog post Creative Habits and the Power of Small Changes.