One of my previous blog posts on creativity was inspired by Twyla Tharp more than anyone else. I have been following and reading books of tons of successful people and testing everything systematically in my life to create meaningful impact and what she calls the Creative Habit has helped me more than anything else is because it so closely falls in line with Behavioral Design. What has helped me on my journey towards improving my “FOCUS” on much needed areas like
- My Health
- My Learning Projects
- My Travels
- My Research
- My Work
has been taking every area as a potential area of growth and automating all my decisions that I need to take which are so trivial every single day.
Let me explain it better by taking Twyla Tharp’s example itself. She describes her morning routine of rising early and going through the same morning rituals; same coffee, same bun. She puts on the same leotards, goes down the same elevator to the same street corner, puts her arm up in the air and gets into the first cab that comes along. By the time she gets to the studio she has made no significant decisions. Stepping out onto the dance floor, her dancers await. It’s eight in the morning and her first decision is yet to come. It will be a creative one.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Every successful person if one observes carefully can notice that they never ever “sweat the small stuff”.
Everything that they do, the little things are so ingrained in their lifestyle that it has become second nature. They don’t even need to think about it as they have important decisions to make later. Now, what can we learn from this? I’m not asking to you become and act like a automaton. No! What small choice like these can we eliminate in our daily lives that will enable us to lead a life with more ease. Of-course personally, I have cheat days in the week for myself so that in the weekends I can gorge “GUILT-FREE” on non-vegetarian dishes as much as I want. This is a commitment I made towards my health. I follow a Vegetarian diet in the week and have 2 cheat days to snack on 1 solid meal guilt-free on the weekends which server as “SMALL WINS” for myself. 😀
Fact is, our lives are so filled with impedimentary drama and ancillary decision-making that there is little time left over for work.
Designing some days of our lives in this way is so much more helpful than letting ourselves fret over the small things. What a relief! Again, this practice enabled me to have more space with myself and get my creative mode on and focus better. Most of us don’t have the responsibility of running the largest economy in the world, or even the talent and production needs of one of the world’s best-known dance studios.Just as my job is easier than Twyla’s or the president’s, my routine is simpler too. I don’t get in a car to go to work, and I don’t wear a suit.
The whole time I have something else in front of or next to me: the real task for the day. The real task is often a blog post other than my day job, or something else. Hopefully, before too much time goes by in the morning, I’ll have switched over to that task and made it my focus. I think it’s good to break up your routine from time to time. But not everything should be a surprise.
If you want to get something done, especially creative work that requires focus, you need to reduce the other decisions you make.
When you know what you’re going to wear the next day, what you’re going to have for breakfast, and what steps you’ll need to take to get started on your work, you’ll be much less likely to get sidetracked by making these decisions in the morning. You’ll begin the day ready to pound things out, and then you can make some real decisions.
How do you begin your morning? Any new habits that you are taking away? Let me know.
PS: “We cannot directly choose our circumstances, but we can choose our thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, we shape our circumstances.”