a thought on how routine (and changing it up) affects creativity
This is my new morning spot. I’ve never before been into yoga or even morning stretches. I usually spend my workday mornings getting ready for work. If I have a few minutes, I’m trying to write, or at least checking into my social media.
Weekend mornings are generally split one day being chores and the other set aside for creativity: getting blog posts ready for the coming week or month, or working on a bit of a story in progress.
At least that was my routine. With the stay-at-home orders due to the Corona virus pandemic, I’m now teaching from home Monday through Friday, meaning I have no commute and thus, extra time. I am getting in a cup of tea and some writing, not quite the “every day” so many writing gurus propose, but at least more.
I’m quite comfortable being a “homebody” but sitting in front of my computer all day has been wearing. I was feeling lethargic, stagnant. So I sat out the other day at my new, bigger deck’s table. Sunshine brightened my outlook considerably. The next day I sat out with my laptop in my lap at lunchtime. Nice. But the deck is wood, hard, and made my lower back twinge, cutting short that interlude. So to the store I went. Now this 5mm yoga mat (in my favorite colors — the other side is pink) gives me enough padding that my back doesn’t complain.
This morning I selected a yoga playlist on Pandora and stretched for about 25 minutes, clearing my mind and focusing on breath and body. It felt pretty good, so I’ll do it again.
I think the morning’s rumination has presented one more strategy that will serve my creativity, too. Routine is well and good, very desirable, for productivity. However, changing up that routine, adding unique moments or subtracting what has come to feel stale, is also important to creativity. I used to switch from writing on the computer to writing with pen and paper (or vice versa) when stuck. Now I know that paying attention to my body and mind is another change-up I can do to refresh myself.
Only took me half a century and a pandemic to figure that out. Guess I’m kinda slow, but at least I’m always open to learning.