In “Rise and shine: the daily routines of history’s most creative minds,” Oliver Burkeman shares six patterns that emerge from the lives of successfully creative individuals. Here are some of my favorite excerpts (emphases added):

  • Limited time focuses the mind, and the self-discipline required to show up for a job seeps back into the processes of art.”
  • “There’s no shortage of evidence to suggest that walking – especially walking in natural settings, or just lingering amid greenery, even if you don’t actually walk much – is associated with increased productivity and proficiency at creative tasks.”
  • “Only by rendering many aspects of daily life automatic and habitual, [William James] argued, could we ‘free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action’…. Subsequent findings about ‘cognitive bandwidth’ and the limitations of willpower have largely substantiated James’s hunch: if you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
  • “It’s been suggested that the benefits of caffeine, in terms of heightened focus, might be offset by a decrease in proficiency at more imaginative tasks. But if that’s true, it’s a lesson creative types have been ignoring for ever.” Read More

Walking

How many of these patterns ring true for you?

Photo credit: Mihai Tamasila