As a creative entrepreneur, something that I rely on is creative inspiration on a continuous basis. And something that I am deathly afraid of is burnout. So how do we keep both of these elements that are so conjugal to the entrepreneurs life in a place of effective harmony? One simple answer: Routine.
But ask any creative and one the number one things they postulate to despise the most is routine. Most creatives and entrepreneurs say things like “I like to do something different, something new every single day. Having routine bores me!” Yet, secretly, we crave it.
Secretly, we wish that someone (obviously not us) would help us create some processes and routines into our daily lives. We quietly recognize that developing processes gives our entrepreneurial spirit the space, time and freedom to actually indulge in the creative process which often involves DOING NOTHING. Even Albert Einstein said “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.”
This is where creative entrepreneurs sometimes feel like we are being lazy. Living in a world that’s running on adrenalin, where everyone is doing, doing, doing; DOING NOTHING almost feels like a crime. Yet it’s an essential part of the creative process. How often have you had a fantastic idea while dozing, in the shower, going for a walk or run? Oftentimes, it’s in the time and space that happens around the actual “work” in which creativity thrives.
And in order to have that DOING NOTHING time and space in our lives, we need one element that does feels foreign to the creatives’ nature: processes and routine. This means that all the boring yet essential things that need to be done get done, within the daily realms of our existence, leaving plenty of time to just be. To just be, ponder life and allow that creativity to arise from within.
Instead of feeling scattered and lazy, mixed with moments of panicked work resolving those daily concerns, followed by questionable moments of inspired creativity, our secret desire for routine allows us to take time to actually be the creatives that we are born to be. It’s those regular, unvarying, unimaginative things that create space for creativity to flourish.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering how the hell you create a process or routine for the daily tasks that need to get done, without falling off your home office / sofa without yawns of boredom. This is what a very talented photographer once taught me:
1. Take a sheet of paper and write down all the main tasks that you complete each day.
2. Cross out the tasks that have the least impact on your business on a daily basis until you have only 5 tasks left.
3. Schedule those 5 tasks into your daily calendar or to-do list.
4. Pass the rest of the tasks onto someone else, or schedule to do them only once per week.
Remember to keep this task as simple and easy as possible, otherwise your inner creative may loudly groan and force you to leave this little process to create more routine and thereby more space to do what you love and be creative behind, before you can blink.