How to Start Your Day Right: Creativity, Productivity, and the Morning Routine

Jacob Stimpson

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It seems to be the norm these days: I wish I had time to write more.

I found two recent posts extremely insightful and interesting. The first came from Good Design, and explores the idea that creative types need different outlets for their creativity.

I don’t know that it’s exclusive to those who are creative, but regardless the major point is very true: I need different ways to express my creativity. Sometimes I’ll just create a logo for somebody for free because I need to get away from building websites or even designing them. Sometimes I just have an itch to write, because I’ve been doing too much design. Sometimes I need to run, hike, or go shooting, because there’s creativity involved in all, and it gets me away from the norm of my days. My latest favorite creative outlet is telling stories. Like my Dad did for me when I was young, I tell Colter stories before naps and/or bedtime. He loves them. He’s always asking for a “cowboy Bill story” or a “bear story.” I enjoy it too, it’s a great creative outlet for me, even though the stories are often very simple.

The other post was sorta re-posted on Lifehacker, and reminded me of a quote by Og Mandino:

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

The article talked about how much more effective the author was when he started the day by writing some or creating something. On days where he started that way, rather than perusing his inbox, or checking up on friend’s status updates on The Facebook, he found he was many times more effective throughout the day. Even if the day included some of those kinds of distractions and breaks.

The first article is something I want to try and recognize better and make sure that I “shift gears” creatively so that I’m better at my creativity. The 2nd article reminded me of something I already knew, but need to focus on more: starting the day off by producing something. That’ll make me more focused and all around better at what I do.

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