I’ve been reading a super helpful book lately (thanks Kent!), The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. Aimed at people who do creative work, Henry talks about the importance of being Brilliant, Prolific and Healthy in your work.
If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process far upstream from when you need the idea. – Todd Henry
One of the ideas that’s hitting home for me is the importance of setting up certain disciplines and rhythms in your life to maximize your creativity. In the busyness of the past year, I started thinking I could get away with staying up late and getting up early, cheating my times of rest in order to tackle a couple more tasks, and generally trying to take on too much. It’s very easy to adopt an “always on” mentality, and it works… for a while.
I once read that when trees get damage or disease in their roots, it can take two years or more before you ever notice the effects of that damage above ground. In the same way, we reap the consequences of today’s actions several years in the future. While we can run on caffeine for a while, eventually we’ll run into the consequences of not taking care of ourselves.
In his book, Henry outlines different rhythms to adopt in order to stay healthy (and brilliant, and prolific), looking at Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, and Hours (oh wait, that spells FRESH!). I’ve found the rhythm of reading the book in and of itself to be helpful as I take time to consider my overall health as it relates to my work and creativity.
Check out accidentalcreative.com for a bunch of podcasts, interviews with cool people, and other resources to help boost your creativity.