As we well know, it’s that time of the year again. You know, the time of the year in which we are invited to think about all we are thankful for (not that we shouldn’t do this everyday). Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful daily for my talents and all that I have, and those in my life. But for some reason, every year around this time I think about the things I wish I would’ve done more often, energy or time that I wish I would’ve put into something that I didn’t. Skills that I neglected to develop. And the list goes on. But you get the point.
Just yesterday, Forbes released an article highlighting six unusual habits of exceptionally creative people. Not entirely to my surprise, every habit on this list can be applied to each and every one of us in some way or another. This can only mean one thing … we can all be exceptionally creative, which in turn, is certainly something to be thankful for.
Waking up early. While not every creative genius is what you might call a morning person by nature, studies have shown that a vast majority of creative minds are in fact early risers. The article highlights an Ernest Hemingway quote that is incredibly suitable, regarding waking up at the crack of dawn … “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
Exercise frequently. There’s no real surprise that feeling physically good can get you all jazzed up and ready to be productive and focused. Whether it’s a daily stroll, or something a bit more strenuous such as swimming, running or even push-ups and sit-ups, a Stanford study has shown that “90% of people were more creative after they exercised.”
Stick to a strict schedule. While it may seem as though being creative requires structureless and spontaneous days, it is quite the opposite. According to Forbes, “most creative minds schedule their days rigorously.” Apparently, by having a structured day, we are more likely and able to “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action,” as stated by Psychologist William James.
Keep your day job. While we don’t always like hearing that phrase, it usually always ends up being the most sensible thing. Not only do “day jobs provide more than the much-needed financial security to create freely. They add structure to your day that can make your creative time a wonderful release.”
Learn to work anywhere, anytime. While many people work in one solitary place, a change of scenery or environment is extremely linked to productivity and creativity. Needless to say, there will never be an ideal time or place to work on what you’re trying to accomplish, so “When you have a creative idea, don’t wait—put it into action as soon as you can.”
Learn that creative blocks are just procrastination. It’s too easy to simply tell ourselves that we can’t complete a project or assignment because we have “writer’s block.” According to Forbes, writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. Subconsciously, we already knew that. (Insert wink-face emoticon). The only full-proof way to stay creative is to keep moving forward.
Even though all of these habitual practices are so plain and simple, it just goes to show how plain and simple being creative can be. We might not all be Benjamin Franklins, but we are our own individual selves, and we must be thankful for that fact alone. How creatively productive we are, on the other hand, is up to us. And yet, being able to acknowledge what we are capable of accomplishing is certainly something to be thankful for as well.