Imagine your life as a water system...
A routine likened to the walls of the stream which keeps the water from pooling into shapelessness and helps orchestrate the direction of flow. Instead of it being something that we follow religiously and unconditionally to the point of it dictating our lives, a routine can simply be a structural foundation, a gentle nudge in the right direction.
In sharing with you my weekly creative routine today, I hope that it inspires you to view routine in a new way and see the value of integrating creativity into our everyday systems. And if you think that having a routine will somehow make life predictable and less spontaneous, I’d respectfully disagree. Personally, having these weekly rituals in place means that the stress of uncertainty goes away — I worry less about a crazy busy schedule or not knowing how to tackle a day. Instead, it actually instills a sense of purpose/intentionality in our mundane tasks and creates room for excitement and adventure in between.
The Power of Brainstorm
benefits: discovering new or hidden ideas and quieting our inner chatter 💭
At the start of the week, I like to spend a few hours brainstorming to shake up those creative muscles and flush out the thoughts that are taking up mental real estate. As a visual thinker, much of my ideation takes shape in my sketchbook as broken up thoughts, doodles, and indecipherable scratches. To you, this could look like journaling whatever comes to mind, going on a meditative walk, or even speaking your thoughts out loud!
The power of brainstorming exists in the act of slowing down. With the heightened pace of a social media-driven world, we hardly ever get to even think about what we’re doing before we do it. Making art to fulfill a certain number eventually leads to it feeling like a chore when we really should be focusing on the process of making meaningful art, even if it takes more time.
Benefits: refreshing and reenergizing your mind ✨
Ever heard the saying you can’t pour from an empty cup? Whether it’s writing a book or working on a deadline, seeking out inspiration means taking a mental check, a step off the train and into stillness. The activity you do is rather secondary, it can range anything from visiting an art gallery to browsing around an old book shop.
A tip I’ve really been loving is to try and take more pictures of mundane things. This isn’t to encourage dropping out of the present moment, but rather something you can do to see even the most ordinary things as beautiful and worth documenting.
Benefits: consistency and growth in your creative practice 🎨
Creative hour is something I came up with after realizing that I was spending way too much time thinking about creating something and sitting in a pool of ideas rather than actualizing any of them. If you have a tendency to procrastinate like I do, intentionally scheduling in an hour to create away from distractions is a great way to implement creativity into your weekly routine.
How you spend the hour is up to you, though the key is to stay focused the entire time to achieve the best results. A trick I swear by is to start by setting a timer, turn your notifications off, and watch how your brain instantly switches into focus mode! Once you immerse yourself in a state of deep creative flow, you might find yourself at your desk for much longer than intended!
Learn Something New
Benefits: growing your intellect and becoming a champ 🧠
Committing yourself to learning new things consistently can yield incredible results over time, similar to how a student might be better off studying an hour every day for a week vs. cramming for 7 hours straight. This practice is a rather new addition to my routine, though the idea of doing something that you’re actually excited about not only makes you more intelligent, but can also improve your mood as well by having something to look forward to doing at the start of each week.
If the idea of learning something new sounds daunting, start small by making a list of all the things you want to learn. Some things on my personal list include teaching myself small business 101, financial investments, and pottery! Look for local classes you can sign up for, online workshops, or simply pick up a few books to start.
Benefits: find deeper connection and cleanse ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally 🌳
It’s so strange to think that just a few generations ago, humans were wandering the face of the Earth through trees and mountains. We’ve become increasingly disconnected with the natural world around us, working at our laptops hours at a time. The strangest part is that the busier our schedule gets, the more tempted we are to lock ourselves inside. To purposely seek out greenery is to cleanse our minds and connect to something deeper than what goes on in our phones.
As someone who’s guilty of playing the “I’m too busy to take a walk outside” card, part of adopting nature into my weekly routine is exploring a new place each week. Nature gives us something that Ethan Kross in his book Chatter refers to as a sense of awe, a feeling that allows us to zoom out and expand our mind’s perspective. To find that feeling, see how you feel after walking to the beach, going for a forest bath, or visiting a nearby park.