One of the most challenging aspects of being independent is that you have to make rules for yourself about when you work and how you work. Through getting back into work after the holidays, I’ve remembered to fall back on the one trick that always works for me: to follow my process. The routine I need is basic enough that I have it memorized. All I have to do is start.
What is my process? I get enough sleep, wake up early, write, exercise every day, cook my own meals, get out of the house every day, and remember to bring snacks to the studio. :) It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do the things that are good for us! If you're struggling to stay on track with your process, find a way to motivation yourself.
My friend Morgane has read 100 books a year for the past several years. She recently said that sure, she reads a lot because she enjoys reading and learning. But the truth is, reading that many books gives her a sense of supreme satisfaction. Most people do not read 100 books a year. Morgane is a beast, and she knows it.
Lately I’ve been trying this mentality on myself. The lazy part of me would rather grab food to go and be a couch potato than take the time to grocery shop, cook, and get myself to the gym. Luckily I live really close to a grocery store, and pretty close to where I work out. I've realized that when I make my habits easier to achieve, I'm more likely to do them. And once I get started with habits like cooking, working out, and writing, it feels less like work and more like my regular thing. Which is the point. I think to be successful at your process, you have to be able to move through a routine without really thinking about it too much.
What does this have to do with creative work? Everything. I'm not as productive when I wake up late. My wallet and body are both healthier when I cook everything at home. Working out gets my blood pumping and clears out the cobwebs after a long day of working. Writing helps me stay focused and work through any challenges or questions I have. All of these habits lead to me being able to really succeed at the creative work on my plate, which makes me and my clients very happy!
What is your process? Which habits do you maintain every day?