HOW TO: Jump-Start Your Good Morning Creative MojoPosted: February 14, 2010
An “early bird,” I am not. Instead, I am more of a “second mouse gets the cheese” kind of guy.
I do get things done, with initiative; practice creative procrastination; and my internal clock needs not a snooze alarm.
Before marriage: I could rise to a later alarm, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast while driving, and stumble into my first Marketing class ready to teach in less than 60 minutes.
After marriage: I awaken earlier and slower, mellow with yoga, eat a leisurely and healthier breakfast, shower, dress, read the comics, browse my Google Reader and Twitter, jot down some ideas or an outline for a writing project, and arrive to work with time to spare.
The quick way killed my morning creativity. The slow and easy way awakens my good morning creative mojo. Ah, the difference a marriage and new habits make.
Here are some ideas to jump start your day more creatively. Some I do, regularly. Some I do, occasionally.
1. Plan your day the night before.
Encourage your subconscious and dreaming self to get an early start on your creative needs. Write down your creative needs and first thoughts (list, outline, or mindmap) on a pad or notebook. Place this notebook by your bedside so you can add more thoughts upon awakening the next morning. Even better: reinforce and repeat these pre-bed time thoughts to yourself before falling asleep. The next morning your first thoughts are likely creative thoughts.
2. Make time for your newfound creative mojo.
Get up at least 30 minutes earlier than usual to have adequate time for your new good morning creative mojo rituals.
3. Dump the snooze alarm.
Go to bed earlier if needed. Get up a little earlier if required. Instead, wake to soothing music. Buy a new alarm clock or smart phone dock that allows this. Arise slowly. Take some deep breathes. Stretch before getting out of bed. Air write with your toes. Stick your legs in the air and slowly pedal an imaginary bicycle. Bed dance your reclining body to your music based alarm. Extremely important: get out by the foot of the bed so you can never use the excuse of having gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
4. Hush the mind.
Silence the CNN or Fox News as background noise. Instead, enjoy the empty air or fill it with comforting music. And, let your mind, body, and creative mojo synch with the rhythm.
5. Trade headlines for laugh lines.
Skip the doom and gloom, negative thinkfest newspaper headlines, and go directly to the comics. Laugh aloud as if milk could come out your nose. With some of my favorites, such as Dilbert, I can save the RSS feeds in my Google Reader and read on my iPhone. Other online comics are found at Comics.com.
6. Create something every day.
Begin this new behavior first thing in the morning. Create: art for the refrigerator; a poem for a friend; new words to a favorite song; a new breakfast dish for your stomach; an inspiring email to a friend; an insightful comment on a favorite blog; the rough draft or outline of a new blog post; or, a caboodle of doodles of poodles. Just create. Don’t worry of an audience, feedback, or criticism. Just do.
7. Use Hemingway’s hack.
Begin a creative task the evening before, and then finish it the next morning. Yes, stop in the middle of a sentence or in the middle of a paint stroke or in the mid . . .
8. Try creative cross fertilization.
This is where you create in an area or domain different from your primary domain. If a writer, then draw in the morning. If a painter, then write in the morning. Do not worry about critics, feedback, talent, or quality. Just apply your creativity to something different. Sooner than later, you will shift back to your primary domain with a fresh insight.
9. Write the morning pages.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, recommends the morning pages. Simply: write nonstop stream of conscious of what is on your mind for a minimum of three pages. Try it. And, see where that takes your morning creativity.
10. Read some top folder inspiration.
Using Google Reader, find a few minutes to inspire your thinking with the contents of a top folder of favorite bloggers on a subject(s) most interested. Review this folder each morning and “star” the best and most inspiring for later sharing. Important: slow down. Learn. Think. Record your thoughts. Your narcissism need not feed at the altar of a tweet.
11. Discover some top list inspiration.
Using Twitter, make a top list of your favorite tweeters on the subject(s) most interested. Review this list each morning and “favorite” the best and most inspiring tweets for later sharing. Very important: slow down. Learn. Think. Record your thoughts. Your ego and a retweet can wait.
“Waking up is the riskiest part of the day.” Franz Kafka
“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning… Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” Miles Davis