You know all those checklists for what to do if you have trouble sleeping (make sure the room is dark, is cool, stop looking at your devices at least an hour before bed, go to bed at the same time, etc.)?
You can also create your own personal checklist for signaling to your mind and body that you want to get some creative work done. When you are really in the creative zone, it’s called “flow.” I’ve shared before some research on how to get into the creative flow state.
But today let’s set our sights a bit lower and just focus on getting tasks done that require some creativity, like writing an article or designing a graphic, but not necessarily several hours in the state of flow.
You might think creative work is all in your head, but the reality is that how our bodies feel has a ton of influence over our mind’s ability to do its work. So let’s give some thought to what you physically need to feel (or not feel) before you can be creative.
Which of these are most important to you?
- Not being hungry — get that snack!
- Having a good cuppa something warm – fresh coffee, hot tea
- Room temperature — do you need a hoodie or should you open a window or turn on a fan?
- Comfort at the keyboard — are your chair and your monitor at the right height to type comfortably?
- Do you have what you need in easy reach — research, notebooks, etc.?
- Is it quiet or do you have the right music on, depending on your preference?
- Have you let others know that you don’t want to be interrupted? Have you turned off notifications that might distract you?
- Have you removed everything else from your line of sight that could be distracting — anything from desk clutter to those million open tabs?
- Don’t forget about your sense of smell too! Think about crisp scents like citrus, mints, and pepper.
Do you know your own top three?
Want to know what I did before sitting down to write this post? I put on a hoodie (the AC is cranking a little too hard right now), ate a handful of Triple Ginger cookies from Trader Joe’s, and inhaled a few whiffs of Doterra’s InTune essential oil blend. I normally have a fresh cup of hot tea too, but it’s a little late in the day for caffeine right now.
To take care of your creative mind, take care of the rest of your body first.