I’ll be the first to admit two things right off the bat; that the title is slightly misleading in that it’s pretty much Chase’s habits, and that I understand many of these things to be habits of the most successful people generally.
Now, the paranoid disclaimer aside I think it merits mentioning that I have a bit of a fascination with routines, and the micro-changes you can do to make life go just that little bit better, and more efficiently. Even more so, I’m very into morning routines, because if the fine educational institutions I’ve attended have taught me anything it’s that I’m not really a morning person.
The world, however, doesn’t give a sh*t if I’m a morning person or not and continues to turn. So, in order to counteract this massive flaw of mine, and yes I believe it to be a flaw, I’ve found that routines are the one thing, or maybe sex and flying, that helps me get going and make the most of the pre-noon hours. It’s been a bit of a journey of self-discovery through trial and error, and I don’t mean that in some sort of ‘woo-woo’ way, but it has, and also through the study of morning routines of the successful people I know, and the ones I wish I could’ve, historically – like Hemingway.
Actually, if you’re interested in this stuff, a good starting point is a book called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It’s page after page of insight into the habits of rather famous, influential creatives, like Hemingway, Ben Franklin, Jane Austen, Voltaire, Frued, Fitzgerald, and Jung, to name a few. It’s an easy read giving you just enough of each person to leave you wanting more – note, don’t read it in the morning before being productive.
Anyway, I’m not going to list here all the things Chase does in his morning routine because if I did, you would glance at it, make some estimation of how it’s useful, and move on. Instead I’d like you to watch it and listen to how he implements it all, and why. It’s short so you can do it while sipping coffee. I will however share a few insights of his which are also mine.
As creatives we tend to be caught up in the creative facility, and many often let little things stand in the way, like keeping a tidy desk, or taking care of our health. We also have a tendency to be sedentary which leads your mind to often think we have more time than we actually do, which may explain the difficulty creatives have with hitting deadlines. A little honest soul searching could come in handy here to have a think about your behavior and what you know of yourself. For example, I’m very visual and very auditory, so while writing, I either need white noise, or silence. That’s me. I also know that being visual, I’m prone to distraction via something out of place, so I make an effort to keep tidy by always putting things where they need be after use.
Moving on but in the same vein, something as simple as making your bed in the morning, every morning is HUGE. I can’t stress this enough because doing it makes me feel a slight sense of accomplishment and nothing nagging in my mind about my room being a mess. So, make your bed.
I also literally roll off the bed in the morning and do push-ups, nothing crazy, just 30 and move on. It’s enough to get the blood flowing and have me feeling for a shower. A shower, like Chase, that I always end with about 30 seconds to a minute (or however long I can stand it) of cold water. This, is not pleasant so I won’t BS you to thinking it is some lovely holistic experience, but apparently it forces your body to pull blood and resources to your core and brain to keep them going optimally. I generally feel alive after and then I down lemon water, walk the dogs, then coffee. Walking the dogs is crucial too, and I leave my phone while I’m doing it so I can just take in the scenery and not think about things I can’t tend to while out walking anyway.
Anyway, I think routines are so important for creatives because I’ve just noticed so many have none or no good ones. Some of this stuff can really help you to free your mind to be better creatives, be more productive, and those are ways you’re going to separate from the pack.
What are your routines? I’d love to hear.