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How to Be Creative AND Productive!

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Randomness and Routine

Getting the Most Out of Life Using Routines

I am always searching for more structured and more efficient routines. This is because my natural tendency is for disorganization. And I find that the more structure I have in my life, the better I feel at the end of the day. This is because I know where I’m going and I can see what I’ve accomplished. And also it makes leisure time more relaxing because I know that I’ve accomplished my work and that I’ve earned my time off to play. When I don’t have structure, I’m still working hard, but I get a general sense of anxiety that I haven’t gotten enough work done or that I’ve missed something. So structure is important, but recently I learned something very cool about the power of breaking routines:

Randomness

Last week, my routine was disrupted a bit. I went with my mom to a doctor’s appointment, I helped with a spring cleaning, and my son’s school ended. All of these things forced me to do my writing work differently, in different places, and at different times. And by being in these new places, working at different times, and doing things that were outside of my normal routine, I discovered something wonderful! Randomness in your life brings about powerful bursts of creativity. It set my brain moving in a different way. It kind of wakes up your non-automatic brain, the creative problem-solving part.

Letting Your Creativity Bloom

Random events don’t automatically open up this creativity. I think the reason it did this time was that I decided to not get angry, uptight, resentful of these random interruptions that disturbed my routine. I consciously decided to go with the flow. And by having that easy going approach, then the creativity opened up! I discovered some new productivity solutions and I had a burst of ideas for my writing that will keep me busy for a while.

Balancing Routine and Randomness

So how can you have Routines and ensure that you get your needed dose of Randomness? Two ways. I think the most important is to be open and welcoming of those natural disruptions to your routine that occur. This doesn’t mean you should allow all disruptions, but when there is one that is unavoidable, go into it with this focus: “How can I learn from this? Have fun with this?” Or “how might I use this to further what I’m working on?” Or simply, “I am open to good things that may come of this detour.”

The second way to get your dose of Randomness is to schedule it. How? Simple. Just do something new at least once a week, whether that is walking a new way to work or eating at a different lunch shop or going somewhere new. Just pick something and do it. Then be aware how your mind is opened up. If you need to, schedule a weekly reminder that says “Do something new today!”

Please Share!

What was the most random thing that happened to you lately? How did it change you? Little or big, please share! We’d love to hear your story!

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9 Responses to How to Be Creative AND Productive!

  1. HMG June 8, 2007 at 5:07 pm #

    I find that getting last minute requests to go flying somewhere can be pretty random. A few months ago, I came into work and in the afternoon had my boss tell me that I needed to go home and pack and that I was flying to the West Coast that evening (from New York City). I then had to rush through a day’s work, pack and then get to the airport before the plane left. But once in my seat I felt that the sudden stop of interuptions and stress led to some creative thinking.

    It gave me a chance to catch up on things that I hadn’t really had a chance to think about during a normal hectic work day.

  2. Lodewijkvdb June 8, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    Good advice. Randomness and creativity are good. I use randomness quite a lot in my life, and I recognized your examples too.

    Especially the one about finding a new way to work. I have had a period where I did this so extensively, that finding a different way everyday became a habit of its own! Ironically, the randomness then became doing the same route several times in a row 😉

  3. Dana June 8, 2007 at 11:52 pm #

    Hopefully it will work for me…I have an article due on Monday and wasn’t able to get the primary interview scheduled until last week…for Sunday morning.

    Woohoo! 1800 words to do in a day.

  4. agentsully June 9, 2007 at 9:49 am #

    HMG – isn’t that great. I wish I got “forced” into more quiet time.

    Lodewijkvdb – yes, that’s the rub. Randomness that becomes routine is no longer randomness. 🙂

    Thank you both for your comments.

  5. agentsully June 12, 2007 at 4:24 pm #

    Dana – Sorry for the late response. You can do it! How’s it going?

  6. Daniel July 3, 2007 at 9:01 am #

    Yeah – I think “random” was my missing keyword. Just discovered it. Thanks.

  7. agentsully July 5, 2007 at 8:07 pm #

    Daniel – Good luck! Check back with us to let us know how it’s going!

  8. kalene June 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    hi, i agree that waking up to a random non planned day is refreshing and puts a little magic into ur life.

    well my random story is that i took a walk down a bike trail and ended up having to go to the hospital for 9 days, im okay now but i may have died if they never found out that i had something.fate!

    • AgentSully August 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

      Yikes! Glad to hear you are ok, Kalene!

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