I was reflecting at the end of the day, and I realized I had one of the best days I can remember. It felt like I was in a state of flow, and I was happy with what I worked on. What was different about this particular day? How can I duplicate it?
I think a lot about this idea of self optimization and there are a ton of resources, books, podcasts, etc. on the subject. I’ve been working on my “stay-in-the-zone” formula for the last month. Here is what it looks like:
The mornings are generally reserved for none computer work and set aside for pen and paper. Now, I am cheating a little because I use a tablet with a stylus, but the point is to use this time to capture at my most creative thinking time.
My rules for staying strategic and creative are simple:
- No checking email before 11 am
Drawings and writing are the key activities here
- Use OFFLINE resources or books that help you engage in creative thought
- Use OFFLINE inspiration drivers (coffee shop, galleries, etc.)
- The goal is to stay in a positive, creative zone for as long as possible without interruption. I use this time to brainstorm a new campaign for a client, to write copy, or to sketch concepts.
The afternoon is for getting work done on the computer. Here is where I execute on the creative and critical thinking in the morning. In many cases, I share the work with my designer and writer colleagues here and get their help with building on my ideas. There is a set of rules for the afternoon, which I’ll talk about in part two.
I want to know your practice for staying strategic and creative.
How do you stay in the zone?