5 Tips on How To Boost Creativity With A Morning Routine

When I wrote this post last summer, it got a terrific response and readers have been asking for it since- so here it is an encore, with my YouTube video to accompany it.

Boost Creativity with a Morning Routine

Do you wake up early in the morning with your internal motor already in third gear?

As you brush your teeth, are you reminding yourself of what’s on ‘Your To Do’ list for the day?

Do you gulp down a cup of coffee, and keep your eye on the clock so that you can jump in the car, negotiate the heavy traffic, and get to work on time?

Even if you work out of your home, the scenario is pretty much the same. The only difference is that you turn on the computer first thing and get enmeshed in answering e-mails.

Watch what I have to say in the video below to learn How To Boost Creativity With A Morning Routine.

 Not placing a priority on things that you love doing can lead to disaster.

I know all about this routine. I lived it my entire adult life. Until I crashed 5 years ago.

I became depressed. I made it through the day but sluggishly. I was frustrated and stuck.

I  realized that my throbbing pulse – what I had lived with for decades – was actually anxiety.  No matter how hard I tried, I never felt productive enough.

It had gotten to the point where I put all of the things that I loved doing on the back burner. I convinced myself that when I finished my work, I would reward myself with those activities.

I rarely did. By the end of the day, my enthusiasm and desire had dissipated.

Is any part of my scenario reminiscent of how you live?

If so, read on.

Feeling enough pain is a good formula for making changes.

Once I felt bad enough, something in me shifted. I made the decision to create a morning routine – a routine that would bring me joy.

My goal was to do the things that ‘lit my fire’  early morning. Before turning on the computer, attending meetings, or doing errands.

It has changed the focus of my life. And it has changed me. For the better.

Think about it.

If you start the day with doing things that give you pleasure….

You give your soul nutrition

You exercise your authentic self

You feel grounded and centered

You experience a sense of peace and quiet exuberance

You allow your imagination time to romp and play.

You enter another zone of consciousness – a zen state.

You experience little stress.

Your fear and anxiety level dissipate.

Your joy barometer significantly increases.

You leave space for your creativity to emerge.

 5  Tips

  1. Make a list of things that give you pleasure. Don’t limit or censor yourself. Let your imagination run free.
  2. Pare down the list to those things that you can do in a short period of time.  For example, you can allocate 15 minutes in the morning to read a favorite book. But you’d be hard pressed to go on a 4 hour hike.
  3. Figure out how much time you can allocate for your morning routine.  If you’re a habitual late riser and need to be in the office at a specific time, initially set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to establish a consistent Morning Routine.
  4. Make ‘bite size changes’ rather than putting pressure on yourself to initially cram in everything on your listFor example, my morning routine (after several years of practice) consists of doing some spiritual reading and meditating for 15 minutes each. I then go rowing and afterward take my dogs for a 15-20 minute walk. Finally, I spend time in the garden which is my greatest pleasure.
  5. Commit to NOT GETTING onto your computer to answer e-mails or social media until after  a certain time of the day. My rule of thumb is to stay off of the internet until 11am.

If you want to do some morning writing, fine. But promise yourself to stay off of the internet until you’re done with your morning routine. Believe me, if you spend less time on the computer, you will become more productive.

This may sound like a tall order. But it isn’t.

If you make one change at a time – perhaps reading a favorite book for 10 minutes in the morning – and commit to doing that for 30 days before adding on another thing you want to do – maybe doing a crossword puzzle – you’ll be surprised how over time your morning routine will organically expand.

Once enough of what you love to do has become part of your established morning routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

The best news is that you will experience a level of joy and creativity that you never thought possible.

And you will become more of the person you’ve always wanted to be.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN and a GIVEAWAY The updated 10th Anniversary Edition of my book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, was published this month.

I plan on giving one copy of the paperback or e-book to a person whose comment about their Morning Routine (or lack thereof), I think is the most compelling. Won’t you join in the fun???

 

diggingdeepbooks

Click here to learn more about Digging Deep.

About Fran

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is also a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender. All of her work is based on her deep belief that our need to connect to the earth is an inherent trait – and that by doing so, we heal and experience more joy in our lives.

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26 Responses to 5 Tips on How To Boost Creativity With A Morning Routine

  1. Jenny Peterson July 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Great tips, Fran! I, too, have struggled with this balance — feeling guilty when I don’t accomplish “enough” and feeling perpetually depleted. I am going to implement your suggestions; they make so much sense!

    • Fran July 16, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Jenny –
      Isn’t it amazing how we allow the notion of accomplishment/productivity monopolize how we determine our self worth? I know the feeling of being constantly depleted. It’s not good. Start slowly with a Morning Routine. Step by step you’ll see how each behavior/activity you add in over time enriches your soul and how you walk through your day. :) Fran

  2. Sandi Amorim July 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Fran, you’ve just reminded me how important a morning routine is and I have to admit I’ve fallen off the wagon ;)

    What works is for me to have my green smoothie and meditation before I start working. We’ve just gotten a dog, so this routine will now also include a brief walk, and I think I’ll start it up again…today! :)

    • Fran July 16, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Sandi –
      A green smoothie and meditation sound like a perfect way to start your day.
      I’ve been reading your posts about your new dog. Bringing a dog into your life is like having a new born baby. Everything gets out of kilt – they are so gorgeous and such rascals -but it’s worth it:) Fran

  3. Jennie Brooks July 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    thank you! you just described me for at least the last year. anxious, mind racing, can’t relax. my garden has been my retreat bc i can feel productive and relax at the same time.

    • Fran July 16, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      Jennie – How terrific that you are able to retreat to your garden and get pleasure from it. It’s a good reminder to make this a priority and bring more of what gives you pleasure into your life. :) Fran

  4. Victor July 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    Fran,

    I really have to agree with you. If I would compare my days between email and social media early, versus taking time to ground and connect first, then doing the email and social media, there is a huge difference. I really like your recommendations for making changes to stir things up a bit! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. :)

    • Fran July 16, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Victor –

      The social media and e-mail can be addictive. It’s a dangerous sport if you don’t keep it under control.
      Connecting with yourself – however you choose to do it – first thing in the morning – is an important gift to give to yourself. :) Fran

  5. Elle July 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    So true Fran, it sets up a completely different energy for the day. Before I jump out of bed in the morning my daily ritual is to give thanks for the wonderful things that are happening for me.

    Like your tips for setting up the day Fran. Anything that sets our vibration as high as possible is not only good for us, but our world as well.

    • Fran July 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Elle – You are a wise woman. xxoo

  6. Cathy Taughinbaugh July 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi Fran,

    Great reminder. I like to journal for about 15 minutes, meditate and then do some yoga stretches. That helps you get my day off to a good start. Getting on the computer later and getting off earlier helps me feel more balanced.

    • Fran July 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      Cathy – Sounds good to me. Isn’t it amazing how the 15 minutes for journaling, yoga stretches and meditating (I don’t know how long you do it for?) can make such a significant difference in your day?

  7. David Stevens July 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Thanks Fran,
    I have certain routines but I like to mix them up on occasion. Can’t stand the ‘sameness’. Great post, best wishes to You. There are many who can relate to your post right here.

    Be good to yourself
    David

    • Fran July 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      David-
      It is good to change and bounce a few things around BUT in developing habits, it is important to doing it every day. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Harriet Cabelly July 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Great post! Funny I just wrote on the same subject.
    I love my morning routine. I start with deep breathing, then go into 20 minutes of meditation with soft meditative music in the background, then yoga stretches, gratitude thoughts and a meaningful poem that I read to end this part. Then I do my exercises – rebounding (trampaline) for 5 minutes to energyzing music, a few minutes of weights and or core exercises and then 20 minutes of fast walking and finish with some cool down stretching. This takes me about an hour and a half. I’d like to add a few minutes of journaling but there’s a limit to how long I can spend on all this. On mornings where I don’t have all this time, I at least do the first part of quiet, centering time. I love it all.

    • Fran July 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Harriet –
      WOW- am I impressed. I think I’m going to hire you as a fitness coach – especially love the trampoline. Thanks so much for sharing. Fran

  9. Anne-Sophie July 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Hands down, having a morning routine makes all the difference in the world. I’ve been traveling last month and my routine has been quite off and I noticed it in everything. Now that I’m back home and can start my day the usual way: brushing my teeth, meditating, short workout, breakfast, work, I feel so much more creative, productive and balanced.

    • Fran July 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      Anne-Sophie – It’s difficult to stick to a morning routine when traveling. Isn’t it funny how even brushing our teeth is an integral part of our daily rituals?

  10. Tess The Bold Life July 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi Fran,

    This is so tempting for my ego to grap on to: No matter how hard I tried, I never felt productive enough.

    I have to remind myself daily to remember I already have everything I need + more. Life isn’t a competition or a race. I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s all good.

    Then my life flows. I’m going to print your post out. Thanks for the post. I’m going to help you shout it from the online rooftop:)

    • Fran July 16, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Tess –

      Join the ‘never feel productive enough’ club. I don’t know too many of us who are continually chipping away at the falsehood that productivity will ultimately bring us happiness.

      Yep – you are exactly where you need to be – and are meant to be.

      I’ve known you long enough to witness the beauty you bring into the world just by being you ~

  11. Vidya Sury July 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Fran, the desire to cram lots into never-enough time is a recipe for disaster. Then, next is beating ourselves up for not checking off everything on the to-do list, never mind that it is an inhumanly long list :D. I found that the moment I appreciated myself for checking off the things I’d accomplished, I felt less stressed.

    I love those 5 tips. Hugs!

    • Fran July 18, 2013 at 3:46 am #

      Vidya-
      I’m a big believer in ‘minimal’ To Do Lists – only the things that REALLY need to be done. I love your idea of appreciating yourself everytime you check off another thing done in your To Do List. xxxoo

  12. Tess The Bold Life July 19, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Fran,
    Love the video! My morning routine is what kept me from going insane when my daughters were growing up. In fact I had so much crazy energy part of my routine in the summer was 10 miles on the rollerblading path. I would see the sun come up, listen to the birds and bugs and admire the spider webs glistening in the sun. I’d get back and my kids would still be sleeping.

    • Fran July 20, 2013 at 3:16 am #

      Tess-
      Why am I not surprised that you had so much crazy energy? I was adamant about having a morning routine that nurtured me when the kids were young).

  13. Paola Fuentes October 31, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    You can never go wrong with a good morning routine.

    • Fran October 31, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      So true Paola. And like everything else, it is a habit that needs to be worked on…..but well worth the effort! Fran

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