I found that there is something that you can do every single morning that will invariably kill your productivity and creativity before it even sees the light of day. This action is so nefarious and horrible for your inner creativity that I have banned it from life completely in the morning.
Only until I have put in a little bit of writing or problem solving, even just enough to clear my head and let out some ideas that I may latch onto later in the day or week, do I actually partake in this horrible act.
Want to know what it is?
Let’s define this:
consuming |kənˈso͞omiNG| adjective
(of a feeling) completely filling one’s mind and attention; absorbing:
media |ˈmēdēə| noun
1. plural form of medium.
2. (usu. the media) the main means of mass communication (esp. television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet) regarded collectively
Instead of filling one’s (your) mind with ideas that are ours, if we get up and check email, read our favorite sites, get lost in Techmeme or reddit, then we are allowing others to steer our thoughts and direction for the day. This could possibly be one of the biggest stumbling blocks in creativity and productivity in our day if we let it consume us and give in.
So, what can we do instead?
Rather than read something or get lost in a chain of email first thing in the morning, I beg you to actually turn everything off (well, everything but your handy-dandy text editor or other creation tool) and actually make something, even if it’s small and shitty. Just get something down, whether it be your thoughts, pictures, spoken word, code, anything. This will set you up for a much more productive and creative day.
I’m an IT Manager for an aerospace company and I like to think of myself as a technologist as well as writer. One of the greatest things that I can do first thing in the morning (after I work out and feed my puppies) is sit down, shut up, and let myself write for a little while. I don’t stop and let ideas flow onto the paper. Nine times out of ten I find some idea that is worth pursuing. Ten times out of ten I find peace of mind, peace of mind that that no email checking or news reading would ever give me.
This act of creating something early in the morning is important for technologist’s because it sets us up for the day and can also give us the time that we need to iron out a problem that has been bothering us. I have found many times where my morning writing has led me to, “ohhhh, that’s the reason that [x] happened. I know how to fix that.” Creating in the mornings is vital to problem solving and idea creation.
So, join me. In the mornings don’t consume media. Create some.