Whether you’re an accountant, architect, baker or bricklayer we all need to be inspired by somebody or something. So, where does your inspiration come from?
Last Christmas I was given a book as a present called Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration And Get To Work. It’s a collection of short pieces about how ‘creative’ people go about their working day.
I think people who are self employed or work from home, maybe by themselves, will find it particularly interesting. The one true lesson of the book, is that there is no one way to get things done although six lessons emerge from history’s most creative minds:-
Be a morning person – very early risers form a clear majority, for example, Mozart, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and writer Ernest Hemmingway. The thinking behind early rising is that there are less interruptions at that time of the day.
Don’t give up your day job – most of us can’t anyway as this is our daily bread.
Take lots of walks – walking is associated with increased productivity and proficiency. If I have a problem I need to solve I usually go for a bike ride in the Wyre Forest and always come back with a solution.
Stick to a schedule – this often seems to be a kind of safety net. The alternative to a rigid structure is either no artistic creations, for those with day jobs, or the terror of no structure at all.
Practise strategic substance abuse – never mind opium or alcohol the main form of substance abuse championed down the centuries is coffee. Beethoven measured out his beans, Kierkegaard poured black coffee over a cup full of sugar, then gulped down the resulting concoction that had the consistency of mud; Balzac drank 50 cups a day. Consume in moderation, though: Balzac died of heart failure at 51.
Learn to work anywhere – easy for us since the intervention of the internet, I have a friend who works in building recruitment and spends most of his time in sunny Spain, even though people on the end of the phone think he is calling from wet Worcestershire.
Early bird or night owl? I’d be interested to know what your daily ritual is.
Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration And Get To Work by Mason Currey (Published by Picador, 2014, £8.99)