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6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

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I’m Ms. Choice and I’m here to provide information and assist in promoting and implementing wellness and healthier snacking at work sites and schools. INC has collected 6 unusual habits of exceptionally creative people, see below:

6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my creative productivity.

Some of the things I’ve learned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.

Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, and would dangle his bare feet in the water, while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disk) would dive deep underwater until his brain was deprived of oxygen, and then write his ideas on an underwater sticky pad.

Weird ideas aside, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the habits of some of history’s most creative minds. There’s enough commonality between different people that I’ve distilled their habits into strategies that anyone can follow.

Six of these strategies stand out because they have the power to change the way you think about creativity. Give them a try, and you’ll reach new levels of creative productivity.

1. Wake Up Early

Not all creative minds are morning people. Franz Kafka routinely stayed up all night writing, and William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice, among other bestsellers) woke up at noon every day and considered his “morning” routine to be staying in bed for another hour to think.

However, early risers make up the clear majority of creative thinkers. The list of creative early risers ranges from Benjamin Franklin to Howard Schultz to Ernest Hemingway, though they didn’t all wake up early for the same reasons. Franklin woke up early to plan out his day, while Schultz uses the time to send motivational emails to his employees. For many creative people, waking up early is a way to avoid distractions. Hemingway woke up at 5 a.m. every day to begin writing. He said, “There is no one to disturb you, and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”

The trick to making getting up early stick is to do it every day and avoid naps–no matter how tired you feel. Eventually, you will start going to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep. This can make for a couple of groggy days at first, but you’ll adjust quickly, and before you know it, you’ll join the ranks of creative early risers.

2. Exercise Frequently

There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercise for creativity. Feeling good physically gets you in the right mood to focus and be productive. Exercise also forces you to have disconnected time (it’s tough to text or email while working out), and this allows you to reflect on whatever it is you’re working on. In a Stanford study, 90 percent of people were more creative after they exercised.

It’s no surprise that so many creative and successful people built exercise into their daily routines. Kurt Vonnegut took walks into the nearby town, swam laps, and did pushups and sit-ups, Richard Branson runs every morning, and composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky both walked daily.

3. Stick to a Strict Schedule

It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative people suggest otherwise. In fact, most creative minds schedule their days rigorously. Psychologist William James described the impact of a schedule on creativity, saying that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”

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