Daily Rituals How Artists Work
I'm a big advocate of starting your day the right way - if you're up early with guns blazing you're going to have a productive, efficient day.
On the other hand if you rise late and have no routine of sorts you've lost the day before it's even really begun...
Needless to say this book, 'Daily Rituals' was right up my alley.
Although the title refers to them as rituals, in essence this book delves deep into the daily routines of well over a hundred great artists, many of whom were productivity machines!
Read on and you'll find my "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" review and a number of actionable pieces of advice to test and try in your own daily life.
3 Reasons Why I Find The Early Hours Of The Morning The Key For Getting Things Done
Early Start = More Accomplished
By waking up at 5am you’re essentially adding extra hours to your day.
An hour or two working on your business, your body or any other constructive project adds up quickly – after a week you’ve gained between 14 hours, after a month you’ve gained 56 hours.
What could you achieve with an extra 56 hours?
Willpower Is At Its Peak In The Early AM
Got an unpleasant or hard task that you’ve been delaying? Do it first thing in the morning.
Studies have proven that within the first couple of hours of waking up our willpower is its strongest.
Strong willpower combined with no distractions make 5am the perfect time to get shit done.
There's No Distractions At 5AM
If you’re trying to focus and concentrate at 10am in the morning you’ll be battling to keep your mind on task.
Phone calls, emails, messages, general noise and distractions from others… although these things may seem small and insignificant once you’re in the zone it takes a reasonable amount of time to get back to that level of focus and productivity after the smallest of distractions.
In the morning like I said, very few people are awake.
When very few people are awake you won’t have any distractions.
3 Lessons I Learned From Daily Rituals
1. Some Individuals Are Night Owls
The motivation and inspiration to create great things, be it an article, a painting or a sculpture doesn't hit a number of individuals until late, late into the night!
They'll wake up at moderately early time, spend their day eating, socializing and running errands before spending the majority of the night working 0n their craft.
Studies have proven time and time again that both our physical energy levels and our willpower are at their heighest within the first few hours of waking.
In the morning chances are we have not yet fallen victim to decision fatigue either which tires the mind too.
Yet regardless of all of this some of us go against the grain and perform our best work late in the evening.
2. Frequent Breaks = More or Less Efficient Depending On The Person
When it comes to performing quality, focused work there are two schools of thought...
- Have frequent breaks to ensure the periods of time when you are working are spent 100% focused.
- Sit down and do your work until your done.
After reading 'Daily Rituals' it's clearly there is literally no right school of thought on this.
Some artists work in fifteen to twenty minute stints...
Others lock themselves in their office or studio for 12 hours at a time, when they take a break they're done for the day.
3. Change Can Spark Or Suppress Productivity & Creativity
Some individuals are inspired and energized by change.
Be it a change of time, a change of location or a change of company.
Others cannot work unless a strict routine is adhered to.
They must sit in the same chair, with the same caffeinated beverage at the same time, every damn day if they intend on getting anything done.
3 Interesting Artist's Daily Rituals...
1. Nikola Tesla
As a young apprentice under Thomas Edison, Tesla often worked from 10:30am in the morning until 5:00am the following morning!
After starting his own company Telsa would begin work at noon.
As he worked best in the dark, Tesla insisted his secretary close all of the blinds, only opening them in the case of a thunder storm (which he loved to watch).
Tesla would work until midnight, stopping only once at 8:00pm for his dinner, personally delivered to him along with 18 clean linen napkins by the chef.
2. Pablo Piccasso
3. Benjamin Franklin
5am to 8am
Rise, wash & address powerful goodness!
Contrive day's business, and take the resoloution of the day; prosecute the present, study and breakfast.
8am to noon
Noon to 2pm
Read, or look over my accounts and dine.
2pm to 5pm
6pm to 10pm
Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion, or conversation.
Examination of the day.
10pm to 5am
5 Key Quotes From Daily Rituals
“It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.”
“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods."
“We have failed to recognize our great asset: time. A conscientious use of it could make us into something quite amazing.”
"The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work."