Business of Design Creative Rituals on Capella Kincheloe Interior Design and Consulting

Rituals are critical to creativity.  Who knew something so mundane would be a key to imagination?  But it is in the preparation that will allow your creativity to emerge.  By creating a ritual for yourself you are letting your mind know what is coming so it can prepare and set you up for success.  Do you ever sit down at your desk and have no clue where to start? Is it all so overwhelming that overcoming overwhelm consumes time?  Does it take 20 minutes in the morning to put your work hat on?  By creating simple rituals you will be ready far quicker.

Are you ready to ritualize?

I'm sure you have rituals that exist already. Mr. Rogers put on sneakers and a cardigan when he arrived home.  You put your gym clothes on to work out or have a glass of Scotch at the end of the day.  These are excellent transition rituals from work to home, but what about home to work?

Creating rituals are especially helpful for people who work from home.  Working from home you don't have the built-in rituals of getting in your car, the drive to work, and sitting down in your office building.  You need to create rituals that signals to your brain whether you are in work-mode or home-mode.  By simply creating a ritual that you will perform immediately before getting down to work, this will help your brain prepare to work.

Here is an example.  Lets say you have an office at home, your only computer is in there, so you use it for work and personal.  In the morning you grab a cup of coffee and sit down at your desk.  But your brain isn't sure if this is for work or personal.  It takes it a bit to catch up and focus.  If, however, you were to grab a cup of coffee, sit down at your desk and take three deep breaths, then turn on your special work-only radio station and take a minute to imagine how productive your day was going to turn out you'd be sending the signal to your brain to prepare for work.

Below are some ideas for creating your ritual.  These rituals can be used for the beginning of work, for when you work on a certain project, or for leaving work.  Anytime you need to create a separation between where your head is at.  I recommend picking a couple small rituals string together into a daily ritual.  You'll probably also want to keep it special, if you're drinking tea all day long it won't be a ritual- if you get a cup of tea only when you are creating purchase orders it is.


Grab a cup of coffee or tea

Take three deep breaths


Listen to a work-only Pandora station.

Watch an inspiring clip on youtube.  Try these.

Free write for 5-10 minutes

Write down your top three things to accomplish that day

Write down one reason you are excited or looking forward to the day.

Do push-ups or jumping jacks.

Read a favorite blog (keep it related to where your head should be at).

Read a book for 10 minutes.  Only read this book for this ritual.

Do a few yoga moves.

Call a colleague or friend.  Call the same person every time.

Clean your desk

Find a quote that will serve as your daily focus

Water a plant

Take a walk

Sharpen all your pencils

Additional reading:

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I'd love to hear from you.  What rituals do you have?  What helps you get your head in the game?