1. Stay Well-Fed and Hydrated, make it a PRIORITY!
I cook my meals for the day ahead of time (simple one-pot stuff) and make sure I have enough for the work day when I leave. I have it pre-portioned so I can nibble every 2 hours to keep my metabolism (energy!) revved up. I drink lots of water between meals. As for sleep, I
2. Also make SLEEP a PRIORITY!
I open my store at 1pm so I can SLEEP as late as I want. I also keep my phone far away in the living room so it can't wake me, NO call is so important that it should interrupt my sleep. The emergency will still be there when I wake up! As someone with anxiety-related sleep issues (I'm learning my nervous system is hyperactive so when I have something exciting coming up the next day I won't sleep and adrenaline will keep me running full speed for a while the next day, aah!) I know the study that hypothesizes lack of sleep impairment is on par with being drunk is true! I have certainly been so tired that doing normal things like standing and tying my shoe laces is challenging. Protect your sleep, don't work into the night, you will be more productive because you will have been coordination and cognitive function the next day!
Kawaii little lunches throughout the day, balanced carb/fruit/protein ratio, thanks personal trainer boyfriend for making me keep that in mind >:P haha
When you run a successful creative business people will come asking for things left and right. This is good, it shows you're growing and getting yourself out there. Creative can be kind and sensitive making it hard to say No, myself included. But I've learned to protect my energy, we have a finite amount, you cannot say yes to everyone and every opportunity. Protect your energy first and foremost, if you want to do something but a voice somewhere is saying it's a bad idea, just DON'T.
4. Stick as strictly to your work hours as possible
This one is hard! Sometimes you have a deadline and have NO choice but to work. Other times you're so crazy inspired you're tempted to use that creative energy and go with the flow. I urge you though to just write down the inspiration and to-dos it requires and get to it the next work day. There's lots of evidence to suggest humans work better in shorter, harder creative bursts. Stick to your work hours so you can make time for the next important energy-regenerator.
My retreat in the treeees, I can't wait to get back to The Hostel in the Forest every the moment I leave it.
5. Schedule lots of fun trips, outdoor time, and recharging time with friends
Creatives recharge with outside stimuli and new adventures. Schedule something new and fun at LEAST weekly. It could a new local museum show, a road trip, whatever it is, go enjoy it and get that creative energy recharged!
6. Exercise, move 'til you sweat daily
I HATE the gym I will confess. Dragging myself there sucks. There first 10 minutes or so sucks. But you get an energy rush that'll last all day and feel SO much better when you get it over with. The endorphins give you a creative high! Plus, it just makes you feel healthier and more accomplished overall. Switch it up to keep your easily-bored ADD brain happy. I do weight lifting, cycling, yoga (when I wake up early enough!) calisthenics, jogging and even some basketball. The first couple months of the shop opening I worked too much and didn't hit the gym and I definitely felt that decrease in energy, do it to keep that circulation going and keep it fun!
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All of this may seem like common sense for non workaholics but it's always nice to have a reminder. The 5 tips above are your bare bones essentials for keeping your creative energy going strong. Of course expect more specific and detailed exercises in the future!
I'm sure I left out plenty of basics, do you have anything to share on how you preserve your creative energy and stay inspired and productive? Do let me know in the comments.