Creative Strategy
April 8, 2021

Going outside is my most powerful productivity habit.

Open Reference

For professional creatives, there is the idea that creatives must do their work even when they're not inspired. This mode of thinking has helped many people. But if you take this advice as a directive to use pure willpower to "be creative" and don't make strategies to do your work daily, it can feel very defeating. As research shows, willpower is a weak strategy for change.

In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield points out that amateurs do work when they are inspired, and professionals do work because they have to - this is true. It's worth reading his book to get a complete picture of the idea.

But how can creatives approach doing work without just willpower when you don't feel like doing it?

Rather than just sitting down at a computer to design or write, I go outside first for a short walk. Being outside is my most powerful productivity habit. For me to be professional, I have to walk in wonder - a literal activity. To use a phrase from Jeffrey Davis, I need "wonder walks."

Yes, I do think professional creatives have to do work because they said they would. Still, in daily operation, I believe the path to be a professional creative means intentionally designing your mindset to do good work consistently.

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