I arose today to discover with horror the following note in my brain:
We have your precious Creativity. Here are our demands.
1) Answer the emails. That’s right: alllllll the emails.
You’re gonna check email every second you get. We’ve installed a Gmail app on your phone that you’re gonna check nervously between meetings, on your commute, at home when your wife is talking to you, in the bathroom, and generally every moment of gap time you have in your day.
Gap time otherwise spent allowing your mind to wander.
Gap time otherwise spent allowing your deeper thoughts to come out.
Gap time otherwise spent connecting the dots between disparate events and experiences and drawing valuable conclusions and creating remarkable new concepts for content.
Oh, and don’t forget to check email when you’re physically in front of a computer too. Yeah. Do that.
2) Attend the meetings. That’s right: alllllll the meetings.
You’re gonna sit in on lots of meetings. Some of them, you’ll find pointless. Some of them, you’ll find are counterproductive. Some of them, you’ll find enjoyable and start thinking positively about meetings — UNTIL YOU REALIZE IT JUST ADDED A USELESS PROJECT TO YOUR DAY! Mwahahaha!
Go on - attend the meetings. You know you want to. You could be missing something really, really important…
3) Check off your to-do list items. That’s right: alllllll the items.
You’re gonna compile a to-do list full of mundane tasks. Then you’re gonna cross off each task, one by one, until your to-do list is empty. And you’re gonna feel great about each item you cross off, despite none of these tasks moving the needle on your major projects or goals.
That’s right, Jay: you’re gonna feel great about doing mundane work and about generally lacking in creativity all day.
4) Get a coffee before you dig into your next big creative project. That’s right: alllllll the—well, okay, that’s probably not realistic. I mean, we’re kidnappers, not coffee nazis here. But yeah -- get that coffee, sucker!
You’re gonna finish your to-do list, and you’re gonna face a solid hour or two of creative time. But you’re gonna get up, adjust some items on your desk, and go walk to get a coffee. “But why?” you ask? “I don’t actually NEED a coffee,” you say?
You don’t have a choice.
You will do this because we are holding your Creativity hostage, and when you return, you will realize you have precious little time left in your open window before the next meeting.
Do this, or else!
Email, Meetings, and Distractions
The Daily Routine Gang
PS: It’s already 11pm. Too late. We've killed your Creativity.
Don’t let your routine kill your Creativity. Take back your day. Say no to things. Be structured. And work on what's most important.
And if all else fails, start by watching this pep talk and get back to being awesome. Good luck!