What’s Worth Doing Every Day?

I really dig Austin Kleon‘s attitude regarding creativity, writing, and productivity. His advice is usually simple, easy to follow, and ultimately probably for everyone (even if you aren’t creative).

Recently, he was interviewed about his routine (which seems to be a recurring theme in his work) on Extraordinary Routines. A few gems:

I think routine is so important, especially when you’re getting started creatively, but for me right now, I almost need checkboxes and rituals more than I need routine…

Whether in the form of checkboxes or a routine, this process makes the morning hours crucial to his creativity. “The most important thing for me to do is to write my diary and to write a blog post. If I have done that, then the day in some ways is a success.”…

Instead of aspiring to perfection, we can learn to accept and nurture our imperfect tendencies. We don’t need to sand off our edges, as Austin puts it. “We’re so obsessed with life hacking and with becoming these productive, shining examples of ourselves, but so much of good creative work comes from being a person that has tensions in their life.”

That’s helpful advice, especially considering my post yesterday. By becoming obsessed with good quality productivity, life-hacking, and perfection, I’m forcing myself into inaction on the things that I want to be doing. Checkbox-thinking and routine-thinking forces us to take action, regardless of our perceived faults.

And that makes me wonder, what’s worth doing every day? What’s “checkbox worthy” in my own life? Theoretically, I’d want them to be as simple as possible:

  • exercising for at least five minutes a day
  • praying or meditating for at least five minutes a day
  • reading at least one chapter of a book
  • writing something on the blog, even if it’s just a few words

That’s probably not the whole list, but perhaps it would be beneficial to me to start thinking through to help me overcome my desire for control and perfection when attempting something new.

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