Creative habits of successful people

…And how to get over that mental block

  • Pick a hobby

    This seems quite literal, but as Apple founder Steve Jobs proved that taking up a creative hobby, even something as simple as calligraphy, can make a difference. Jobs credits the multiple beautiful typefaces in the first Mac computer to his interest in studying calligraphy after he dropped out of college.

  • Get on your feet

    Albert Einstein is known to have first thought about the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle. The composer of ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Nutcracker’, Tchaikovksy believed that he had to take a two-hour walk every day and anything shorter would bring him great misfortune. Since then several studies have observed that doing anything besides sitting at a desk can help rewire your thoughts. 

  • You don’t need a desk

    Your typical work spot could be the very cause of creative ennui. The popular crime fiction author Agatha Christie never actually worked at a desk, she always carried a notebook with her and wrote whenever inspiration struck. 

  • Please your senses

    Sometimes you may need to treat yourself to get motivated. Khushwant Singh indulged in expensive stationery, the fierce Urdu writer, Ismat Chughtai claimed that smelling her trusty pack of playing cards inspired her prose and the German poet Friedrich Schiller would only work if there was the smell of rotten apples around him. 

  • Perfect the power nap

    According to the surrealist Salvador Dalí a quarter-minute micro-nap was enough for him to return to his canvas. He would doze off on a chair with a spoon in his hand and an empty vessel at his feet. Just when he fell asleep the spoon would fall and hit the vessel, awaking the artist with a loud clang. And he could launch back into work without any grogginess.


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