Creative and productive through rituals: learning from successful people


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Creative and productive work processes are as individual as the people themselves. Therefore it makes sense to look at the work processes of famous personalities.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Rituals and habits help us in our work

Rituals, that sounds a little spiritual and habits work, if we are honest, boring at first sight. But if we take a closer look, then rituals and habits are very important to us:

They help us to better organize our work through consistent processes. Because what we do routinely often runs on autopilot, we have to think less about it - and use less energy that we can use for something else.

Habits motivate unpleasant but necessary things to do

Such a habit may be the weekly jogging lesson, but also the weekly order of bookkeeping. This can be written in the calendar or put on the to-do list.

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As a rule, such habits help with things that you do not enjoy doing - for others, you are motivated enough. But how do you practice a weekly habit? For example, you can connect it to another task. So the sports exercise can be linked to a program on television, which you see regularly.

The rituals of successful personalities

So do it Senseto take a closer look at the rituals of particularly successful personalities. In our interview series and opinion section, we have repeatedly shown how successful personalities can cope with their daily workload and be constantly productive.

There is no doubt about it: From the way successful people work, we can learn a lot and look for one or the other ritual. And maybe one or the other will find his own personal ritual for more productivity.

How do famous scientists and artists work?

For his book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”, the American author Mason Currey has compiled the habits of almost 200 choreographers, actors, composers, cartoonists, filmmakers, philosophers, painters, poets, sculptors and scientists throughout history - among them Benjamin Franklin, Henri Matisse, Nikola Tesla, Stephen King, Twyla Tharp, Federico Fellini, Ann Beattie, Gustav Mahler and Toni Morrison among others.

Currey's research brought surprising things to light. For example, Anthony Trollope forced himself to write 3000 words every morning before leaving for work - in this way he wrote more than two dozen books in 13 years. Igor Stravinsky could only compose if no one listened to him and stood upside down when he had a blockage.

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Sport has already been productive

Charles Darwin started the day with a short walk. And Alice Munro writes her books bit by bit, almost in secret. Some of these thinkers preferred to work early in the morning, others prefer late at night. And many great thinkers started the day with coffee, tobacco and alcohol.

However, even before 200 years many people did something like sport - at a time when it was not yet modern: for example in the form of long walks.

Productivity tips of current personalities and entrepreneurs

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, for example, is quoted as saying: “I concentrate on concentrating” - this shows how important concentration, target focus and appropriate mind techniques, such as meditation, are for personal success - and that any distractions should be strictly avoided.

Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, opposes multitasking: He suggests doing one thing better than anyone else, and only this one thing. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs can give priority to tasks.

Conclusion: The habits of successful people provide much inspiration

And another thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is that they get up early, ahead of 6 in the morning. For all who can not do that, we have some tips for better sleep ready. However, my tip is just for the things you do not like to do: Make it a daily habit!

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Once you have overcome the inner bastard and the work is easy on a daily basis, then you can slowly switch to a weekly rhythm. If a task is to be scheduled for Wednesday, leave it on Tuesday, then on Monday. And in the end you have a nice regularity.

That sounds like more effort, but only to a small extent. After all, only the weekly workload is spread over seven days or five working days. This makes it easier to tackle the task every day because it's smaller. So you get used to the processes, is safer and faster in the settlement. And you can see that you can look up a lot for successful people and their own way of life.


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  1. Walter Taff

    Great post, a daily routine is so important!

  2. Johanna B.

    How do you become successful? Is not it much more important what personal success means?

  3. Jennifer

    Amazing how much can be achieved with the change of small habits.

  4. Lisa

    That's a nice text, it really helped me to rethink my habits.

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