“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

Is there anything that we creative types prize more than imagination? I expect not.

One way that we can support our imaginativeness is to preserve the mental space necessary for our ideas to germinate and grow.

Problem is, in our hyperconnected world, information bombards us, and processing all of that information consumes our mental resources.

Here are 5 habits I adopt to protect and replenish the mental space I need to do my creative work.

1. Honor Creative Goals
Keeping my long-term aims in mind, I set smaller goals for each day, week, and month. I then affirm the importance of these goals throughout the day so that they stay in my thoughts.

2. Sanctify Time and Space to Create
I determine when and where I’ll practice or write, and then I stick to my schedule. Before I begin working, I center myself and disconnect from everything else.

3. Trim TV and Computer Time
Because I know that information will grab my attention, especially when I find it interesting, I set limits on how much I take in. I enjoy the time I spend online and watching movies, but I don’t overindulge.

4. Ditch the Drama
It’s hard to imagine anything more attention-devouring than personal or professional dramas. I foster inner peace by dealing with conflicts when they arise as opposed to letting them fester.

5. Refresh
I reboot daily with physical activity. I also know that my brain needs fuel and rest, so I manage my diet and sleep, although it can be a challenge. On top of that, I take time off to enjoy life and explore new places, people, and ideas. It’s not easy to balance everything out, but if I wanted ease, I wouldn’t have chosen a life in the arts.

See pages 76-82 of The Musician’s Way for information about six restorative poses and movements that replenish mental space and invigorate practice.

Related posts
Awareness, focus, concentration
The centered performer
Mental imaging 
Mindful musicianship
off, off, ON! 

© 2011 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Dudarev Mikhail, licensed from Shutterstock.com

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