I’m reading Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis (I’ll write a book stack update tomorrow). I’ve listened to Chase Jarvis’s podcast for a few years and his appearance on Tim Ferriss’s podcast is one of those episodes that, if it were a book, I would put face out on the bookshelf. I was excited to see that he released an actual book.
It’s got a lot of practical advice for living a creative life and building creative practice into your day. One good time to try out: first thing in the morning. One way to make this work: aim to create something before you start consuming things.
If the first thing you do each day is pick up your phone and cruise all your favorite creators and entrepreneurs for inspiration, you probably end up feeling anxious or depressed that you’re not far enough along. The simple act of creating something with intention first, before consuming the work of others, alters the dynamic.
In Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday writes about the importance of protecting your mind from all of the inputs of the outside world.
The way you feel when you awake early in the morning and your mind is fresh and as yet unsoiled by the noise of the outside world—that’s space worth protecting. So too is the zone you lock into when you’re really working well. Don’t let intrusions bounce you out of it. Put up barriers. Put up the proper chuting to direct what’s urgent and unimportant to the right people.
You have stillness when you wake up.
There are a few things you can do to maintain that stillness1. One thing you can do is create something without any inputs—journal, draw, take some pictures.
Once that’s done then you can get on with the millions of things you do that break that stillness.
- I’ve listened to a few Ryan Holiday interviews where he’s talking about Stillness is the Key. He often mentions that he avoids his phone first thing in the morning. You can start with 10 minutes and build up from there. I think he’s up to something like a few hours before he does his first phone check in the morning.