To be able to create, you need endurance. To build endurance, you need to make a conscious practice of doing what makes you feel energised, making a habit of sleep, and recognising when you have done hard work and resting.
Creation is work. There is just no way around that fact. At some point it’s going to take persistent effort. The idea that you can float through, creating something on a bubble of joy and non-exertion is a myth. Sometimes you need to push through, to not be feeling it but do it anyway. To be honest, that can be the case a lot of the time. It’s demanding of your body, emotions, brain – all of you. If you meet that demand tired, half-asleep, and low on energy, at best you won’t do the best work you can. At worst, you will run into the ground and stop creating altogether.
This is why the most important quality you can have is endurance. All very well to say, but a more than fair point is to ask what if you don’t think you have endurance? Well, endurance for doing creative work is not something you just have; it’s a skill and a practice, and the building blocks of acquiring it are recharging, resting, and sleeping.
To keep your energy up, you need to take care of the things that give you energy. You need to include whatever these activities are in your routine. Just like you need to eat and sleep, you need to recharge. Know what that means to you and make sure it’s there every day.
Here are some things that I or people I know do to gettheir energy back. They might not be for you, but if you are looking around forways to recharge, give them a try.
Sleep – This is hugely important, so much so that itgets its own section later.
Going for a walk – There are few things as all roundgood for you as a walk. If sleep is the most powerful tool in the recharge kit,going for a walk is second. And that brings us to…
Being outside – Being out under the sky makes difference, even if it is for a few moments, it can lift you, body and mind. Even better if its somewhere with fresh air, plants, earth and water.
Being with people you like. – Note that I didn’t say talking with people you like. For some, talking is like a tonic. It leaves them filled up with ideas, optimism, and energy. For others, talking can drain energy. Having said that, you don’t need to talk to be around people you like, and if those people know you well enough to know that you just want to be, not talk, then it’s not going to drain, it may well do the reverse. Why? Because humans are the context for other humans, silent or not. Being with people that accept and like us is good for every part of our lives. And yes, it can recharge you.
From this list you might well think that going for a walk with people you like and then having a good night’s sleep is the best way to recharge. And you would be right.
The harder you work, the more consistently you must rest. Rest is a reaction to work. You take it in response to the toll that work takes. Simply put, if you are working hard, driving yourself forward, cracking problems, focusing, then you need to take an equivalent dose of low effort, unfocused, no challenge stuff. And you have to do it before your mind and body start to demand it. As with every part of the foundation of a creative life, that means building rest into your routine. Make a small habit of rest –you might say, I will go and sit and look out of the window at ‘2pm every day’, or ‘at 4pm I will open a book’. Whatever it is, build it in, make it as much of a vital habit as work, because in a very real way it is.
Sometimes the importance and benefit of something is anecdotal. Sometimes it’s scientific. Sometimes it’s both. Sleep is both.
Feeling burnt out? Get more sleep. Feeling uninspired? Get more sleep. Want to be able to focus more? Get more sleep. It really is that simple, and that powerful. Similarly, lack of sleep is just as damaging. Everything good which sleep gives, the lack of sleep takes away. Protect and prioritise sleep. And do not sacrifice it in pursuit of productivity. If you get up early in the morning to work, go to bed early too.
Burn out is personal. Being rested and ready is personal. Knowing when to rest and how you recharge is about knowing yourself. Observe yourself, reflect on experiences, and then make rest a discipline, and recharging a habit. If you do that, and do it consistently, you will have endurance, and then you can really create what you want to.
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Edited by Greg Smit
Written without AI