Geniuses are unique by nature, but share certain habits that support their creative endeavors. Artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives throughout history swear by their routines. They have systematized their daily activities to minimize distractions and maximize creative output. To foster a genius mindset, you can adopt some of these habits yourself.
GET UP EARLY
Geniuses get up early. They rise between 4:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. For these group, 7:00 is considered late. They get up early to increase their work time and to avoid the distractions that come with other people being awake.
Geniuses walk. Tchaikovsky took two hour walks every day. Dickens walked for three hours a day. Mahler and Beethoven also walked daily.
PRACTICE STRATEGIC SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Geniuses practice strategic substance abuse. Balzac drank 50 cups of coffee a day. Beethoven 60 beans per cup of coffee. Kierkegaard poured black coffee over a cup of sugar daily. Charles Dickens engaged in opium use. Edgar Allen Poe and Hemingway drank alcohol heavily. Howard Hughes injected opiates. Freud was addicted to morphine.
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT, THINK, IMAGINE
Geniuses take time to reflect, think, and imagine. These activities are the catalyst for creative inspiration and action. It’s where dreams originate. Einstein, for example, practiced visualization and thought-experiments which he then followed with action.
STICK TO A STRICT REGIMEN
Geniuses stick to a strict creative regimen. They create a system that works for them and they stick to it to the point of obsession.
KEEP A RECORD
Geniuses keep a record of their ideas, thoughts, and observation. They keep notebooks, journals, diagrams, charts, etc., to keep track of their work. Gandhi, Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart were avid note keepers.
STOP WORKING WHEN IN THE FLOW
Geniuses stop working when they are in the creative flow. They do not stop when they are out of juice. Instead, they stop when they are ahead. This ensures that they will know the next step when they resume their work.
WORK WITH MINIMAL DISTRACTIONS
Geniuses work in environments with minimal distractions. Graham Greene rented a secret office so he could work undisturbed by his family. Jane Austen insisted on not having a squeaky hinge fixed so it would act as a warning when someone was coming. Faulkner’s door did not have a lock, so he removed the doorknob to prevent people from entering.