I know this sounds kind of counterintuitive but really leaning into my routine can help alleviate extra stress for me. And less stress means more room for inspiration. Relishing the routine really means enjoying the process, not rushing through it. When I run through the motions, I’m not really getting the most out of the routine.
My morning routine in particular is super important– it establishes the kind of day I’m going to have. I wake up and spend some time walking the dogs, enjoying every minute of the slobbery kisses and excited play. Then I take my time grinding fresh coffee, brewing a perfect cup, and savoring those first few steaming hot sips before sitting down at my desk to tackle my inbox. I typically don’t come up for fresh air with my emails until I’m done, which takes like four hours minimum. I love my mornings though. They’re quiet and coffee filled. I can then go on with the rest of my typical routine knowing my day is off to a great, productive start. Good mornings = great days.
Sometimes though I do need some kind of change. I may drive through a Starbucks for a coffee in the morning or, if I have the time, pop into my favorite cafe for a perfect cappuccino. An extra 20 minutes, but I sometimes welcome that tiny little change.
The something new could be anything: a new desk set up, a new lunch spot, a new view, a new study spot. Even picking up a new book or listening to a new playlist on Spotify.
I don’t know if I’ve ever not been inspired by doing something I’ve never done before or doing it a little differently. Sometimes it’s nice just to find something you don’t like all that much; it can help point you in the right direction of something you do like.
When things are getting really dicey, I like to get up and move. Like really move. A yoga class, thirty minutes on the treadmill, and extra long jaunt with the pups (their favorite, naturally). I usually find this kind of activity distracting. And what’s a better way to find inspiration than to not force the inspiration at all. Maybe something will hit me while I’m sweating it out running or maybe it’s not until I’m back at my desk that afternoon, head clear and body tired, that I think of that one game changing thing.
You know when your computer starts going on the fritz and you’ve got 100 programs running and two deadlines that are fast approaching. It’s time for a restart.
This is the same situation for my brain, sometimes I just have too much going on up there and I need to clear some memory/storage and do a reboot. Even though it takes a little bit of extra time, it’s extremely beneficial for me to tackle something big off my to-do list. The immediate relief that washes over me for finally checking something off is usually enough momentum to get me through the rest of my list without so much as batting an eye.
When I struggle to find the motivation to tackle the big item, I start small. (Honestly, if you don’t make your bed every morning, you should! It’s such an easy way to get a great start to your day. I think there’s some science behind this, but it could also just be the world’s best placebo effect. But it works. Try it!) If you’re going to do something small, it should be something that brings you at least a little joy. Joy, productivity, inspiration… all kind of go hand in hand.
Sometimes I don’t necessarily need inspiration to get through something so much as I need some kind of distraction. I hate actual distractions, so I find that having something to look forward to serves a great purpose. It helps keep me going in the right direction and can often times serve as a rewarding deadline.
Right now I have a few things coming up that I’m really looking forward to: a new website and rebrand (that’s really big picture) and a few trips (some personal, some more work related). These keep me motivated and bring me inspiration daily as I plan and coordinate.
Last, but not least, having a conversation with a close friend about anything really is always, always good for the soul. Sometimes I’m the listening ear for a friend and other times I’m the one rolling through rambling thoughts one after another. It helps to get stress and anxiety off your chest, bounce ideas off another person, and maybe even have a reality check or two by someone whose opinions you trust.
What do you do for inspiration?!