5 quirky rituals to help #boostyourflow

Have you ever wondered how the world’s most famous artists create their masterpieces? History can teach us a lot about the way people work. From Joseph Heller, to Beethoven, some of the greatest creatives of all time have sworn by some positively quirky rituals to be at their most productive. Here’s my pick of some of our favourite creatives and their weird and wonderful daily routines.

1. Beethoven swore by 60 coffee beans per cup of coffee

Beethoven was always up at the crack of dawn and wasted little time getting down to a day’s work. Breakfast was crucial to boosting his workflow and the quality of his work, which always consisted of a cup of coffee. He prepared this with great care, individually selecting 60 coffee beans, precisely counting them one by one. He had a simple supper and ended the day with a glass of beer.

Tip: It’s important to take regular breaks when you’re working as it can help clear your mind and give you the energy boost required to get the job done. Whether this be a quick coffee break or an 11am snack, taking some time away from your workspace can really aid productivity.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) on engraving from the 1800s. German composer and pianist. One of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all time. Engraved by W.Holl after a painting by Kloeber and published by W.Mackenzie.

2. Milton Glaser believes that creative impulse is key

Iconic American graphic designer, Milton Glaser, the brains behind the I♥NY logo, is the walking embodiment of New York City. Glaser believes that the great benefit of taking inspiration from your surroundings is that when you sketch it out you see it for the first time. This is why he creates on-the-go drawings with nothing more than a pencil and a brown paper bag.

Tip: Why not step outside into the fresh air for a brisk walk and see what creative inspiration you can find. Research from Stanford University has shown that walking for 5-16 minutes a day can boost creativity and increase the number of ideas produced during a brainstorm by an impressive 60%.

Badge-J'aime-New-York 3. Le Corbusier always followed a strict schedule

Swiss-French architect and designer Le Corbusier was a pioneer of modern architecture and ran his life with iron regularity. He believed that it was important to begin the day with a target and stick to it, practicing strict self-discipline at all times. He would start the day with 45 minutes of intense exercise, followed by hours of focused sketching.

Tip: It’s important to have routine in your work life in order to structure your day and be at your most productive. If you don’t already, why not try writing a list of things you want to achieve by the end of the week and create your daily schedule based around these points.

Young artist painting an autumn landscape

4. Don’t give up your day job, said Joseph Heller
Many of the most famous creatives we know of today managed to juggle a day-job alongside producing some of their finest work. Even if it resulted in an unusual or gruelling routine, they found time for projects in their everyday life. Joseph Heller wrote the famous novel Catch 22 in the evenings after a day at work. He was an advertising executive by day and took great joy in his career as well as his evening writing pursuits.

Tip: You don’t always need to give up your day job to be creative. Finding a balance between your career and working on your creative ideas is key to producing great work and can instil discipline and structure into your life. 5. Pablo Picasso believed it was crucial to find a routine and an environment that works for you

Picasso wanted a lifestyle whereby he could work in peace without worrying about material possessions – and that’s exactly what he had. He was a modern day night owl – going to bed late and getting up late, locking himself away in his studio from 2pm till dusk. He had little time for socialising with his family and dedicated his life to painting.

Tip: Everyone’s brain functions differently at various times of the day so work out what’s best for you! Studies have shown that early risers tend to be good at making plans, while those who work late into the night enjoy more divergent thinking. Picasso

So it would seem that great minds don’t actually think alike, at least where our great creatives are concerned. Personally, I found that once I started getting up earlier and stretching my legs for half-an-hour or so really helped to boost my creativity (and sometimes my Instagram account) as well as mitigating the effects of a career that invoves sitting for most of the day.

So, do you have any weird and wonderful rituals that help you get into the zone and be at your most creative? Let me and the team know in the comments section below or by tweeting @AdobeUK or @AdobeUKStudents using #boostyourflow