5 Habits of Highly Effective Creatives

Keith Simiyu
September 6, 2022

Practice. Custom. Pattern. Routine. Convention. Norm. Wont. Manner. 

All of these are words we use to mean a habit. But what is a habit and how do you stick to it? 

A habit is a settled or regular tendency / practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Experts have been known to keep it simple and only build one habit at a time; it might take just one habit to build a myriad of positive changes in a creator’s life.

Forming a habit is hard, especially at the beginning but this is what goals are built on. Here are 5 tips of highly effective creatives that may just be the inspiration you need to build and stick to your own habits.

1. They don’t hide from Negative feedback.

“ Opinions are like podcasts everyone has one but not all are worth listening to.” - unknown

Feedback is A MUST in every creative’s process as this is what gives them the tools they need to grow. To welcome feedback you need to understand that NOT all feedback is creative equally. With this in mind as a creative, you will be able to gauge the feedback you get and whether it is of use to you. This will also determine your response to it. 

An effective creative will ask these questions before accepting any feedback:

  • Do I actually trust and respect this person?
  • Have they already achieved something that I wish to achieve?
  • Are they an expert in an area they are commenting on?
  • Is this person my MOM?

2. They focus on the work, not the reward.

“...find Joy in the process” - Matthew McConaughey

There are many different things that might affect the performance of your content and so many of them might be out of your control. When setting your goals, focus on the efforts required to get there and not the rewards. High rewards alone won't motivate people to put in the necessary work to meet their goals.

What is in your control is actually what you CAN control. Consistency and joy in the work are just some of them. More of what you can include under your creative control are: 

  • How you often show up. 
  • How often you do the work.
  • How often you put into practice what you’ve learnt.

3. Make rest a priority

“...it’s far easier to return to unfinished work than it is to start on a blank canvas” - Stephen Kotler

Treating creativity as a commodity rather than a coffee cup is why we usually don’t have much returns in terms of productivity. You and your health should be your top priority; it’s important to realize that you don’t produce your best work when you are exhausted. You need to keep refilling your cup.

To prevent a burn out, you can: 

  • Set very hard deadlines, meet them and rest. 
  • Have a caring partner to keep you accountable.
  • Leave your work in progress, be a Boss of your time, and come back to it replenished.

4. They do their most important work first.

“...if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing that’s going to happen to to you all day” - Mark Twain

The idea of waking up before the sun to be productive is a complete myth. Might work for some people but the most iconic creatives have been night owls. Seizing the first few hours of work has less to do with the exact time of day and more to do with… STRIKING WHEN THE IRON IS HOT. EAT THE FROG.

Reasons why doing your most challenging & important work first is so effective:

  • Your day will always be a WIN!
  • Less interruptions & disruptions throughout the day. Breezy! 

5. They treat content creation like a habit. 

“I work 3-4 hours everyday. I try to get six pages fairly clean…” - Stephen King

While many argue you need to be inspired to make magic happen, it could actually be that you need to always be working. Making a habit out of a habit sounds a bit meta, but it should be a non-negotiable part of your daily routine just like making your bed or brushing your teeth. 

Regardless of your craft, the above tips would be excellent to build any positive, life changing habits. An extra tip to help you along the way would be to invest back into yourself. Take a free online course, interact with people more advanced in their careers and crafts, watch an informative You Tube video or even invest in the best gear you can to get you started on building effective habits to help you do life better.