You have been working your ass off and you’re still not there yet. Postproduction is a beautiful mess at best for most of us creative professionals and I have the download on loving a creative professional and (gasp) being one too.

By creating healthy habits you’ll be more productive and if you have a special someone in your life like me, they’ll still want to share their cheerios with you at the end of the day and maybe even hop in the sack (wink wink).

Here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on: the one game changing piece I’ve learned first hand about the creative genius is that it doesn’t feel like you can turn your creativity on or off. When in fact I would argue you can and indeed should. (That’s not to say if the creative flow meets you in a field of daisies and the wind is just right and unicorns are galloping on the horizon you pack up and head to an afternoon screening of WALL-E NO, we can’t waste that juju).

What I am saying is even though you could spend your days in a creative tunnel blowing your own mind, eventually you will burn out and your creative lifestyle will suffer. Instead try building these 5 healthy habits guaranteed to make your creative lifestyle last.

Quick tip: to make the most out of this blog post, write down your commitments to each healthy habit and set a time frame to complete – my recommendation is trying to do all of these in some way in one day, ideally today. And repeat.


#1 – Turn off your Creative Mind

Did you know your attention span is less than a Gold Fish? According to Kevin McSpaden, from Time Health “people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds,” for gold fish it’s 9.   Your brain gets exhausted being focused, just like the rest of your body. Can you imagine if you were constantly in a full out sprint how fast you’d lose your momentum? When you tend to be in your head those around you will let you know. They are pissed you are always on your phone, mad you forget important stuff they’ve shared and they are asking you questions not once, not twice, but 5 times before you inevitably look up stink eyed and say WHAT? If this sounds like you it might be time to TURN OFF YOUR CREATIVE MIND. Life is happening now, in this moment. Get connected to it. Stop. Pause. And Breathe. There are multiple ways to do this, mindfulness is a huge buzz and for good reason. If you are curious Kira M. Newman’s blog over at breaks down 5 of the best free apps to help you get started! I’d say Headspace and Insight timer are my favorites. Begin by scheduling 5 to 10 minutes of mindfulness or meditation a day with regular check-ins that consists of 5 focused breaths 5x a day.


#2 – Create when you don’t feel like it

 How many times have you found yourself cleaning out your sock drawer when you have an over due project, simply because creativity hasn’t struck yet? Let’s be honest, you love what you do but sometimes it’s a slog getting to the good work. In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield speaks to becoming a pro and it was a huge breakthrough moment for me on leveling up my creativity and productivity. I’ll paraphrase a quote from p.64 of his book: “I write only when inspiration strikes, fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” HA! This is it. This is the deep work of waking up to what you want. Create when you don’t feel like it, set yourself a challenge to push past your resistance and step up to the plate. Set a specific amount of time and a specific date that you commit to getting to it. And Do it. You’ll also love your free time so much more and bring more to your relationships since you won’t be thinking about all you have to get too.


#3 – Celebrate what you’ve completed

What if every time you completed a project you celebrated? How would that change your sense of accomplishment or affect that background noise that there is always more work to do?   As creative professionals, especially in postproduction, there is always more work and the never-ending nature of what you do can make you feel purposeless like a cog in a wheel. My advice: set a boundary to acknowledge and celebrate what you’ve accomplished, like literally, have a completion party. It could be a dinner out with your special someone after a big project or it’s your own private dance party in the living room or maybe you have a completion board with stars and stripes that list all you’ve gotten done! Take away: make sure you feel that amazing feeling of being complete on the regular. It will give you inspiration and motivation to bring into your next project as well as build your confidence and a creative lifestyle that lasts.


#4 – Make time for YOU: alone.

Isn’t the end goal your greater fulfillment and deeper satisfaction in life? Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. speaks clearly to the importance of finding time just for you, what she calls solitude in her blog post on Psychology Today. The many benefits of finding personal time are far too great to count here, but speaking from one creative to another, I find it essential to schedule ME time – alone. Especially since the nature of most post production work is often solo time in front of a computer. The time alone I’m talking about is DIFFERENT. You must get away from the electronics. The key here is your personal time alone where you are not working on anything, you aren’t learning, researching, or creating. In fact you are quietly being with yourself. For me this alone time often takes the shape of a stroll in the forest, a walk in my local park, a sunbath on my balcony or maybe it’s just a few moments of watching the birds fly by my window. I take this time daily. It’s powerful to set a window of time in your calendar 5-20min to just be, it’s more of a reboot than your general scoot out to grab a coffee because it has no intended outcome or purpose. It’s just you time alone to create a more powerful connection to your own self, the world around you and to recharge in a big way.


#5 – Get great at actively listening

 Listening is one of our hidden super powers. It just so happens your ability to actively listen directly correlates to your ability to connect to creativity. (These findings are based on empirical evidence and a gut instinct). And what I’ve discovered is that creatively inclined folks tend to not always be the most active listeners because they are in their heads (see healthy habit #1).   Active listening is a skill that can be learned which focuses on hearing what is actually being said in its entirety vs. planning what you’ll say next or getting distracted with personal judgments. The editorial team at Mind Tools states that “we remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear.” Hmm, that doesn’t bode well for getting all the information you need for a creative project or truly hearing what our partner is communicating.   Start to build the habit of actively listening by setting the intention to do so. It takes practice but it pays off, the more you know before you start a project the easier it will be to over come challenges and meet expectations. You’ll also be inspired by the co-creative feeling active listening brings. In fact, inspiration is all about being “in spirit” and when we are connected to one another as humans we become inspired – the womb of creativity. So ditch the script and forget about protocol when it comes to listening. Throw yourself in all ears, eyes and goose bumps. Try it today by deciding to listen like your life depended on it and see what happens to your creative fire.

Wherever your creativity is taking you, these 5 healthy habits will create the foundation for a creative lifestyle that can sustain the test of time and make room for more of what you really want. Just remember it’s not about getting it all perfect, it’s about putting all your effort in and clearly articulating your personal commitments to number one – yes YOU.   Have fun.