Increase Your Creative Thinking Skills with a Re-Designed Morning Routine

What’s one word that describes your morning routine? Rushed? Stressful? Old? How about creative?

New studies show the repetitive morning routines most of us have are exactly what we shouldn’t be doing if we desire flexible and open-minded thinking, according to the Time article “Why Morning Routines Are Creativity Killers.” One study published in the journal Thinking and Reasoning showed “imaginative insights” will more often turn up in our groggy and unfocused moments. These insights come to us because the mental processes that restrict “distracting or irrelevant thoughts” during the day are at their weakest when we’re tired. Creative thoughts erupt when a tired person tries to problem-solve because they have to “widen their search through their knowledge network,” leading to more possible, and creative, answers.

If you answered that your morning routine is “stressful,” your stress hormones could be harming myelin, “the fatty substance that coats our brain cells.” When the myelin sheaths are damaged, they slow and cause a person to have less “Eureka!” moments. Finding a way to take the stress out of your morning, whether it’s waking up earlier, getting more done the night before, or finding some extra help, could energize your morning, and therefore the rest of your day, week, and more.

In the article, Annie Murphy Paul gives the following suggestions for redesigning your morning routine:

  • Set your alarm a few minutes earlier.
  • Lie in bed and follow your thoughts.
  • If you have any great inspiration, write it down.
  • While you get ready, don’t let your mind wander to “task-oriented” thoughts, like what you have to do at work.
  • Instead of reading the news, watch or read something uplifting and save the news for later in the day.

Taking time to make your morning more fluid and to be more conscience of your thoughts, can not only reshape your morning, but set the pace for your day. How could embracing a more fluid morning routine improve your day? How can you model fluid behavior for your kids and encourage their creativity through morning routines?


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