Robert Tamayo


The Importance of Routine in Creativity

Creative people tend to be thought of as non-conformists. They are regarded as eccentric and capricious rebels. Maybe they are thought of as troubled. They don't fit in with normal society.

But I think that's just how they seem at a glance.

Imagine if you tried to emulate their creativity by adopting these attributes. Would you be more productive? Would you be more creative? Artists don't work less than other people; they work more.

Most people would think that my title would be "The Importance of Routine in Productivity". But it's not. Routine is important for productivity, sure, but that is fairly well understood.

What's not understand is that routine is important in creativity.

Routine's Role in Creativity

To be creative, or to do creative things, you need structure.  You need reliability and stability.

Yes, you need flexibility of thought and openness of mind.

But you also need some consistence. You need perseverance, determination, and will.

You need a bass line, a drum beat, a rhythm. You need a solid canvas, a still model. You need the rising of the sun, the movements of the clouds, the leaves blowing in the wind, the spinning of the stars.

Art isn't a pattern, but it is based on patterns. It shows us something found in the patterns, but only by examining the patterns can it be extracted. Chaos doesn't have a pattern, and so it can never be art.

My Routines

I am notoriously very consistent. I have eaten the same lunch at work every day for 5 years. I have eaten the same smoothie every morning for breakfast. I workout 5 times a week. I write when I get home. I work on my game for a bit. I read and study. I smoke a cigar every weekend.

These routines give structure to my life, freeing up my mind to focus on my creative endeavors. Because of these routines, I'm actually very flexible. I'm comfortable with "fuzzy" conclusions. I spend my other time creatively solving problems. I come up with characters and ideas for my game. I write songs when I feel like it.


I'm not saying that routines themselves are creative. They are clearly the opposite. I'm saying that routine behavior can lead to creativity.

Add some routine and structure to your life, and you may find that you will be more creative.

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