Routine and discipline

22.02.2016 |

Episode #3 of the course The random word doodle: boost your creativity and exercise your mind by Rich Armstrong


Doodling random words, like any creative workout, is like sharpening an axe to fell a tree. In this case, your mind is the axe, and your mental work for the day is the tree. It makes sense to sharpen your axe before you start chopping. And because it’s an important part of the process, it makes sense to incorporate it into your pre-work or pre-day routine.

I like to do my random doodle as I wake up. It gets me up. It kickstarts my day. For me, it’s the creative breakfast of champions. It also replaces checking email or thumbing through my Facebook or Instagram feed. I start the day creating rather than consuming. I start the day with fun and a small hit of dopamine. Not knowing what my list of words will be also builds some excitement as I get up, anticipating a creative challenge.

I find getting into a routine of doodling daily gets me into a creative mood way quicker. I also wake up faster and waste less time in bed after my alarm clock goes off.

Ideally, you want to give your brain a workout before you start your work day, but I find it helps in all areas of life—not just with work. And that’s why doing it in the morning is best for me. Consider when the best time of day would be for you.

Because of the sharing aspect of the random word doodling practice, what routine does is build a habit of creation and shipping. What’s great is that you get to build the habit with a small amount of time and effort with a non-critical piece of work—it is, after all, just a doodle.

Contrary to popular belief, instilling discipline and routine into your creative life does wonders for the creative soul and mind. So now let’s get you doodling. Here are today’s words:

1. Extempore
2. Foundry
3. Piddock
4. Linseed
5. Downwind
6. Coasting
7. Glottochronology
8. Qualm
9. Sustained
10. Partaking

Scan the 10 words. What is your brain envisioning when it sees the list of words? Which one is jumping out? Which one is screaming to be doodled? Don’t stress if none are. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes you have an idea right away. Sometimes it ignites an idea fire. Ask why it stands out and try emphasize that in your drawing. Remember, no pencils!

3rd day done! Nice! Ship it. Share it. Build that routine! And then have yourself a brilliant day!


Recommended book

“Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon


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