“Do high performance routines and habits stifle creativity and innovation?”

It was a great question from an audience member, after I had given a keynote on how the best get better.

My position is that routines and habits are actually essential if you want to become creative and innovative.

The reason is that routines and habits help you to free-up mental energy. For example, if you have built the habit to effectively and automatically brush your teeth in two minutes every morning, these two minutes can be used to either mentally relax, or engage in creative thinking.

We have a limited supply of mental energy. Routines and habits help us to make maximum use of this precious resource.

The same is true for effective processes and systems in organizations: It provides the freedom to channel creative organizational energy to innovation and development.

The real enemy of creativity is not routine. It’s chaos.

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