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When are you most creative?

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Former Talking Head, David Byrne, was recently profiled in the New York Times. The musician-drawer-performer-filmmaker-diarist-photographer-bicyclist is remarkably creative, so I wanted to pass on one of his secrets to productivity. Byrne does something CREATIVE (right side of the brain) first thing in the morning. Then he does something ADMINISTRATIVE (left side of the brain). Byrne says that the clerical stuff is important because it lays the ground work for creative spurts. These days, Byrne works at a stand-up desk near a window between his living room and dining room in his loft on Broadway near Canal Street.

If you don't have any idea who David Byrne is, watch this video (below).

My routine for creativity and production

Cartoonist, Bill Watterson, opined that most people can't turn on creativity like a water faucet. "They must be in the right mood," he wrote. "And that mood is last-minute panic." In my 20s, when I toured the country in a pop band, I used to get up at the crack of Noon.

Now, I LOVE my mornings! (Check out the pic of our band with Rick Springfield, who's second from the right. Yours truly is on the far left.)

Rick Springfield with Michael Angelo Caruso and the Caruso band
Rick Springfield with the Caruso band

I do something clerical at my stand-up desk (5:30am ish) first thing in the morning. Then, when I'm fully conscious (ha), try to write five or ten pages (blog, ebook, pbook, speech, whatever). The Uplift Desk gets moved up and down a half-dozen times per day to keep things interesting.

The work is interspersed with "Quick Tens" (push-ups, crunches, jacks, Arnolds w the dumb bells, whatever). I bang this exercise out to get the quick blood flow and get right back to work. Here's what the push-ups look like at a slower pace (video below).

I'm currently working on a free report on how to grow your service club. What about you? Hugh MacLeod famously said that the hardest part of being creative is getting used to it. Hopefully this info has helped. Where do you do your best creative work? What time of day? What does your work station look like? I look forward to reading your comment.


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