Warm up routines and pregame rituals are pretty common among athletes, but we don’t usually think about them with other things. Over on Medium, writer Srinivas Rao points out a pregame ritual is useful for creative types too.
Using writing as an example, Rao lays out why a pregame ritual is important:
Writers have to warm up too. We warm up by putting our pen on a page and fingers on the keyboard and tap, tap, tap. It doesn’t really matter if anything particularly coherent shows up. We just need to get our fingers in motion. We need our fingers to loosen up. After all, painting vivid pictures that engrave deeper memories by tapping away at a keyboard is not exactly a natural state.
Of course, your ritual depends on what type of creative work you’re doing. If you’re writing, it might just mean dropping 1000 words onto a page no matter what. If you’re an artist, it might mean free drawing on a napkin, if you’re a programmer it might mean writing a few lines of code on a side project, or if you’re a public speaker it might mean telling a funny story in a mirror. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s about giving yourself an easy way to warm up before you get to work on the real thing.