What's your ritual?

The first chapter of 'The Creative Habit' (see my earlier post) talks about the rituals that can trigger our creative habits, that is habit forming. What time, location, temperature, process sets you off? What's your triggering ritual, like an athlete who takes certain steps, and movements before a race, golf swing, kick. Do you get up early, stay up late, go outdoors, stay in doors?

I have always been an early riser. Part of being an introvert, is that I have always, even as a teenager liked rising before everyone else, and having some time to myself. When I was bi-vocational commuting into London this came in helpful, beating the traffic, getting time to pray and read before arriving at work at 7 a.m. It was tiring but it was also the way I am wired.

I often get asked how I get time to do my job, do doctoral research and travel and speak etc. I have found that getting up at 4 a.m to 5 a.m gives me lots of time.

So my ritual, is an early rise (before sunrise), grinding coffee, and sitting down in my office (or at home), putting on the some choral music, and taking a deep breadth. The dark, the smell of the coffee, the heat of the mug in my hand, the sound of choral music, all draw me quickly to a place where I can read, think and write. Even in the daytime, when I need to think, a coffee, closing my blinds and putting on some music, can draw me back to that place. I have other rituals, but this is my daily one.

So what's your ritual? We're all wired so differently, I'd love to know what yours are?