" It seems the message of this research for those seeking to establish
a new habit is to repeat the behaviour every day if you can, but don't
worry excessively if you miss a day or two. Also be prepared for the
long haul - remember the average time to reach peak automaticity was
Usually, repetitive work is not associated with creativity. But Edison's name comes to mind, b/c of his constant focus on developing new inventions. Over his lifetime he accumulated more than a thousand patents, some of them turned out to be seminal in the history of technology. Edison's lab tried to be creative "repetitively" and, obviously, the succeeded.
In Creativity, by now famous psychologist M.Csikszentmihalyi, the idea that creative people are very repetitive, almost stubborn, in things they are trying to create comes out loud and clear.
From my own experience, writing for two hours a day was key to making progress with my own book. Zerubavel's "Clockwork Muse" helped me immensely to understand and implement this simple recipe. Also, my best patents came out during the time when I literally forced myself to think up an invention a day. Most of the ideas died, but a good 50 or 60 of them made it into a patent application.
Of course, the problem with the repetitive approach could be that you get stuck with the same set of tools and in the same concept area, developing, even if you are very successful, a tunnel vision. Then, an antidote to this problem would be to work in many areas at the same time. That is why I really like working with various startups, learning new technologies, and teaching different invention techniques. Listening to UC Berkeley podcasts on topics ranging from electronics to philosophy of language, also helps.
tags: creativity, process, problem, solution, science, invention