How do I balance creativity and productivity? Often we can feel a conflict between the two. We don’t always have the amount of time we would like to have to come up with ideas or graphics simply because life is busy. You have things that need to get done, leaders and students that you get to invest in, and tomorrow, next week, and next month holds a whole new set of creative needs. How can you maximize your creativity and get it done in a timely manner?

Creative thinking isn’t linear. This is the brainstorming stage. Productivity is more linear in thinking. This is the executing stage. Therefore Creativity and Productivity require two different modes of thinking. In other words to be creative you can’t be “productive” and to be productive means you aren’t as creative.

In order for you to understand how to be more creative and more productive.  You have to understand what those two modes look like. So let’s start with creativity!

  1. To be creative you need to be playful.

Creativity is at it’s best when you are goofing off! Yup, that’s right. I’m giving you permission to have fun in your work place. Creativity is childlike. It asks endless amounts of what if’s. Where there are no wrong answers and any rules apply. Creativity is at it’s best when you take time to laugh, explore, and have fun! People wonder why creative people are so different and it’s simply because we are really good being big kids*.

*Notice to the quiet creative: Maybe you aren’t an outgoing creative person but that doesn’t mean you aren’t being childlike. Your childlikeness is marked by a strong sense of curiosity. You find anything and ALL things fascinating and you ask a lot of questions.

Creativity only requires you be curious and

have a positive place where you can explore all ideas.

Now how does that creativity translate to productivity?

   2. Productivity is not changing your mind.

The hardest part about creativity is that the possibilities are, in fact, endless. You could spend hours or days developing an idea. The more time you spend on it, the better the idea will become but the more time you will have lost. It’s not realistic to think you have all the time in the world because that “great idea” is worth waiting for.Just make a decision and stick with it. No going back and forth and being wishy washy. You have to close the door on creativity for the time being and you have to enter productive mode. In this mode you don’t ask “what if’s” anymore, unless you like taking two steps forward and 3 steps back.

In this stage you merely executing. This means that when you are half way through your project and you realize you could have done so many other things to make it “better” you have to realize you just can’t. Not only will this hinder your productivity. It will bring it to a screeching halt. It just wastes time. 

Starting something is good but finishing something is better.

Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear from you.

What are ways you could integrate being more creative in your daily routine?

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