Do you feel that the words organised and creative should never be used in the same sentence?
Is it wrong for a Creative Thinker to be structured and orderly in the way they run their business?
Organisation, structure, discipline and habit are often seen as threats to creativity. Not to mention corporate-sounding phrases such as ‘time management’ or ‘workflow’. We like to think of creativity as a space for imagination, free from all constraints. Yet while freedom, rule-breaking and inspiration are undoubtedly essential to the creative process, none of the magic happens if your distracted, un focused, or focused on the wrong things.
To run a creative business you have to be organised – and this can come in many ways.
Here are a few.
1 – Find out what makes you creative
Being at your most creative doesn’t just happen, often we have to be in the right head space, environment, time zone, listening to the right music, or just “feel it”.
But you have to know what works for you, and orchestrate that creative place. One thing I know for sure, if you are half way through answering emails, or you’re trying to squeeze it in between making the dinner, it ain’t going to happen.
Im not saying that to be creative you need to work 9-5 like some kind of corporate robot, if working at 3am in your PJ’s or getting up a 2pm and working til 2am go for it.
Make time for the work that is most important. Plan your week, and if you need a full day to conceptualise a new logo, don’t allow any distractions.
2 – Get rid of distractions
One of the biggest time wasters is social media. There are a few apps you can download now that block distracting websites when you are trying to concentrate.
One thing that distracts me as I work at home, is a dirty house, I can easily suddenly think, “You know I really need to clean the fridge out” and it becomes the most important thing I have to do NOW.
Knowing your distractions and getting them out of them way before you settle down to create is the key.
In my case – getting a cleaner is a must.
3 – Whats really important and whats urgent?
This is one of those questions thats hard to answer sometimes, especially when your busy and stressed.
Knowing the difference can be game changing.
Use a work box like this one to categorise your jobs into each box. Look at your deadlines and needs of your clients and decide what is really urgent.
You won’t believe how happy and in control making this decision will make you feel.
4 – Decide are you an early riser or a night owl.
I know for sure my brain works best first thing in the morning, if I have something important or creative to do, this is the time to do it. I am always up at 5.30am, but ask me to do something creative at 9pm and forget it.
Running your own business is joyful, liberating and full of freedom so take advantage and work when you work best.
Check out Tim Ferris Blog on the 4 hour week
5 – Don’t force it
If a project is not working for you don’t force it, change where your working or how your working and try again. I find my environment is a game changer when it comes to producing work I’m really proud of.
Also this comes down to your mindset – once you make a decision to have every Sunday off, keep to it, because if you suddenly have to work regularly on a Sunday you feel hard done by, and if your mind set is not right, you’ll never complete the project to the standard you want.
I could talk all day about ways to make your business run smoothly and efficiently so that it allows you to spend time on your creativity.
Keep in touch – as I will be posting more tips and hints on project management that will stop you working for peanuts and help you to make a profit.