Learn How to Find Balance Between Creativity and Productivity
By Kristin Savage
When we think of creativity, we instantly think of artists who are carefree and don’t like to be constrained by any rules or deadlines. On the other hand, productivity leads us to a person who is obsessed to obtaining results and doing things right. So, how could someone be productive and creative at the same time? Is it really possible?
The truth is there cannot be productivity without creativity and vice versa. According to J.P. Guilford, productivity is related to convergent thinking, while creativity goes to divergent thinking. If you think of a day to day situation, divergent thinking generates innovative ideas. But, when you start taking concrete steps and getting things done, then you use your convergent thinking. So, they are like “love and marriage”. You cannot have one without the other!
How to Grow Your Creativity and Productivity at the Same Time
Leaders will constantly look for productivity no matter what. They need to keep the lights on and increase the numbers. So, they need productivity to quantify the results and think of improvement solutions. On the other hand, creativity is disruptive. When you have a brilliant idea, you burst of excitement and it interrupts everything you are doing. What is more, it is difficult to measure creativity and establish KPIs for it.
So, can creativity lead to productivity? Can we use them at the same time at work and improve our experiences? Below you can find some efficient ways to stimulate your creativity and become more productive.
Release Yourself from The Office Routine
When you need creativity to be more productive, the first thing you should do is change your perspective. For example, you can leave the office and turn off your phone. By changing your location and staying away from the office activities, you will be less stressed, and you will see how new ideas will come to your mind. Study shows that walking increases creativity. Therefore, a walk in the park can be exactly what you need when you search for the Creativity God.
If you are leading a brainstorming meeting, you can break the ice with some fun games. This will help both you and your colleagues to forget about the office routine and foster your creative thinking. Laughter also improves your mental flexibility and will help your brain come with unexpected ideas.
Know Your Ultradian Rhythms
Not all the people are highly productive in the morning. Creativity comes naturally during the hours when you are the most productive, whether it is during the morning or in the afternoon. Research shows that people have productivity cycles of 90 to 120 minutes. After 120 minutes of work, any individual needs a break. So, working against your ultradian rhythm will make you get less done and be less creative.
If you are not sure which are the periods when you are the most productive, you can do a little experiment. You can record your energy and motivation for 3 weeks in a row and note everything in a spreadsheet. You will use grades from 1 to 10 every day to rank your motivation and energy level and so you will know when you can count on your creativity to be more productive. You can schedule administrative activities for the periods when you are less productive as you will not spend that much energy and focus.
Be Passionate About What You Do
It is essential to be passionate about your work if you want to be both productive and creative. Without passion, you cannot find the motivation to get things done and the inspiration for that light-bulb moment when you desperately need it. However, you need to cultivate your passion if you want to stay motivated every day.
So, learn from the leaders in your industry and stay in touch with passionate people just like you. In addition, you can stay updated with the latest news on the market and find more about your clients’ interests. Each of these activities will inspire you and stimulate your creativity. Try to note down every idea or information you find out as you will use it when you will most need it.
Promoting Creativity Helps People Lose the Fear of Failure
In an organization, people shouldn’t be afraid of failure. The fear of failure blocks people minds and makes them less productive and creative. Fear stops us from speaking our mind or thinking to innovative solutions and thus becoming less productive. It is obvious that not all the ideas are successful. But, failure should be celebrated instead of blamed. Therefore, innovative thinking is encouraged, and thus new productivity heights are achieved.
The CEO of PickWriters, one of top translation companies, strongly believes that this type of behavior helps people become emotionally invested and passionate about their work. This is what he declared in one of his recent interviews: “When your team members are given the opportunity to develop an idea from the beginning to the end, they become more motivated and passionate about their work. Plus, when people don’t fear about telling what they think, they become more creative and motivated to complete their tasks. This obviously leads to a higher productivity.”
The combination between creativity and productivity is definitely the future of work. Even though your daily routine involves repetitive activities, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be creative. You need creativity to stay motivated and find solutions to your problems. The winners of tomorrow are the ones who take advantage of creativity to deliver solutions that others can’t. Thus, their productivity scores will have no rival.