You can be Productive and Creative

If you work in marketing, you know that the need for production often eclipses your freedom to be creative. It seems that there’s just no time or energy for stepping outside the box. At my company Emote Branding + Design + Web, we know that productivity and creativity can exist in the same space; in fact, we couldn’t imagine them existing apart from each other.

Firstly, it can help to know exactly what being creative means. Creativity is not about devising brand new ideas; instead, it’s about devising new ways to combine, use, or present old or existing ideas. Oftentimes, simply changing your understanding of creativity is enough to spark your imagination.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about how you can make more time (and mental space) for creativity within your productive work day. The marketing team at Emote recommend practicing the following:

  • Get out of the cubicle. A walk during your lunch break, an aerobics class before work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, travelling out of town on your days off…all serve to get creativity flowing. Adequate blood flow is a necessity for creativity and a brain that experiences new and different things is more likely to generate brilliant ideas.
  • Designate creative space. If you must be at your workplace for a designated period of time, set up a space (even if it’s just one end of your desk) that you will reserve for creative thought. It should be messier than your primary space, and should include the types of things that set your mind free (quotes, flowers, funny anecdotes, etc.).
  • Embrace noise. Writers often choose to work in noisy cafes. Many artists have difficulty working without music. Mind channels open when continual noise is present. Fill your creative space with a buzz—for more creative thought.
  • Develop a system for recording thoughts. One never knows when creativity will strike. Oftentimes, you won’t be at work when your creative genius comes calling. Carry a notebook or recording app with you. Never assume that you’ll remember your great ideas—a lot can happen to muddy your mind between now and the next work day.
  • Keep an inspiration connection file. Great concepts won’t always fit into what you’re currently working on. However, a great idea is a great idea. When you get them, record them and save them for later. You never know when a campaign or project will benefit from a bit of connective genius.
  • Be warm. Even a slight chill in the air closes up creative channels. The body and mind preoccupy themselves with staying warm. Turn the thermostat up a few points and free your mind to create.
  • Dim the lights. When lights are bright, your mind is more attentive to reminders of your work constraints and the triggers that stall creativity. If you’re able, dim the lights and your thoughts will flow more freely.
  • Reserve times of exhaustion for creativity. Do you have a difficult time waking up in the morning? Or do the 2 o’clock doldrums get you? Or maybe after dinnertime, you are ready for bed. Choose the time in which you feel the most tired and use that time to get creative. You see, when your mind is drained, it chooses to reserve energy and it drops the filters—you know, those voices that force you to say the right things and make “safe” decisions. With these filters out of commission, your mind is free to roam to uncharted territory.
  • Learn to embrace failure. Most pieces of creative genius come to fruition on the heels of significant failure. Not only is failure a motivator for those of you who strive to better yourselves, failure means you’re on the path to creating something—because without endeavour, there can be no failure.

The very best marketers have learned to strike a balance in their work lives—a balance between productivity and creativity.

I hope this helps you in your creative process, enjoy the journey!

I hope you enjoyed this article.

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Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.