Balancing productivity with creativity is essential for any (remote) worker. As challenging as it might sound, these two qualities must corroborate. If they don’t, we should consider making small adjustments in our lives.
Some freelancers might lack originality by concentrating too much on being productive, while others might lack structure by overly focusing on their creative sides. Keeping a balance between the two is essential, as they both play an important role in our daily jobs.
“Stay afloat” by following the below advice, and remember: if you’d like to add anything, don’t hesitate to leave us feedback.
How to Stay Creative 101?
1. Practice Writing
It doesn’t matter whether you are a dissertation writer or a business owner – writing is a great tool to boost your creativity. Practice it as much as possible, and you’ll see incredible results in a relatively short period of time. Here’s how writing will help you:
- It makes you think outside the box, and help you focus on conveying ideas properly
- It makes you brainstorm – one idea will lead to another, and soon, your imagination will suddenly expand
- It exercises your mind
- It defines objectives, and can easily help you set goals
- It provides a deeper understanding of the topics chosen
- It improves your overall well-being, confidence, and learning skills
You don’t even have to spend that much time writing! Design half an hour per day to this activity, and you’ll see how much you can progress.
How to Merge Creativity and Productivity
Now that you know how to develop creatively, it’s time to learn how to merge these two characteristics together. Being productive is paramount, so it’s important to remember working on this quality as well.
First, learn how to be productive by:
- Keeping away from social media while working
- Making a schedule and sticking to it
- Taking constant breaks
- Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound
- Finding a good workplace, especially if you are working remotely (designing your own office is a good idea!)
- Rewarding yourself when completing a task
- Varying your tasks
Besides that, don’t forget to socialize between tasks. It’s crucial to keep communication active and expand your social skills. It will highly contribute to your creativity!
Second, apply creativity to productivity by:
- Reading diverse content –in order to stay creative, you must read a lot! But guess what? Reading helps productivity as well, as it opens your mind to new ideas and perspectives.
- Taking on various tasks – if your projects are diverse, ideas will come easier! Working on different tasks makes you both creative and pro-active.
- Taking longer breaks when you need to – don’t blame yourself if you need to take a longer break from your tasks, and work on something else for a while – that’s completely normal! If you hit a dead end, take your time, relax, enjoy life, and come back to your assignments only when you feel ready to.
- Alternating between being productive and being creative – if you really can’t find a balance, alternate between your skills – explore various ideas one day, and stick to a strict schedule the other; combine the two alternatively might work perfectly well for you.
- Designing a proper work environment– I included the “no distractions” advice in the “productivity tips,” but remember: a proper work environment will expand your creativity as well. When you are not distracted by your phone ringing, alarm going off, or best friend texting, you are more present and have time to come up with original content.
- Having extra-curricular activities– it’s been proven that extra-curricular activities, such as exercising, reading, or even walking, can improve your creative thinking, and help you organize your time better.
- Resting properly – if you don’t get enough sleep, how do you expect to be creative and productive? Make sure you rest properly. If you don’t find enough time in the night to rest, take power naps during the day – they work, I promise!
Changing goals – if you’ve already implemented all of the above techniques in your daily life, and your creativity or/and productivity hasn’t increased at all, consider changing your goals. Maybe you need to take it slower, or maybe you haven’t found the right objectives yet. Re-evaluate yourself, and come up with something new!
2. Breaking the routine
- We all inevitably develop various routines throughout life. These habits can impact our productivity levels positively or not. If you are not a super-creative person in general, sticking to a strict schedule might be disadvantageous for you. Exploring different opportunities by breaking the routine can be door-opening and horizon-broadening – so try it!
- Embrace failure – give up on“what ifs!” We only regret the chances we didn’t take, right? If you fail, learn from your mistakes, and move on. That’s the only way to evolve.
- Let go of control, just go with the flow – when making a decision, don’t worry about the outcomes. Let go of control, and just go with it! (make sure you think your decision through as many times as necessary though)
- Let go of bad habits, create new ones –habits play an important role in our creativity expansion; when we want to develop creativity, we usually change our habits for the best; so, eat healthier, work out, or simply relax more!
- Give yourself as many chances as needed in order to succeed – don’t be too hard on yourself; if you do so, there’s a high chance you’ll end up disappointed. That will stop your growth, and cease creativity expansion.
- Start improvising. Instead of keeping a set mindset, let your imagination speak for yourself! – be innovative, funny, and open-minded to any new opportunities that might show up!
Don’t force yourself to break the habits, or change the daily routine. Take this process step by step, and have patience. That’s the key to success!
3. Learn Something New
Learning new skills expands your creativity, and helps you develop as a person. Most of the times, achieving a new quality will make you step out of your comfort zone, which will teach you important life lessons in return.
- Do your research and find out what qualities you are really interested in developing
- Find out what’s the best way for you to learn something new – for example, some people can only learn by doing, while for others, theory comes first!
- Practice all day, every day –just kidding, I know you have other things to do as well, but try to practice your new skill at least once per day, every day
- Find other people that share your passion
- Get feedback, listen to external(especially professional!) opinions, and develop accordingly
After you’ve achieved your target, try learning something else that’s new! Keep going, and you’ll see how your creativity level will increase daily.
The choices you make decide whether your productivity and creativity can merge or not. Thus, for increased-creativity purposes: break the routine, learn something new, and practice your writing. For increased productivity purposes: vary your tasks, set S.M.A.R.T goals, and make up a proper schedule. For merging the two: be innovative, diverse, and say “yes” to new challenges!