Creativity and Productivity Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Many creative people struggle with time management and organization because many of them believe that constraints hinder the freedom to create.  The opposite is actually true.  Constraints can actually lead to productive creativity.  To be creative means one is in the habit of creating.  Being productive means one is in the habit of creating regularly.

Let’s take writing as an example. Writers are basically creatures of rituals, constraints, and habits.  Most successful writers will dedicate a specific time everyday to write.  They will also stay in one room the whole time.  On top of that, they will only use one medium for writing whether it to be pen, pencil, typewriter, or computer.  Some will go as far as only using one brand of paper, or one brand of paper.  These habits and constraints help writers focus their writing, not hinder it.

These creative habits can be seen in other arts as well.  Dancers rehearse religiously. Musicians practice every day.  Photographers always carry their cameras with them everywhere.  Illustrators try to draw something every day.

Just as athletes must stay in shape, it is important for creative people to keep their creative muscles in shape.  This means being in the habit of creating regularly to push their work forward toward completion.  They need to be productive.  Ritual, constraints, and habits are the key to productive creativity.

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