Life vs Creativity (3/4): Revolutionise Your Workflow; First Impressions Matter

“…any time you manage to find to be creative is precious.”

We all say at some point that we don’t have time to be creative, and I’ll put up my hand and admit that I do the same. Life will often get in the way of your creative time, so any time you manage to find to be creative is precious. For this reason we have to know when and how we are going to be creative; by Planning Creativity. Once this has been achieved we can focus on our workflow.

Workflow really is the key to success when trying to manage life and creativity. If we take forever to get a simple task done in our minute window of opportunity then we will never achieve anything. This is why planning in advance works so well; it means that we can focus quickly, work efficiently, and achieve our goals successfully. A sense of achievement is a driving force to be creative, meaning that creativity can become a centre point in our lives; rather than thinking it’s not important.

“…as creatives it’s what we such for; our own first impression.”

Creativity obviously relies upon your own originality and what makes you different from the rest, but in many creative practices, that difference is in the end result; the piece as a whole. This may be a personal opinion, as many creative pieces are picked apart by onlookers trying to understand the processes that made it happen, but the initial blow is with first impressions, and as creatives it’s what we such for; our own first impression.

This is where frustration lies. We fight battles with ourselves constantly as being unable to see our first impression leads to an overwhelming sense of failure. For this reason I believe that practising our process of being creative and revolutionising our workflow enables us to earn a glimpse of that first impression a lot earlier than expected.

“…if we can see an end result then we are more likely to work harder to achieve it.”

This perception is vital in making sure we perceive our creative time as important, as when we can’t see that first impression, we don’t have as much hope as we should. We need constant motivation to keep going, so if we can see an end result then we are more likely to work harder to achieve.

A few quick internet searches involving your field of creativity will come back with multiple ways in which you can increase your workflow, although here are a few ideas that may help…

  • Create templates – If you find yourself repeatadly doing the same thing in each project to get started then create a template. You can do this within software (if you use it) or even simply by being prepared…
  • Be prepared – Make sure that everything you need is to hand. You should think about this whilst Planning Creativity. This might involve having common tools you use, or a list of things you need to do
  • Set limitations – Don’t always allow yourself to do anything. Think about the end goal and what you really need in order to achieve your goal more efficiently.
  • Practise – The only way you will increase workflow is by taking the above tips and practising. Find a time when you can regularly practise, even if it’s just 30 minutes, try to do as much as you can in those 30 minutes. You might be surprised how much you get done.

Using the above ideas have helped me to increase my own workflow, and I hope they help you. There was one particular time where I spent two years trying to complete a project, and I never liked the end results. I’ve always been happier with work completed quickly, and in the same head-space as when I began. Seeing more positive results lead to knowing that I was able to achieve my creative goals more easily than I had originally expected, and I hope you find the same.

Life vs Creativity (1/4)

“…your standard day to day workings that take up your creative time.”

Many things can get in the way of our creativity. I often refer to this as ‘Life’; by this I mean your standard day to day workings that take up your creative time. If you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to deal with life in such way, then I salute you, you’ve hit the jackpot, but there are so many creatives I know that commonly struggle with this.

Creatives use their talents on a daily basis, but often struggle to create what they really want to themselves. Perhaps they’re a composer working hard writing music for film and television, but would prefer to be writing their own symphony. A cameraman filming daily, yet never directing their own film. A writer/journalist reporting everyday, yet never able to write their own story. I personally spent a year teaching music technology, only wishing the whole time to be making music for myself rather than teaching others.

“…should we really do this to our own detriment?’

Now this may appear selfish. Why have a talent and not use it to help others? This is true, and I agree that we should always help others when we can. We should use what we have learned in life to teach and guide others, but should we really do this to our own detriment? I recently had a conversation with someone about this such subject, people who study in order to go straight into teaching. It is something I can’t quite comprehend, as we all need to experience life in one way or another before passing on our experiences, and when moving straight into teaching after study, when have we had the time to experience the real world? Teaching is certainly a great way to earn a living and find fulfillment, but what does it cost in terms of our own creativity? Does it allow us to truly be creative for ourselves?

I’m not going to concentrate on teaching but thinking about that time in my life led me review my own ‘creative life’. I began to map out when I had been the most creative and what I was doing at that moment. Previously I’ve spoken about Planning Creativity which has been the first step to making sure I allow myself to be creative, but in the past I hadn’t needed to plan. It led me to think; “Why was that?”.

“…is it going to be a never ending battle between the two?’

As we grow older life begins to throw more and more our way. We may find a day job that we enjoy to earn our keep or a partner share our time with as we being to settle down. We begin to consider what the future holds for us, but where in that future is our creativity? Is there enough space to allow life and creativity to live happily side by side or is it going to be a never ending battle between the two?

This is a question that we have to decide for ourselves as it will never naturally sway either way. It involves our own discipline to get things done; to plan ahead and choose our own path in the creative world.

If you’re like me, and have decided for certain that you want creativity to be part of your life in a more established way, then over the next few blogs I’ll be going through a few steps I’m taking in order to achieve this. It involves dedication, discipline, time, organisation, inspiration, willingness, sacrifice, energy, and above all –  Patience.