Creative & Messy vs. Creative & Organized

Creative & Messy vs. Creative & Organized

Some of my clients think that getting organized is going to decrease their ability to be creative. They think that the disorganization allows them to express themselves.

Being creative has nothing to do with disorganization. In fact, the more organized you are, the more time you have to be creative. The more organized you are with your tools, supplies, and papers, the more time you free up to be doing what you really want to do.

Returning tools and supplies to where they belong frees you to start working when you walk into your office or space. You just need to change your habits. For example, let’s say you love to paint and you would like to paint a mural on a wall. As it is now, you have to hunt down all the supplies and tools before you can even begin the job. This might take some time because all the supplies are scattered everywhere. So you spend minutes or maybe even hours collecting all the supplies. By this time you are so frustrated that you have no creative energy left.

Picture this scene: you go to the space in your garage where you have collected all of your painting supplies and where they are arranged in a way that makes most sense to you. In less than 60 seconds you grab what you need without depleting so much as an ounce of your mental and physical energy tanks. Go to the wall and express yourself!

Importantly, when you are finished, you must take the time to clean tools and supplies and return them to the place that you’ve allocated for them. You do this because you know the benefit of taking the time to do the mundane task now will pay off the next time you want to paint. In essence, you are cultivating a fertile environment for the next painting session.

Now, imagine your office or work space cluttered with old scraps of paper, piles of files that you no longer use, together with staplers, tape, pens and dumped in heaps around the space. Do you even feel like doing your job? Can you even find a small space to work? How can you do your job to the best of your ability when you are digging through the old stuff to get to the new?

What if, when you walked into your office, you actually encountered some clean surfaces? There still might be a few piles of papers but they’re contained in boxes or baskets. Better yet, they are standing upright so that you can see what the papers are rather than being buried in a stack of files. You might have to move some things off to the side but, for the most part, you can start working on what you need to without delay. You are free to be creative and spontaneous with your work because you know where all your tools are.

Before you leave for the day, take a few minutes to clean up your space. As with the example of the painter above, this seemingly mundane task is crucial to preserving tomorrow’s creative energy for, what else, your job!

Let us help you boost your creative energies with an organized workspace.

For more ideas check out Organizing for the Creative Person by Dorothy Lehmkuhl & Dolores Lamping.

Got questions? Contact Ruthann by clicking here.

49 Comments

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