I work with a lot of creative types. Entrepreneurs and artists alike struggle with the fine line between inspiration and clutter. Bright shiny objects can be the spark for a fabulous new product or design or the stuff that’s in the way of actual production and creation. That is actually a topic for another time.
This time, I want to talk about finding the time to use that stuff to make something. Creativity is a process, one that rarely gushes forth smoothly start to finish. Most of the time it requires some space and time to percolate and become bold.
Taking the time to figure out what your own personal creative process is can help you produce more, better and faster in the future. The trick, like with most things, is to put together just enough structure to create a system from which to create, not to recreate the stuff that fell apart without the structure to hold it.
I am feeling cleverly creative which means you may want to look at it this way: Creating a routine to follow every time you are inspired to create will save you enough time to actually finish your creation.
There are 5 stages in the creative process that once you know will keep you inspired and productive with a lot less effort.
Idea – The initial though that something might become. Have a place to quickly keep them. Recording them on a master list is the fastest and safest way.
Inspiration – When the desire to act on one of your good ideas strikes, take the idea (and any corresponding tasks) off the list and schedule them. It is also a good idea to create a folder for the project so you have a place for all the related papers to go while you work on it.
Draft – What happens as you work through the process. The trial and error, the looking at it this way and that phase. It is very important to eliminate the things that don’t work as you go. Once a decision is made against something stick with it. Re-deciding is a big waste of time.
- Complete – The point your deadline has been reached. Just stop and share. Thinking you will just fix one more part will keep you from doing other stuff that may or may not be more successful.
- Evaluation – Where you look at what worked and what didn’t and determine if you will repeat all or part for another project. Also, the point where you put your materials away so they are ready to go next time.
My deadline has been reached. Hope you enjoy my completed piece. I have to go recycle the page with all my notes for this article on it.
Try applying this process to your next project and let me know how it goes.