Creativity Cautions

As an entrepreneur, I bet dollars to donuts that you love to engage in other creative endeavors well beyond your startup. Creativity is our lifeblood, but if not controlled, it can interfere, deter or sabotage your startup’s velocity. If you look back at my previous blog, A Morning Ritual, Not A Morning Retreat, it points out how an over-the-top morning ritual saps energy and adds more distraction. Instead of a morning ritual being a mind and body warm-up for a day of exceptional productivity, many of my clients, uberly creative, report indulging too much time and energy in their morning rituals. They are told, in addition to working out, to meditate, journal, drink their over-priced energy drinks and resist their email, and act on their creative yah-yahs before getting to work. Well, let’s get real here. We know how jump-starting those creative juices first thing in the morning may help one solve problems in their business or see things from another angle. But if you find that acting on your muse as part of your morning ritual a bit too musifying, here’s what you can do.

Creative activity can seep into your morning and bleed into your objectives for the day no matter how good of a time manager you are. Set an alarm for 30 minutes, an hour or reasonable time slot for creative flow. I rarely boast, but when it comes to managing my time, I’m awesome. HOWEVER, when I sit down to practice piano I tend to lose track of time; I require occasional clock checks to stay on schedule.

Creative endeavors tend to be so fun and joyful, that when it’s time to shift to work mode, it can take the smile out of “file” and the grin out of “call in” and the smirk out of “paperwork.” The to–do’s we avoid end up looking worse in comparison to our hobbies.

Don’t give your hobby a bad name. Try making your creative activity a reward for getting important tasks completed, either from the previous day or for an end-of-the-day incentive. Instead of hiding from your to-do’s, you’ll eagerly cross them off the list as quickly and efficiently as possible because your creative endeavor awaits!  Using creative activity as a reward versus a distraction streamlines the transition from the creative activity to the to-do’s. You’ll relish your creative activity so much more if you earn it!

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