Creativity

Oxymoron: An Organized Creative

I’m a creative. I dream and scheme and write things everywhere. I’ll draw on any surface I can find if I have to get something out of my head, and I’ll stop what I’m doing to sing a song that I randomly started writing mentally. I’m good at rallying people around an idea, and I enjoy bringing people together through common ground.

I’m a creative. And I’m fantastically unorganized and inefficient. I lose everything and forget stuff easily, because my mind is a non stop windmill of thoughts. I often fail to follow through on things and get overwhelmed by the pressure of my character and what comes with it.

This is a problem. I’m a business owner now, and, oh yeah…. I’m an adult. I have a family and responsibilities. I’m a leader in my church community, and I wanna be effective. I’m a musician that actually wants to get my dang music into a physical form that people can listen to. I got a lot of -ish goin’ on, and because of my “creative” tendencies, my life is mostly a disaster.

So, I’ve been trying to change that. I want to be organized, no matter how against the grain it feels for me. Here’s some of what I’ve been doing. If you’re like me, you should try these things too.

Getting Things Done

Read this book. This man came up with a very hands on formula that helps you 1) get EVERYTHING out of your head and 2)organize it in a way that will facilitate getting everything that was in your head done.

Mini Composition Notebook

 

This is a tiny composition notebook, and the pages rip out very easily. It was only $1 at Office Max. I keep this in my purse, and as soon as I get a thought or an idea, I write it on a piece of paper. Even if it’s something like you need to get bobby pins from CVS, write down “Bobby Pins” on a piece of paper. Now it’s out of your head, and you can trust that it will get done because that piece of paper isn’t going to forget it.

Organizing Tasks

 

I made a little system next to my desk that organizes my tasks from most importance to least importance. I bought a project notebook from Walmart ($2.97), clips from Office max ($2.00 for a pack of 8) and little number tabs from the Target dollar bins, and put up four push pins on my wall. Each piece of paper has the title of my task, and the steps I need to take to get it done. I then number them according to their importance (whether that be because of time deadlines or because I just really want to do them) and then hang them up. Now I’m not stuck standing in the middle of my house trying to figure out what I should do first. I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I have literally stood in the center of my living room, petrified and not knowing what to do because I couldn’t articulate in my head what should get done first. Without organization, everything feels like it’s the most important.

What system do you have in place to keep yourself organized? Does it work? What about it can you change to make it better?

5 Minutes to Fresh Ideas

Coming up with topics to write about can be difficult, especially if you are your own boss. You want to feel good about what you are writing, and you want others to be inspired by it as well. Sometimes I feel like when I talk to people about my blog, they have the idea that what I am doing is silly and unimportant. I get the “that doesn’t really take much work” type of vibe.

It couldn’t be any further from the truth. Sure I’m not sitting down and sculpting a perfect piece in iambic pentameter. But what I write matters, because I love to do it. And the same goes for you too, in whatever field your passions draw you to.

I read this great blog post today by Creative Arts Pastor Stephen Brewster on the 16 habits of Creativity, and it inspired me to do a little exercise. I got out my good ‘ol pen and notepad, and started a 5 minute countdown on my iphone stop watch. I then wrote down as many ideas as I could think of, and had to stop when the five minutes were up.

Sounds simple, but the race to beat the clock actually purged from my mind some great idea. And it felt good to get them all down, even if some of them weren’t really all that special. The point of the exercise was to get the brain going and the creative juices flowing. Sometimes that is all it takes to create one smashing result that effects a great number of people.

Whether you write, create D.I.Y. tutorials, watch kids all day or take fantastic photos, this is a great exercise. It will get your day going and give you the motivation you need to be your creative and original self!