Contrary to popular belief, creativity and organization are not on polar ends of the spectrum.
Many creatives do not excel at their craft when their environment is extremely messy and unorganized. Instead, there needs to be some constraint in order for it to flourish. In other words, complete freedom—freedom without constraints—may be stifled.
To ensure this does not happen, read on to learn how creatives can create organization that will enhance their creativity (#3 includes blueprint storage systems).
But First, Who Are Creatives?
And, by creatives, we do not just mean artists, writers, and performers. Scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, and marketers are creatives too. As Forbes contributor, Steven Kotler says “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing.
It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination.” This could mean designing an experiment that appropriately tests a hypothesis. Or, creating a new curriculum for the start of the semester.
How is Creativity in the Office Stifled?
Creativity in the office gets stifled when managers are more focused on producing the “perfect” report or “perfect” process.
With perfectionism being the goal—not producing something original being a great customer service experience, new product or service—creativity is starved.
So, it takes a balance between organization and perfectionism for creativity to come out.
Questions for Creatives to Ask Themselves
What can creatives do so that their creativity flourishes? How can they incorporate organization into their lives? Read on to find out!
1. What Do I Want to Accomplish Today?
Pick three tasks you want to accomplish a day. These are your priorities. While you may not have gotten to other to-dos, it is for certain that you did check these off when you walk away from the office. When choosing your top three, make sure you are realistic.
If you have a meeting with a client that you know will run at least an hour, perhaps choose smaller top threes you can do in a half hour or hour?
According to the Huffington Post, creativity can be boosted when the creative has intrinsic motives to do an activity.
That said, if you are not feeling like doing a task or feel as if your creativity is lacking, come up with intrinsic reasons why you should do the task. This may not only get you up and moving but the task may be done more creatively than it would have.
2. How Much Time Do I Have Left?
Damien, a well sought-after designer, puts his own constraints so that he can get the most out of his creativity. He will normally go with his gut instinct because, in order to meet the short deadline, he does not have enough time to second-guess.
Whether you are a graphic designer or librarian, you can make the most of your creativity by either setting a timer, using the Pomodoro Technique or simply seeing how much time you have left to finish that project or wrap up for the day.
3. What Does My Work Space Look Like?
Interestingly enough, creativity and organization do not entirely go hand in hand. According to a study, those who were in a messy room compared to a tidy room were able to come up with more creative uses for ping pong balls.
Nonetheless, tidier rooms were linked to higher expectations and healthier choices. At the end of the day, if you want to be more creative, perhaps it is time to let the clutter pile a little?
At the same time, clutter is also associated with stress. This is where a blueprint storage system can come into play. Since each hanger can hold up to 60 prints, which makes it easier to quickly hang up oversized folders, blueprints, graphics, etc. in a couple of minutes.
Creatives then have enough freedom (while having a time constraint) and a messy desk to work on their project and then quickly stash the clutter away in the blueprint storage system.
4. Am I Asking the Right Questions?
To get more creative responses, reframe the question. In doing that, your brain pulls from your memory in order to help you answer them.
In a nutshell, the more difficult the question is, the more creative the response will be.
If you are a kinesthetic learner, it may help if you list your questions on paper—physically writing them down. For visual learners, imagine the question. And, more auditory learners, ask the questions out loud.
You could even organize a time in your workday where you brainstorm (and problem-solve) that upcoming report or project.
5. What Does My Organization Space (and Process) Look Like?
While this may be contrary to #3, everyone’s organizational spaces can look different. In fact, Joan Rivers created an intricate filing system to catalog her jokes.
You may not be a professional comedian but do whatever helps you maintain some sense of organization. That may mean having the stereotypical bulletin board up in your office with an assortment of colored sticky notes. Whatever it is, if it works, stick to it.
6. Do I have a Consistent Routine in Place?
Creatives are not routine phobic. In fact, novelist, Haruki Murakami mentioned that his routine consists of writing in the morning for five to six hours, then a 10-km run or 1500 m swim. And, during the evenings, reading and listening to music.
Even if you are not a novelist, you can create a routine (and stick to it) that enhances your creative energy. This could be getting coffee in the morning, reading the news online, and then hitting emails for an hour before starting on your project for the day (or your top three priorities).
7. Am I Working More in the Mornings?
If you do stereotypical creative work, research shows it may best to do it in the mornings. According to Psychology Today, 72% of creative people did their work in the mornings compared to those who routinely did it at night (15%).
So, you may benefit from being an early riser and hitting the work hour before 7.
Final Thoughts: That Blueprint Storage Systems May Come in Handy
No matter what creative work you do—be it in science, mathematics, teaching, marketing, or dance—it is important that organization plays a role in your day.
This can be organizing your office space (but keeping some clutter) by using the blueprint storage system. And, create a consistent routine (that you stick to); in fact, 88% of stereotypically creative people have (and follow) a strict routine.
Nonetheless, you want to make sure that your organization works for you, and that you have enough constraints in place to allow your creativity to flourish.
How else can you boost your creativity in the workplace? Be sure to leave a comment!
- Overall, creativity and organization are not on opposite ends; one needs the other
- Creatives come in many different forms: scientists, teachers, marketers, writers, artists, etc.
- Creativity is simply making something from nothing
- For instance, scientists are creative because they can come up and design an experiment that adequately answers their hypothesis
- To boost your creativity, counterintuitively, you need organization to provide constraint
- You also will need to organize your space (enough) while keeping some clutter (although studies do show that clutter contributes to stress?)
- This is where the blueprint storage system works well; with its hangers holding up to 60 documents, you are able to quickly pick up your workspace on the way out
- List three top priorities; if you are in need of a creative tip, come up with intrinsic reasons why you should complete these tasks
- Create (and stick to) a routine, which can be an anchor (and a constraint?), which will allow your creativity to flourish
- Ask the right questions by reframing them; that way, you draw more and more creative answers
- If you do stereotypical creative work, research shows that morning may be the best time of the day to get work done (while nights were seen as the least)
- Give some constraint to your day; this could be in the form of deadlines, or pushing a timer or using the Pomodoro Technique
- Creativity is stifled by focusing on the perfection of the process—in other words, micromanaging
For more information on blueprint storage systems and blueprint storage racks, contact Big Blueprint Hanger.
 Inc.: Is Organization the Enemy of Creativity?
 Huffington Post: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently
 Huffington Post: Messy Work Space Spur Creativity, While Tidy Environments Linked With Healthy Choices
 Fast Company: 3 Ways to Train Yourself to Be More Creative
 Fast Company: 3 Ways to Train Yourself to Be More Creative
 Psychology Today: Daily Routines of Creative People