Jun 22, 2014

Don't Let the Clock Rule Your Creative Life

Stopwatch drawing on blank canvas
Schedules. Deadlines. Meetings. Time commitments. Some days, it feels like our entire life is governed by that ubiquitous, soulless ticking machine which can only take our time away from us and never give it back. Such is the life of the modern-day office worker, whose opportunities for creative output are defined by the dreaded shared calendar, and small bits of time between an endless stream of meetings.

This can be the eternal struggle for the creative person with an introverted mindset, always able to go off in a multitude of directions and countless trains of thought, amidst the reality of ever-approaching project deadlines and milestones. Unfortunately, I think it is a safe bet that deadlines will always be a part of our daily lives, as long as our jobs are the main outlet for our creative work. Having said that, I think it's also quite possible for us to "overcompensate" for our unstructured creative tendencies, to the point where we become our own worst enemy, by regimenting our schedules in such a way that we cannot let our creative energies out to breathe, and do what they do best.

Jun 13, 2014

Embrace the "no", but work your way up to a "yes"

I don't know if this is specifically an introvert thing, but usually when I get asked to do something new, which requires me to step outside my comfort zone, my initial and predictable reaction is to say: NO WAY! To an outside observer, this response would provide a fairly clear indication of how I intend to proceed with their request.

Thankfully, though, over the years I have learned that there are many shades of "no" in business, and it is simply not helpful to vocalize your first reaction to a new situation, especially when there is a chance that you will ultimately work your way up to enthusiastically saying yes. This might be a difficult concept to grasp if you are naturally more comfortable with having a constant stream of new information and experiences weaved into the tapestry of your life. For some of us, however, dealing with constantly changing plans and fast-paced decisions can lead to a sensory and information overload in our brains, so we naturally need some time to think things through.