The Creative Loop
We’re always struggling against the clock. Literally pulled from pillar to post to deliver any number of project and business objectives. Even if we’re in a position or role of focussed responsibilities we’re likely still battling with time and spread too thinly. Despite the stress and overwhelm, it may even be that we’re getting the opportunity to do some creative work in our day to day working lives.
This rare respite from the onslaught of busyness is often just enough for the grass to always appear greener. Indeed, engaging with a moment of creativity can leave us dissatisfied with the rest of our expanding and never-ending workload. Contrary to our heartfelt instincts the surrounding overwhelm forces us to retreat further from the unknowns and challenges of exploring our creativity, especially at work, where budgets and deadlines loom large.
The first thing we can do to address this recurring issue is to change our thinking.
We need to look at the process of unlocking time and creativity as work in itself, not just something we try to do at work. To do this we need to understand our selves a little more and get to grips with our version and level of creativity as it were.
There’s three levels, kinds or strands of creativity. They are all restricted or unleashed by the quantity and quality of time we make available to them. In simple terms, the two primary or most well-known levels are Creative Doing and Creative Thinking, or a combination of both. The third, Creative Feeling is often missed entirely or is so far out of our awareness that we don’t even know it exists or is part of the mix at all.
The reason we miss this is generally because of how overwhelmed by busyness we are and how distracted we are with the knock-on coping mechanisms, whether good or bad, that we turn to day in and day out. What we miss out on is the realisation that Creative Feeling is a critical part of being able to continually access your unique form of creativity from within what I call the Creative Loop.
In this article, I’m going to cover the basics of how to unlock time or ‘Break Your Busy’ so that you have a chance to enter the Creative Loop. In the least, you will become more aware of its component parts so you have a chance to ‘Set Your Creativity Free’.
The basics involve the following (in no particular order):
Determining an authentic collection of Whys that resonate with or through your work life as well as your personal life aspirations and mission.
Developing the Creative Thinking component of the Creative Loop.
Creating a Work Vacuum.
If you’re struggling or lagging behind in any of these basics, look seriously at establishing a Work Vacuum (the subject of my next post). This will help the other two aspects. To create a Work Vacuum we must understand the difference between what Busy Work and Real Work are for us as unique individuals at whatever stage of life and our careers we are.
We work to reduce the former and gradually increase the latter, but not immediately. We do this by listening out for and paying close attention to what our most important Why of the moment is. Resist the urge to dive into the temptation to find one deep-meaning all encompassing Why to your life and work. With time it will come to you. Your Whys of the moment are your stepping stones to these larger, more meaningful realisations.
This space left in the middle of these two opposing works, a Work Vacuum, is purposeful, dedicated time not doing anything, but contemplating, meditating, thinking, journalling and listening to what we might really want in life and work.
There will likely be lots of these Whys that come out when you allow yourself time and space to really consider What you are doing and Why in all areas of your work and life.
A Work Vacuum is space to come to terms with the changes necessary in our lives that we may or may not be ignoring or denying. It could be ten minutes per day or a ten month sabbatical. It involves resisting the urge to do things, especially work, no matter how uncomfortable it becomes. We must avoid falling back into familiar and traditional work patterns because doing so will just uphold the veil of distraction that keeps us from fully exploring our selves and our purpose.
This space is needed regardless of whether we do or don’t know what we want to do with our time, now or in the future, in work or out of work. In either scenario we can find ourselves procrastinating in the day to day or in the bigger picture of our lives, rather than focussing on finding out what we truly want. Doing nothing even for short periods of time may be a completely alien concept to us.
Beware, the pull back to Busy Work will be strong. As we work through and transition a process of Breaking Your Busy we must resist the urge to refill the Work Vacuum. The more we continue to prioritise What we are doing and Why the Work Vacuum we create will inevitably become larger which is why we need to protect it from attracting more of the same. Busy Work, created by ourselves or thrust upon us by others, with permission or not, in our work or personal lives will weed its way back into our unprotected Work Vacuum the moment we aren’t looking.
We must be wary and vigilant.
Learn more about Creative Thinking in the Work Vacuum by opting in to 'Unlock your time and creativity" at The Creative Core. You'll receive Work Life Wide Open Book #1 'Break Your Busy - Set Your Creativity Free' and Book #2 'The Seven Works - Reconfigure The Facets of Life' FREE plus other related bonuses when you sign up.