is productivity bad for creativity?

Busy lives tend to make for less time in general, we have to squeeze our creativity into little pockets of spare time, or steal moments here and there in between packed schedules and stressful priorities. 

With such little time to devote to creating, the need to actually achieve something can sometimes feel unbearably important, and can even overtake the original intended enjoyment.

Pressure sets in, your imagination feels stifled, and soon enough you start feeling blocked. 

If you're not enjoying the time you carve out to get creative, you aren't going to stick at it. Forcing yourself to make each precious minute count is really a waste of time if it means you're missing the point - which is allowing your mind to wander a little and taking pleasure in the process.  

If you live by the to-do list, what can you do to help reduce that self-inflicted productivity drive?

step back to give your creativity space

Take a step back. 

Creativity comes from a break in stimulation. Meditation, rest, even boredom - can all be great inducers to ideas and creativity. Choosing not to create isn't a permanent solution, but sometimes you need to let yourself off the hook and just take a break. 


Rethink your goals.

Maybe you're trying to write a certain number of words per day? Or maybe you're trying to get a new body of sketches ready to launch a collection? Deadlines can be excellent motivators, but if they're not working for you, you need to change them.

Feeling so under pressure that you can't get the work done doesn't help anyone, try switching to a time based target instead. Commit to spending an hour a day creating, but leave the demands at that - let that hour be without a to-do list, or a 'must get this lettering finished' mindset. 


Listen to yourself.

Learn to recognise the difference between distraction and stress-induced procrastination. Pushing yourself is sometimes necessary to get the good stuff done, but don't let it tip into being too tough on yourself. If you can, give yourself more time and space for projects that are stressing you out and don't set yourself an impossible mountain to climb every time you sit down at your desk. 


Get your productivity fix elsewhere.

Make your working day provide that satisfying check box tick by writing down your daily to-do's and marking them off as you finish. If you can see at the end of a day how much you really have achieved, you might feel more able to take some of the pressure off your creating time.