Creativity vs. Productivity: The battle of the Serial Entrepreneur

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

I would call myself a serial entrepreneur. Right now I am running two startups as well as beginning my writing and blogging journey on Medium, which hopefully with more work I can eventually monetize. But even with my schedule slammed with different meetings and calls, my partner and I still find time to talk about our next move and business that could potentially be a success.

I am not saying that I don’t love being a serial entrepreneur or that it’s a bad thing to have numerous businesses because it's amazing. I love having my hands on multiple projects at once and being able to collaborate and network with other people to create successful businesses, but sometimes I struggle with focusing on the projects that I have now because I have seen potential in a new market or found a new opportunity to break ground on.

This got me thinking about creativity vs. productivity.

I used to think that creativity and productivity were very different things. Creativity was freedom. The time to write for fun, to let new ideas just come to your mind, or to come up with innovative solutions to your business's problems. And productivity was action and execution. Putting in the work on all the plans that you just made.

Sometimes I would feel bad because I thought I was creating more than producing or vice versa and it would take a toll on me. It wasn’t until I discovered that I was looking at creativity and productivity as opposites when I should have been looking at them as equals. Creativity and productivity don’t sit on different sides of the scale but are both fundamental to innovation, change, and creating businesses with purpose.

Next is the hard part and it’s something that I am still trying to master, and that is finding a way to balance and maximize both creativity and productivity.

There have been three things that have helped me find a way to maximize both.

The first is separating your thinking.

In middle school, we all learned about convergent and divergent thinking, but let me give you guys a little refresher. Convergent thinking is your more productive and concrete thinking. Solving problems and getting things done. Divergent thinking is your creative thinking. Generating new and creative ideas.

As we go through our days being able to recognize what situations require which type of thinking will help us become more efficient and maximize both our creativity and productivity.

Creating a system.

Having a solid plan and system in place is crucial when it comes to being productive. By doing this, you will be able to see the overall map of your project and monitor it as work is passing through and different tasks are being accomplished. This will also help you put out any fires in your project before they arise because you will see the flow of how things are going. Having a system is essential for consistency, great work, and growth.

Make time to be creative.

Scheduling time to be creative in my day has helped me find balance between creativity and productivity. Naturally, I am a very creative person, so ideas flow through my mind with ease so I have a tougher time with production. I use my scheduled creative time almost as a reward for sticking to my plan and achieving everything I had set out to do that day. After working hard and thinking so concretely for long periods of time it can wear you out. So having time to let your brain relax and decompress can help fresh ideas and innovation come to your mind.

Creativity and productivity work hand in hand. As we learn to balance the two, we will see ourselves grow as entrepreneurs and see our businesses begin to have an impact on the world around us.

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