I have to admit being a bit of a Productivity Nerd. I have numerous cross-platform to-do apps on my computer, including Wunderlist, Things, and OmniFocus. (Currently, OmniFocus is my favorite.) I’ve read all of David Allen’s books, track with my friend Michael Hyatt, and follow the guys over at Asian Efficiency. In my role as CEO, managing our team at Cooke Pictures, and working with our clients, productivity matters. It helps me keep track of what needs to be done, and keeps me on point to make it happen. As David Allen says, half of our stress is knowing that there are things out there we need to do, but we can’t remember them all. Getting them down into a list, and then organizing and prioritizing that list lowers our stress, and helps us reach our goals.
However, when it comes to my creative work, productivity is far less important. Creativity is hard work, but it’s also about inspiration, timing, and flow. When it comes to original ideas, you can’t just check off boxes and move on. Creativity is about blocking off times where you can think, read, and wander. It might be about taking a walk, shooting baskets, or doing nothing at all.
So when it comes to productivity, decide what roles you play in your work, and then learn to find that balance between productive time and creative time. After all, as much as I like checking off boxes of finished tasks, some of my most significant time is spent just staring out windows.
How about you? How have you found the balance between productive time and creative time?