Image Credit: Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
For instance, some of us are naturally more structured – we have to work at relaxing our impulse to control things in order to be serendipitous. Others are naturally spontaneous – we have to work at creating and maintaining structure and routine to get things done.
For creativity to thrive, you need a degree of both structure and spontaneity.
Creativity often involves exploration, experimentation, play, and plenty of failed attempts. In other words, it doesn’t always look or feel productive. But it is! New stimuli. New input. New connections made. Trying and seeing. All of this is part of the creation equation.
And yet so is structure and ritual. A great many writers I know write in the same space at the same time of the day, every day. (In fact, as I was composing this post writer Jeff Goins posted this.) It’s an ingrained ritual, so it never not gets done. They sit down to create at the set time and the ritual itself primes the pump. Like Pavolov’s dogs and the bell.
Plus, without sticktoitiveness and follow-thru none of those creative dreams we incubate will come to fruition.
So I thought I’d share some creativity-boosting strategies that work for me. Today’s strategy is: Declutter.
Personally, I lean more toward the spontaneous side of the spectrum than the structured side. In other words, by nature I am a messy desk person. (That is unfortunate since you can see my home office from my entry way.) But I have found – though at first I was loathe to admit it - that I am at my creative best in a tidy, orderly environment.
An uncluttered space fosters an uncluttered mind that is free to think, create and dream.
Now let me clarify, the space doesn't have to be minimalistic. My desk doesn't have to be totally empty - devoid of all signs of work and life. But it also shouldn't look like this if I want to sit down and create something.
This isn't my desk, it's Evelyn's desk. And it wasn't conducive to creativity or productivity. So she decided to clean it up, rearrange and organize it a bit. Here's her after photo:
Which space would you rather create in? Which space allows you to think clearer?
I prefer my office even more streamlined than Evelyn's new, neat, compact space. But everyone is different. Even so, I'm convinced a sense of order and some "white space" in your environment fosters the ability to create.
You agree? Does your desk tend towards mess?
Could a quick clean free your mind to think?