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The secret to creativity

Consider this scenario …

Consider this, you are completely organised. Your life is compartmentalised, you have time separated for work, for play and for family. Everything in your life has a place to put it, so much so that it becomes automatic to find something. Your life is so organised that you consider it robotic and boring. Your on the edge of finding something to do because you’ve done everything so you potter around, you experiment a little and you begin to play. In playing you combine ideas from different disciplines, different topics and opposing ends of the spectrum. You start to innovate, you start to be creative.

Now consider the alternative, you have a big job on at work, you are in your office and have just started to write up a brief on your Mac, you go to grab a pen to jot down something, the pen isn’t there, you search the top draw, scribble with one that doesn’t work, check the next draw (you have to move some paper and magazines to see around them, stabbing yourself with a discarded paper clip in the meantime and pull out a pair of scissors you were looking for a week ago), no luck, go over to the side table and find a red pen, not ideal but that’ll do, back to the desk and jot down those four words you needed to remember for later in the brief, turn back to the job at hand, what was it you were writing? Oh yes that’s right … back into it.

Now it may have only been 5 minutes or less that passed but your train of thought was also disturbed and a lot of work could have been done in that time.

Now back to the ideal; you need to write something down, you grab a pen from its home on your desk and write down what you need to, back on with the work. Wow, I even feel better writing it down that way!

I am a firm believer that being organised is the secret to creativity. I have run my design studio for just on 10 years now and the more I become aware of how organised I am or can be, the easier I am able to switch into creative mode and therefore solve different client problems.

So, not only does an organised office, home or life mean less time spent searching for items but also less time worrying about things that have been misplaced; ‘I can’t find that document I need’. This worry can also transfer to the home environment too when it is playing on your mind because you still haven’t found it.

Being organised means having a ‘home’ for every item and knowing where that home is and always putting the item back in its home. Not just thrown into the top draw where you rummage around for it, a specific, easily accessible home for it.

The less time you spend finding things, or moving objects the more quality time you can spend on your work being creative. This means better productivity, less rush and therefore usually higher quality work, not to mention LESS STRESS.

I think it’s time to organise that office and work on strategies to keep it that way.

Being organised means more creativity!

Organisation doesn’t only improve your productivity but also your creativity. Imagine you are an architect, if your mind is filled with thoughts of ‘where is that ruler, I need to find my eraser, where’s the sharpener’ and all this while creating a unique home design, how can you expect your mind to stay clear to allow the creative flare to take over.

Even while writing this blog, if the phone rings, someone talks to me or I stop for a moment I have to re-read the paragraph and re-‘find’ my train of thought. In my opinion creatives (that is creative people) need a clear mind, free from distractions and mess to get the best of their abilities out. To allow the brain the space it needs to be creative the physical environment needs to be clear also.

Being organised means more productivity!

This may seem like a farfetched idea at first, but when you think about it, it actually makes complete sense.

Walking into a house or workspace filled with mess causes stress! And studies have proven this, the level of cortisol (stress levels) rise when people are confronted with mess and clutter. It has a negative effect on our emotions.

Imagine working in a place that lacks organisation, then going home to a house filled with clutter. It does not leave room for the important things to freely flow in our minds because we get too hung up on the physical surroundings when they are cluttered and disorganised.

A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind.

Some strategies to get organised!

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jo Carmichael, a psyborg® client and business owner of ‘All Sorted Out’. Jo is a professional organiser whom assists home and business owners with decluttering and implement strategies to stay organised.

Jo uses the konMarie method, which is a huge craze sweeping the UK and America and starting to come into Aussie homes too and Jo has a different view on this.

Jo says the decision should not be so much on ‘what can I throw out?’ but more about ‘what do I love and want to keep?’. Same thing? I guess it’s one of those glass half empty scenarios. Rather than looking at it like I have to get rid of heaps of possessions to de-clutter my life, you look at it in a positive way ‘what things are important that I need to keep and what things bring me happiness and I want to keep?’ Then you simply get rid of the things that you do not need or that do not bring you happiness. We hold on to many old clothes, books, papers and keepsakes that really no longer play a role in our lives and we could discard. Let these items go!

Jo says to de-clutter you need to have a ‘keep pile’ and a ‘discard pile’. Only once you have discarded the items that no longer have a place in your home can you start the organisation process.

Jo says that many creatives will physically clean their desk tops, removing papers & wiping it clean, before commencing a new project which helps to kick start their focus and vigour.  Just like making our bed kick starts the day, you will definitely be less inclined to snooze off once the pillows are all in place.

An organised home also helps with your business and creativity!

So you have an organised business and that’s where your work is done, why should your home also be organised and clutter free? Well good question. I think this is important because work is just that, where you work, and home is where you should be able to recharge, relax, rest and just chill out! Yes homes, the place you come to after a day hard at work, should be a peaceful place you want to be.

When you finish work you don’t want to come home to a cluttered environment filled with ‘stuff’ you want to come home to a clean, peaceful area where you can sit in your favourite chair and relax for a while.

Having a more relaxing and pleasant home life will help your creative outcomes too. You will have less worry, better sleeps and dare I say it, that overall Zen feeling. Your mind will be free for the important things in life. I really do believe this to be true.

Jo says we do need to de-clutter our homes. She said that these days we can get manufactured goods at such low prices and people buy more than they need. They fill their homes with ‘stuff’ that clutters areas making them look messy. This ‘stuff’ has no role in our homes, no need to be there! We need to get rid of it from our homes and make space for the things that are important to us, that of which recharges us.

Being organised in your workplace is a gift to yourself and business potential whereas being organised in your home is a gift to you and your family.

We need to bring organisation into our lifestyles to create a space for productivity and creativity. This will help work outcomes, home life and stress levels! Happy days.

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2800 design projects consisting of branding, content marketing, digital marketing, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel