“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits”

Twyla Tharp

Are you one of those people who believes that creativity and structure just don’t mix? It’s a common trope that creatives need disorder so that they can conjure up great ideas, that creativity emerges from chaos. In many cultures it’s the basis of the creation myth, their account of how all of reality came into being, in a dim and distant past.

In real life that translates into a desk that needs an archaeological dig to find anything, a flexibility with deadlines that pisses off colleagues, and poor planning because you can’t predict what you’re going to do, let alone communicate it to other people.

If that looks, feels or sounds like you, and you’re looking for a better way, read on.

The problem with most productivity or time management systems is that YOU have shrink to fit the system. Resistance is futile.So you carry on with whatever isn’t working for you, rather than become Borg,and lose your individuality. Anything’s better assimilation.

But what if you could use what you have already, and bolt on some extras, without signing your life over to [enter productivity guru’s name here]? Pick ‘n’ Mix from this menu of possible new habits

  1. Work without interruption for a 45 minute stretch. You’ll be 75% more productive.
  2. Always keep a notepad with you, or use the Evernote app to jot down great ideas while you’re waiting for a train or in the dentist’s reception.
  3. When you’re setting a deadline, plan backwards and don’t plan in a vacuum.
  4. Use a visual tools, like a kanban board or a wall planner instead of a to-do list.
  5. Pre-plan your week on Sunday night. Just take 10 minutes to pick out the 5 big things you need to get done in the week. Write them down somewhere where you can see them.
  6. Pre-plan your next day as you finish the day before.
  7. Get one thing done before you look at email/Facebook/Pinterest
  8. Be accountable to someone else. A friend, a colleague, a coach.

Tailor you own system to fit yourself. Of course, if you need a tailor to size you up and customise your outfit, you could always use a coach. And if you’re not sure you want to commit. You could have a sample session over Google Helpouts. Click on the link below to find out more.