Artists are often considered free-spirited souls who follow their muse to create their art.
They cannot—and will not—allow themselves to be boxed into any structure.
Artists and other creative individuals who produce remarkable things on a consistent basis are, in fact, very systematic.
Their systematic approach is like a badge of honor to them.
They religiously stick to their existing systems and are constantly thinking about what other parts of their day-to-day experiences can be better structured.
3 Ways Systems Inspire Creativity
1. Systems Create Space
You can’t be creative when you’re constantly interrupted by incoming email, panicking about missed deadlines, or getting steaming mad at a client who keeps asking you for feedback.
Follow a simple process to check and answer your e-mail, get a bit more systematic about setting and reviewing deadlines, and create guidelines for your clients to follow when working with you.
You’ll have the mental and physical space you absolutely need in order to get into your “zone of genius” and create.
You will feel saner. You’ll be able to breath and think more clearly. You’ll have more time. You’ll be more successful!
2. Creativity is About Discipline, NOT Freedom
Want to tap into your creative juices and create amazing services and products for your clients?
Stop obsessing about not having enough freedom and get to work!
Successful creative entrepreneurs and artists excel at being able to sit down and create on cue, and they can do this because they’ve got their creation systems down pat.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to create something epic every single time. Develop a creation system that fits your energy levels and personality and follow it rain or shine.
It doesn’t matter if you write 1,000 words a day or experiment with new jewelry techniques every Tuesday.
Just show up and create.
Malcolm Gladwell’s theory about needing 10,000 hours to achieve mastery over something applies to creative types like yourself just as much as it applies to people trying to hone technical skills.
3. Systems Create Simplicity
More constraints = more creativity.
Don’t believe me?
Consider this. . . .
Would you be more creative if you had to do “A” or “B”?
- Create 40 Facebook updates (1 update a day, 5 days a week, for 8 weeks)
- 8 industry-specific tips for Mondays
- 8 conversation starters for Tuesdays
- 8 inspirational quotes for Wednesdays
- 8 aspiration-related images for Thursdays
- 8 fun facts for Fridays
“A” feels daunting, doesn’t it?
“B”—even with all its constraints—is so much more doable and fun, right?
I bet “A” would take you forever to complete, whereas the “B” would take no more than 1 hour, and then you’d be done with Facebook updates for 2 whole months!
Let me give you another example.
Say you write blog posts every week.
What feels heavier and more energy draining—“A” or “B”?
- Write 8 blog posts
B. Write. . .
- 2 posts on practices you want your audience to adopt
- 2 articles where you answer an audience question
- 2 posts featuring tips, tools, or practices that transformed your life
- 2 case studies featuring your clients or people who follow your methodology
I bet you’d go with option “B” and could even see yourself writing 2 articles from the same category in just one sitting.
So, why does being systematic help you to be more creative?
To be creative you desperately need space and energy.
You create space by organizing your environment in such a way that repetitive tasks follow the same predictable order. You create and follow shortcuts.
You save energy by minimizing the number of decisions you need to make on a daily basis and by turning routines into habits that you follow on autopilot.
Systems are great vehicles for both of them!
Yes, setting rules for yourself and others and ensuring that they are followed is not easy.
However, it’s nothing compared to the stress you put yourself through these days trying to balance your creative and business selves.
Do you need a bit of handholding? Come and join other creative business owners in my program Systematic Success Guide. I’ll be opening the doors very soon!
I’d Love to Hear From You!
What are some areas of your business that you could systematize to free yourself up to be more creative?