Organization and Creativity

by catherinecrowe on February 18, 2011

 As my work load and business grow it is increasingly challenging to fit myself into my smallish space. Don’t get me wrong – I am not complaining! I love my studio – and feel that the challenges of staying organised in a smaller space are good for me – and what the Universe wants me to do is get more methodical!
My usual pattern has been to immerse myself in a project and not pay attention to anything else until it is over, but with the diversification of my business I have daily tasks to do that range over the three main branches (making art, teaching and supply business) so having this much chaos around is counter productive.
I don’t believe that our temperaments or  work habits are ‘hard-wired’ (in fact I have come to hate that phrase!) and I am now expressing my existential freedom by going from being a ‘messy’ person to being a ‘tidy’ one.
One of the biggest challenges is having so many little tiny things! My strategy is to find a place for all of them: a labeled place where they belong. Tiding has become a part of my day. I am not overly meticulous – I just do as much as is needed to keep my tasks moving forward.
It’s not just the physical space that I need to organise – but my mental space also. I used to be able to keep all of my business records in my head (and a simple excel spreadsheet) – but now I have a complicated accounting program that neatly separates my income and revenue streams. This helps my guage where to spend more effort and where to spend less. 
At the beginning of this year I went through a strategic planning process with myself! I separated all my channels and wrote down long term goals and short term goals as well as daily, weekly and monthly tasks
 that will help me acheive them.
The daily tasks take usually about 2-3 hours at the beginning of the day – and then I am free to pursue whichever long term goal I choose: so there is some structure and some freedom. Balance.
This process has also relieved a great deal of my daily stress. At first I didn’t believe that I was experiencing stress! After all – I love what I do! But stress was indeed there, and it was coming from having so many decisions to make every day about what was important to do next.
I now have a clear vision on paper, which I can consult at any time to refresh my mind.  This helps me move forward calmly with a stronger sense of where I am going.  And THAT increases my creativity a hundredfold!
 
catherinecrowe

catherinecrowe

catherinecrowe

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nayna Shriyan February 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I agree with you Catherine
I used to follow the same method and essentially , my studio space would look like a tornado hit if ! Now just to make my life easier I have started clearing it up before leaving for the day. I have not yet become quiet as organized as you and am still struggling with setting weekly and daily goals, your post has made me realize that just because we are artist dose not mean we need to be completely disorganized and ‘ just go with the flow’ kind of people 🙂

Peggy Neer February 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

OMG, I am so glad to see that organization is a goal. As a matter of fact I’m amazed at how many artists are in the same boat. There is just so much “stuff” and “things” that we need to accomplish our tasks. Oh and then there is the remembering where everthing is when you have that creative moment. Wow, maybe I should have started in to metal smithing about 20 years ago when the brain was more pliable.

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