Organizing and Creativity

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organizing paintbrushesCreative people often shun organizing. Putting their supplies away and having a clear desktop are for accountants, not artists. Inspiration can strike anytime and materials must be out and ready (all of them).

Many creatives don’t produce a whole lot, though, and that’s because they are focussing all their attention on the muse and the flow of ideas, and not enough on how to get those ideas into the world.

Supply chain management is how companies get their products into the world. It includes inventory management and other dull sounding tasks. In the book Making Ideas Happen, I learned that Apple Computer has been in the top five of global supply chain leaders since 2007. Apple, a company known for its gorgeous product design and commitment to thinking outside the box.

In other words, a company known for creativity.

This creativity is followed up by an organizing system to making it happen. So the question is, do you want to simply enjoy the flow of ideas, or do you want to seize one and give it life? Remember Thomas Edison’s quotation: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Try thinking of having an organized work space as a tool for enhancing your imagination. Your supplies are always ready for you and you know exactly where they are. You have plenty of room to work without pushing things out of the way.

This doesn’t mean you have to hide things away.

It’s quite possible to organize your stuff and still have it out where you can see it. It just requires more horizontal space. Piles are allowed. Using the wall and the floor is also allowed.

Creatives can get bogged down in designing systems instead of doing their work so be careful not to fall into that trap. Keep your system simple. Don’t overthink piles.