May 8, 2023

Productivity vs. Creativity For Soloists

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This week on TBOA, Rochelle and I chat about the yin and yang between productivity and creativity, and how soloists can find the right balance.


Talking Points

Why authority-based businesses require being unproductive at times—and how to give yourself permission to go there.

The hidden costs of failing to innovate, especially for soloists.

The wide spectrum from productivity to creativity—and deciding where you want to be at any given moment.

Pushing through any residual guilt from not being highly productive all the time.

The difference between exploration and expedition—and why exploring (a proxy for creativity) may be challenging for experts.

Quotable Quotes

“There are things that you probably need to do for an authority-based business that require you to be unproductive.”—JS

“Creativity is like being delightfully unproductive.”—RM

“There’s no stopwatch to be like, okay, like how fast did you come up with an idea today?”—JS

“You may have this sort of mindset that you need to always be busy. And sometimes that just has to be broken.”—RM

“People ask how to schedule projects back-to-back if you’re not sure when they’ll be done. And I’m like, ‘Why are you scheduling projects back-to-back at all?’”—JS

“You just have to find a way to shift back and forth between those times where you’re really busy, and it’s relatively quiet.”—RM

“There are things I do that, to an outside observer, look like I’m doing nothing. But you have to just recognize that that’s part of the process, or you’re not going to come up with anything innovative.”—JS

“People resist it (allowing an idea to roll around before it gels) because there’s so much discomfort in sitting in the ‘not knowing’ phase.”—RM

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