Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Productivity Surge, Creativity Collapse

Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the fact that the weight of 2013 is finally starting to settle in. Maybe it’s just me. But I’ve noticed a distinct surge in productivity.

I am slamming through projects in my professional life at high speed. My to-do lists get longer every day, but I manage to maintain output. I’m juggling a full-time job, a course in copywriting, part-time volunteer work, and I still manage to make time for family and friends. I’m feeling increasingly ambitious around the house. I want to clean everything, organize closets and cupboards. Purge, and then re-organize again. I want to re-decorate! Never has the urge to paint walls and hang up photos been so strong. These same urges have bled into my vacation planning. Despite the fact that I won’t be going on a trip until August, I want to book the flight now! Set up the restaurant reservations now! I want to organize and plan. And then plan and re-organize again! My productivity is wild and, probably, beneficial, but it’s come at a cost.

At first, I thought the cost was fatigue. My mind’s been whirring with all the things I want to take care of late into the night. I make lists in my sleep because even when I’m dreaming the urge to be productive doesn’t wane. But really, I think the true cost has been my creativity. The urge to write fiction that was so strong in December and January has stopped altogether. My campaign visions and snappy spin on copy for my copywriting class has faltered. Forcing creativity is worse than forcing yourself to poop when you’re constipated, but in some cases (like class), I just have to grit my teeth and bear down. This blog, especially, is suffering. I have neither the time, nor the creative compulsion to write in it... even though I want to. So many times have I come across a situation and thought “yes! I’ll write about this tonight!” only to get home late, and exhausted, and drawn to re-fold all my sweaters, instead of letting my creative juices flow.

Am I too busy? Maybe. If I had more time would I write more and get better ideas for campaigns? Perhaps. Are all my creative powers being poured into work and volunteering, so much so that I feel drained in other areas? Possible.

How do I fix it? I don’t know, but I’m looking for suggestions. How do you get your creativity in gear and maintain focus?

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