• Sterling Fooshee

Is Productivity Killing Your Creativity?


We live in a "time is money" culture. How often do you hear someone say, "I'm so busy, I'm just exhausted." In today's culture, that's just thinly disguised bragging. If time is money, and you are busy, you must have money. We may as well be saying, "I'm making so much money, I'm just exhausted."

But what's the real issue here? Productivity is good, right? Yes, productivity means that you are getting stuff done. But there is a hidden cost of productivity. Your creativity suffers the more you focus on getting stuff done.

Time is the great equalizer. Everyone has 24 hours in their day. Everyone is trying to be the most productive in those 24 hours, thinking that is how you win at business. But is it? Creativity doesn't get a lot of press in the business world, because it's not measurable. We are all about data and numbers these days, so things like creativity, work-life balance, and meaningful work fall by the wayside. They aren't measurable, so they aren't important. Or so we've been told.

Think about the greatest innovations ever. They all required an incredible amount of creativity. Sure, you probably aren't going to create the next iPhone, but what will you create? If you spend 10 hours a day being a little more productive, your business will probably get a little better. But people who think this way are consistently beaten out by other people who spend their time thinking of creative solutions to the same problems.

Watch this TED Talk. The speaker talks about the lack of boredom today, and how that hurts our creativity. What does this mean for you? What does this mean for your business? If you cut down on your productivity, hear me out, what could you gain from creative thinking? That's where the big innovations happen.

But here's the catch. There's no guarantee. It's not measurable. Creativity is a risk, a leap of faith. But as we have already established, the only way to stand out is to communicate differently. Creativity is an essential step in doing that.

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