We love distractions and hate structure; want our cake and to eat it too; want to know where everything is, and at the same time, we do a wonderful job making sure to never put something back in its proper place.

In Simple words, we want chaos to be creative.

We like to think of creativity as a space for untrammeled imagination, free from all constraints. And from the chaos, you’ll deliver innovative projects and ground-breaking solutions, even if the deadlines are pushed back. Right???

Wrong.

Research suggests that creativity is actually positively related to daily planning behavior, long-term organization, and time management. Those who prefer a disorganized work approach are generally less creative. Examine the life of any great artist and you will find evidence of hard work, discipline, and hard-won knowledge of their craft.

And the difference between those who call themselves “creative” and those who actually create something of value, however, comes down to their ability to focus.

Anything that increases the amount of time you can spend immersed in a project is likely to increase your creativity. Having a more organized approach and setting aside specific time for your planning and admin can give you more freedom to explore and expand your creative ideas without these extraneous distractions.

And Focus requires an organized way of working, living and thinking. All said you cannot focus if you are not organized. Period.

And Getting organized doesn’t necessarily mean that you should keep to a strict schedule that would satisfy a corporate boss. All you need is to look closely at the way you approach your work.

Once you learn to distance your creative process from your chaotic approach and realize that disorganization is not a precondition for creativity, you can adopt a more structured approach and become far more effective in doing so. You need to do small changes in your daily routine to give you more time to do what you do best.

And here are some ways to get organized and boost your creativity.


Prioritize Work which is “Important” but not “Urgent”

In his classic book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey classifies work tasks according to whether they are important and/or urgent. He points out that many of us spend too much time on tasks that are urgent and important — in other words, staving off emergencies by rushing around to solve problems or responding to others’ demands at short notice.

Covey’s solution is to prioritize work that is important but not urgent. Though this is hard to do on any given day, it is the only way to ensure you are making progress towards your own goals.

For example, your goal is to be a writer and you are unable to take time from your busy schedule to write. Identify a time-boxed interval of time during your day where you shut off all distractions (phone, emails, chit-chats etc.) and only write. It can be only half an hour but only write during that time and do nothing else. You will make real progress.

And whatever interruptions come along later, you will at least have the satisfaction of having made some progress toward your own goals.

Always remember not every urgent task is an important task. Identify and demarcate that distinction and take control of your life.