Let’s get something clear: all the “productivity” gibberish we read in our social feeds day in and day out is largely a waste of time.
Productivity has become a self-help institution that deals with the symptoms rather than the cause of our problems.
Instead of finding ways to cram more five-minute meetings into a day or accelerate the hamster wheel of emails flowing into your in-box, start thinking about how you can cultivate the state of mind and actions that will unleash your creative power.
Creativity—the power to make your ideas manifest—is never a waste of time. It’s the lever that matters the most.
Regularly practicing your creative craft in your hobby or career is only part of the story.
For every aspect of disciplined focus on your primary pursuit—mastering your knowledge of light for photography, hammering technique for blacksmithing, or color theory for painting—there is a need for and benefit to staying creatively nimble in a broad sense as well.
For example, even though photography is my primary area of mastery, I practice a daily habit of creating something beyond photography every day—whether it’s writing three lines of poetry, scribbling three paragraphs for a blog post, or playing the three chords I know on my guitar over and over for a few minutes.
By practicing a host of creative crafts beyond your chosen medium of focus, not only do you stay creatively fit, but you consistently and subconsciously remind yourself that you can take an active role in shaping the arc of your life.
Once you’re actively creating a host of small creative acts each day, you develop a stronger sense of your own agency, creative capacity, and self-determination.
If you can take a photo, write a paragraph, or sketch a still life, you can sure as hell forge your own destiny.
Think cross-training: If you’re a basketball player and you shoot only jump shots in practice, you’ll struggle during a game because your cardio capacity—a baseline requirement—isn’t up to par.
Food for thought!