Creativity Thrives Within Restraints.

There’s this widely held misconception that creatives are nutty, disorganized people with pencils and last night’s ramen sticking out of their hair. First of all, we resent that because we’d never get ramen in our hair. Secondly, as lovers of all things creative we know that creativity can flourish in a restricted environment. We also know that, despite all those numbers and analytics, growing a business is an inherently creative process. As this year winds down, you may be considering what you can do differently next year to help your company innovate; and as always, we have a few pointers.

Get Focused.

“Tell Me About Yourself”. This question is often asked in job interviews as the “easy” question because you can talk about anything you want, right...WRONG! We FIGs live by the maxim that vague questions are the worst kinds of questions because they give you no clue as to what the asker is looking for. If you want good results you ask a good, structured question with parameters that set the expectation. “Tell me about yourself,” is going to yield a totally different answer than “write a two sentence horror story,” (we see you Netflix).  Rather than stifle creativity, the restraints put speaker and audience on the same page. Restrictions also serve as a starting point — time isn’t lost trying to figure what to be creative about when you already know what the focus is.

Creating Your Own Restraints.

As we said earlier, creativity doesn’t have to be messy if you develop your own restrictions to work around. Many creatives will establish a routine around their craft. They may work in the same place at the same time of day, thus training their creative muscles to function the best in that space. You can also try narrowly planning your workflow. If you know ahead of time that for an hour every Thursday  you’re going to focus solely on brainstorming new product lines, then you’re less likely to get distracted and more likely to hit a breakthrough.