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Creative Inspiration: Bad Managers, Boundaries and Routine


It is so easy to get bogged down with the little things in life; answering emails or picking out clothes for the day, but at what point does economising on time become economising on life? In Should You Automate Your Life So That You Can Work Harder? Sarah Green discusses the lengths some entrepreneurs are going to, to make the most of the time available to them. Ranging from outsourcing email replies, to hiring someone to arrange your partner’s birthday party, the majority of the methods are somewhat unappealing, but the issue of what constitutes time wasting and what is part of living is an interesting one.

Boundaries and creativity aren’t words you expect to see offering mutual support, but in Why Boundaries are the Best Thing for Your Creativity, Drake Baer demonstrates the benefits boundaries can offer the creative mind.  He suggests that boundaries stop stagnation in four ways:

– People don’t waste time on ideas that’ll get discarded later
– The sense of what’s possible can be expanded
– Your delving is directed to a circumscribed area
– Your ideas actually have the potential to make it to the execution stage

If boundaries can open doors for your creativity, then a daily routine could be another contributing factor. In The Daily Routines of Geniuses, Sarah Green discusses 7 ways in which a daily routine can support creativity, offering examples from renowned artists and creatives throughout history. She states, ‘…for these geniuses, a routine was more than a luxury – it was essential to their work.’, and suggests the following:

– a workplace with minimal distractions
– a daily walk
– accountability metrics
– a clear dividing line between important work and busywork
– a habit of stopping when they’re on a roll, not when they’re stuck
– a supportive partner
– limited social lives

In Why Good Managers Are So Rare, Randall Beck and James Harter discuss the importance of a good manager and the surprisingly high statistic of 82% of companies appointing the wrong management choice. They have put together a list of 5 talents that a good manager, capable of keeping employees engaged, should have:

– They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
– They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
– They create a culture of clear accountability.
– They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
– They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

Ending on a powerful note, Warren Berger has put together a list of 6 fear-killing questions to propel creativity forward. Scared Of Failing? Ask Yourself These 6 Fear-Killing Questions is the first of a 3-part series based on Warren Berger’s book, A More Beautiful Question. Berger quotes Sebastian Thrun, cofounder of Udacity and Airbnb, in his explanation of the role of fear; “Innovators have to be fearless. People mainly fail because they fear failure.” The 6 powerful questions are as follows:

– What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
– What if I fail – how will I recover?
– What if I do nothing?
– What if I succeed?
– What’s truly worth doing, whether you fail or succeed?”
– In this failure, what went right?

Five more things we enjoyed reading recently:

Making brainstorms work for you
Stagnation, acceleration, incubation
Five themes of futuristic creations
Dealing with the unfamiliar
An interview with the architect of the ‘endless table’

Photo Credit: Eneas via Compfight cc

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