Intersections of Creativity and Productivity: YMMV


I’ve written about productivity before on this blog and all three links in this sentence will open up new tabs to past posts. As someone with attention and focus issues, I’m always looking for ways to stay organized and on task. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably noticed that I’ve been bulletjournaling since May. I’ve been meaning to do a post on that, but then I had a lot of thoughts, and so many feelings, so here we are.This is going to be a four-part productivity and creativity series of posts. I’ll post once a day over four business days. Don’t look for a particular strategy there: I’m away at a book festival this weekend and I want to be around to talk about these things with you all. It’s purely selfish. I typed that “shellfish” at first. Do you see what I mean about attention and focus issues?The first post was about productivity loops, how to watch for them, and how to get out of them without denying yourself the truest pleasure of diving into productivity blackholes (while reading about productivity…this blog series *might* be exactly what I’m warning against). The second post was about routines, and how I set a routine as a writer with a demanding full-time dayjob and mental health issues. The third post will be sharing some other resources for whom these posts aren’t working. And the fourth post (Monday) will be about bullet journaling and how I use it as a Person and as a Writer.Because we all know Writers aren’t People. We are Cylons, sitting amongst you, eavesdropping and stealing bits of your life and dialogue. Now you know.Just kidding.Welcome to Part Three.YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Some people do not like applying productivity ideas and methods to their creative output. That’s totally fair. I get it. For me, productivity thought processing and methods aren't the enemy of creativity, though maybe that'll change at some point. Right now, they help me. But they might not help everyone.Some people don’t need productivity methods for their creative output to be high. That’s awesome. I’m jealous, but don’t worry, I’ll get over it. Some people will probably tell me that I’m the absolute meanest person ever in the history of the world for suggesting that there are other ways to create writing routines and productivity routines other than doing the same thing every single day in the same order. If doing things the same way every day is A) possible for you and b) helpful for you (notice the ‘and’ is not an ‘or’), then awesome. I am also jealous of you. I may or may not get over it ;)I suspect if I was a full-time writer with better mental health, then these blog posts would look very different. More or less procrastination? Not sure. More structure to my day? Probably, if only because my dayjob probably provides more mental stability and structure than I currently graps. But that full-time writer with great mental health is not my reality, and these posts reflect my current one. I hope it was helpful to some of you who might be in the same boat as I am.That being said, I wanted to share links to different processes, including some bullet journal links, even if they didn't work for me. Because maybe they'll work for you. And because sharing is caring. And I am procrastinating.7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative OutputPomodoro TechniqueA Procrastination Hack That's Like the Pomodoro But Different NumbersTime Trackers in a Bullet Journal (One; Two)Setting Process GoalsThis post is on blog writing but I think there are some good takeaways here for productivity/writing.Getting Things Done (I'll mention this again on Monday's post)A Life of Productivity (separated by subject, this whole site has productivity posts)Building a Smarter To-Do ListHere are some books I've read (or, am reading) about creativity/writing/productivity that I recommend.Deep Work by Cal Newport - just started this one and really liking it, plus it's adding books to my TBRFire Up Your Writing Brain by Susan ReynoldsBig Magic by Elizabeth GilbertTake Your Pants Off! by Libbie Hawker (book on case the title scares you)2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel AaronCreativity, Inc by Ed Catmull