Myths have developed around and researchers have studied how the human brain juggles creativity and organization. Popular theory tells us that the left brain is structured and logical, while the right brain is artistic and imaginative, and that all human beings use predominantly one side of the other.
Working in a creative field means challenging that theory, or else challenging the schedules and deadlines that managers impose on writers, designers and other creatives. As a project manager in a UX design agency, as well as a writer, I believe it is necessary to challenge both the assumptions about schedules and the belief that creativity implies disorganization.
Can Creativity Be Scheduled?
There’s a quick and easy answer to this question. Yes!
You’re shaking your head now. You’re thinking about how much you hate deadlines and how your designs suffer from the 9:00 to 5:00 schedule imposed by your manager. You’re remembering the sketches or creative writing you did in college at 3:00 in the morning. Sathish Manohar expresses it well in his article “Why 9 to 5”:
“Knowledge work solely depends on creativity of the workers. But, still some how, knowledge work-places got modeled around factories. Employees had to work 9-5, be creative between 9-5, and go home… This is a problem, We cannot schedule the brain to be creative at any given time.”
Yet I’ve spent years trying to merge my creative-writing personality with my project-management skill set and day job. Recently I realized that writing by the light of the moon results in over-caffeinated mornings and sloppy grammar, and still I continued—after all, isn’t that what creativity is all about? I’ve always been able to empathize with my designers, who want nothing more than free reign to be creative when the mood hits. But as a project manager, I also strive to create a working environment where designers and content strategists can be productive and efficient—and where we can deliver mockups on a deadline.
The solution turned out to be easier than you might expect. Spontaneous creativity is not the only way. In fact, as a content strategist, designer or even developer, you are paid for your ability to turn on the creative faucet. So, what goes into creating on command? (cont … Smashing Magazine)