Margin and creativity

Posted by
Mike Lyon
Date
 January 3, 2013
Comments
2 comments

I’ve just finished a crazy travel schedule over the past couple of months—back-to-back flights, weekend trips—and trying to squeeze in client work and projects in between. What I discovered was that this frantic pattern of action and reaction left me starved for a margin for creativity. (don’t get me wrong – I am extremely blessed to be busy)

For me, a margin for creativity is that space that allows my mind to flow. It’s the time for writing blog posts and articles, shooting a video, or even sending coherent, thoughtful emails.

The speed of life overtook me lately and left a real gap in my usual creative thinking process. I found that I was making the excuse that I was simply too busy for those tasks.

I realized that I needed to make time for this essential creative margin. It’s critical for sparking any type of advantageous thought. No matter what you do for yourself or your company, you need creative margin. If you allow yourself to be constantly behind the eight ball, you’re reacting, not thinking creatively, and we certainly don’t do our best work this way.

Giving yourself that margin for creativity affords you the ability to be proactive. You take control and steer toward the results you want, instead of taking each wave as it hits.

If you’re a marketing director and you want to launch the next big thing or revamp your website to make it more effective, you need sufficient margin for creativity to make room for your brain to explore thoughts and ideas.

If you’re a sales executive, allocating margin for creativity enables you to be prepared for better managing your leads and customers. A marginless work week zaps you of the time to engage those prospects, follow-up effectively, and prompt the responses you want.

If you’re a sales director, you need margin to find ways to better manage your team, your agents, and even your customers and their issues.

If you’re a business owner, you need margin to create vision, to excite people about that vision, and to guide them in the right direction that will grow your company.

When you leave no margin for creativity, you lack the critical time to think about doing things differently and, as a result, will always be flailing for solutions. A margin for creativity gives you the proactive stance you need to succeed.

The new year is upon us and I am preparing to make this positive change and commit to a margin for creativity – to put a creative margin in my day, my week, my month, and the year ahead so I can do my best work ever!

Happy New Year!

  • Jeff Shore

    One of the most important things I did in 2012 was to start taking 24 hour stretches off. I mean completely off – no phone, no e-mails, no conversations with my wife, no focused thinking about work. The results have been amazing. True re-creation time. 

    Mike, you are on to one of the most important and neglected secrets of success – that creativity is a muscle, and it wears down with overuse. Well done. 

    Book recommendation for all who are reading this post: “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr. 

    •  Thanks for the inspiration Jeff! I am going to head your advice.