Why Creative People Need to be Organized (Part 1)

Is organization the enemy of creativity? Is it true that analytical people excel at order and creative people don’t? Maybe; but there are several important reasons why you might need to learn some techniques for “getting it together” and even remembering where you put “it” afterwards.

1. Keep more of your moneyFree- Writing- Free or Not

Now that I have your attention, let me ask a few questions. Have you ever repurchased something you lost, and found it later? Have you forgotten to pay a bill, paid a late fee, or not collected from someone who owed you money? Have you ever misplaced a valuable document only to discover days later it was on your desk?

If you answered yes, I appreciate you playing along because these are admissions as much as they are questions. I’ve done all these things. I’ve also found that a little work at improving my organizing skills helped in all of these areas, saving me money and brain power.

2. Find your misplaced creativityWriting - Creativity Cog - Why organize

Here’s another admission; I used to describe a lot more of my days as absent-minded. Too much physical clutter can lead to mental clutter leaving you with that scatter-brained feeling. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a visual person. This doesn’t mean I want my possessions to be lying out on the floor so I can see where everything I own is. But at the same time, I don’t feel comfortable having every bit of it put away in hidden compartments, cabinets and closets either.

You’re probably somewhere between these two extremes as well.  It’s essential to know what is comfortable for you and when clutter is becoming a stressor to you.

I also swing between times of disorganization and times of organization. But, I’ve learned that allowing clutter to go too long will zap my creativity rather than helping it. At those times, when I clear off my desk and organize the space around me, I find that it actually frees up my creativity.

3. Supercharge your productivityWriting  - Rocket - Why organize

By saving money, not wasting time looking for things and freeing your creativity, you’ll find more time and enthusiasm to write. You will focus more without being frustrated. You may even have money to buy a book or two you’ve been “eyeing” to help you improve your writing.

Writing- coffee-Why organize?It will be less dangerous too. You won’t knock a potential paper avalanche off your desk or trip over a stack of books when you get up to refill your coffee cup.

4. Build a Habit

Hey, why not? If you can build-a-bear you can build-a-habit.  Experts in behavior agree it takes about 2 or 3 three weeks to start a new habit. My doctor also told me, in reference to eating habits, it takes about six months to unlearn the bad ones. Why work on organizing? You can start to build some productive habits and squash the destructive ones.

5. Tax time

If you only pay taxes once a year, it’s gearing up for that time in the Unites States where everyone gathers together their receipts, electronic files, and forms to Writing - Calculator and pencil - Why organize?start crunching numbers for the IRS. If you have set yourself up as a full-time business, then you may pay estimated tax on a quarterly basis. That’s even more reason to take some time every week or so insuring that you have taken care of important business items.

These are only a few of the many reasons why gaining some organizational skills can benefit you greatly. While organizing may not excite you, it’s important to get a grip on it. You will have to decide how tight the grip is.

If you’re like me and this subject is a challenge, take heart. In my next post, I’ll cover how you can assess your needs and some practical tricks for sneaking organization into your routine without scaring off your muse.

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What importance do you put on organizing?
Why is it important to you? Leave a comment below.
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13 comments on “Why Creative People Need to be Organized (Part 1)
  1. I’m a creative person (at least I think) yet it’s hard for me to stay organized.
    Shaun Hoobler recently posted…The Complete Bundle E Books – $24My Profile

  2. Reblogged this on Mandy Eve Barnett's Official Blog and commented:
    Options to consider as we plow through our writing life’s clutter.

  3. I organize everything into folders/binders with labelled dividers for subsections. Each binder is labelled so I can grab one easily. Usually once a month I clear out, clean and reorganize my writing space. Having a ‘new’ look to it revitalizes me.
    I made a real change last August with a complete reorganization to accommodate a new bookcase.
    Your tips have given me some guides on how to manage my time as I launch my freelance business.
    Thank you

  4. Erica says:

    Peter, it’s almost like you’ve been peeking at my home office. 🙂

    When I lost my pants over the weekend, I realized that I’d become too disorganized. So I’ve actually spent most of this past weekend straightening and organizing my apartment. Cleaning out clothes I don’t wear (found my pants!), recycling old office papers and so on.

    When I was done, I physically felt lighter. You just don’t realize how much disorganization can weigh you down.

    • Hi Erica, I hesitated about sharing some of those personal details. As I said I’ve done all those things. Your comment made me laugh. I’m glad you had the time and ambition to get straightened out. I guess sometimes it’s not as important to know who wears the pants as it to know where they are. 🙂 I hope you’ll get something out of the next post as well.

  5. Great post, and some very good points.

    I work best in an atmosphere of controlled chaos. I don’t know why – perhaps it forces a need to focus? In any event, whenever I’ve tried to get everything well-organized, my productivity – and morale – plummet.

    Drives my wife crazy.

    • I can relate Andrew. I know I won’t be ultra-organized, but I also know I don’t have to be. On the other side of the coin, I know there are some times when I have to push myself to be a bit more so.

  6. dmswriter says:

    Being organized is very important, but organization itself can be a challenge. If I don’t watch it, my filing system turns into my “piling system.” When I sit down to write, I tend to get distracted by the piles and my writing suffers. I agree with your second point, Peter – when I’m organized, the work flows much better. It’s tough being creative, isn’t it? 😉

    • It is! I’m a piler and a filer. I don’t want to file stuff until I’m done. Everyone is different, but it’s important to find what works for you. The writing is the most important, but alas there are other important things too.

  7. This post is so timely for me. I have a terrible time with keeping clutter at bay and staying organized!! I feel like I never have enough space. What is more likely the problem is that I have too much STUFF. I’m looking forward to your next post!

    • Timely? I’m glad because I wanted to get it up sooner. 🙂 I have enough space, I travel light, but don’t often feel like I don’t have enough time. That’s the hardest part for me, because time management is really “me” management. Time is constant.

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"A writer looks at a screen or piece of paper like a canvas. They see a country unexplored, a picture unpainted, a tale not told. They dare to venture into the barren land, explore its dark corners, and paint its pictures. Then they unveil the epic with the goal of compelling people to visit their newly discovered territory.”
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