Creative people tend to stand apart from the crowd. For one thing, they do not ‘process’ the same way almost everybody else does. They require their own kind of space to work. Where most people need structure, creative, tech and production guys and gals need fluidity. You never really know from where inspiration will come. Creativity cannot be forced and neither can it be structured into a given time limit.
As fluid as this process needs to be, most web designers or individuals in the creative department do not have an unlimited amount of time to find their muse. When creativity strikes, it can flow on for a good while. But when it dries up, it might take an even longer while to get back into gear. That is why it is important to focus on those things that foster creativity while avoiding those things that kill it. Creativity killers are a dime a dozen and unless you know how to spot and overcome them, you might be stuck producing mediocre work for a long time. Here is a list of 5 common creativity killers and how to avoid them in the design world and workplace in general.
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#1 Stringent deadlines
As mentioned earlier, creativity cannot be forced. But, as fate would have it, we do not have a lifetime to come up with the ‘one perfect idea’. At least not in this fast moving market where thousands of new websites and platforms go online every single day. As a creative mind, it is important to set boundaries and deadlines for yourself. These lines allow you to stay within the limit of time constraints. Otherwise, you could be coding and designing forever.
As much as deadlines do wonders for creatives who work best under pressure, it completely kills the creativity of those who do not. That is why deadlines should be reasonable and as a creative, you should start work on any given project as soon as it is handed to you. This will not only give you ample time to work on it without feeling the last-minute pressure, but it will also give you time to go over your ideas and change for the better whatever needs changing.
#2 Steadfastly sticking to ideas that don’t work
There are moments as a creative, when you come up with one brilliant idea. This idea can take a life of its own if not watched. The problem with brilliant ideas is that they need supporting cast ever so often. In most cases we try to force these brilliant incidences into being something that they are not. Just because the UI idea you have is perfect doesn’t mean that it is perfect for whatever project you are working.
Do not try to force issues. If the idea doesn’t fit just yet doesn’t mean that you can’t use it somewhere else. Most creatives get stuck on brilliant ideas that are ill fitting to whatever project they are working on. This leads to wishful thinking and a lot of time wasted trying to force things to work. Let go and start again. Your creativity is not limited to that one brilliant idea.
Creativity can either happen in a flash, or it can take time. Whatever the case, once you get a wonderful idea in your mind, it is worth it to take the time to develop it properly. Do not rush the process. Impatience leads to mistakes and mistakes lead to mediocrity.
Take the time to think the idea through and look at it from different points of view. Come up with other alternatives that will help you perfect the idea that you have generated.
#4 Unkind self-criticism
In many cases, creatives are their own worst enemy. It is a catch-22 kind of situation. As a creative, you need to believe in your abilities and to believe in them; you need to take a close look and criticize everything you do. It is all part of the creative process and making yourself better at what you do. This is also a problem. When looking at your work, you tend to see everything that is wrong with it. And this means that, after some time, you will only see that which is wrong with what you do. Which in turns lead self-doubt and lack of inspiration.
Self-criticism is important. But you also need to involve your peers. Let someone else take a look at your work and let the see it from their vantage point. This kind of people will give your constructive criticism and praise where it is due. In many cases, if your work is excellent, this is a great way to boost your confidence and standing amongst your peers. And very few things get the creative juices flowing as having your efforts and skills validated by peers you respect.
#5 Lack of diversity
Creativity does not like stagnation. In fact, stagnation is one of the leading creativity killers out there. If you see the same thing every day, talk to the same people and brainstorm with the same group, after a while you will start coming up with the same old ideas. Creatives need inspiration and for this to happen, they need to get out there and have a fresh outlook on things. Often.
Diversify your circle. Read new books, go to new places, talk to new people and try as much as you can to derive inspiration from everything everyone says. You never know, the one solution to your creativity problem could get solved by the most unlikely of people around you.
Creativity is all about inspiration. Your process needs to be diverse and inclusive of as many different things as possible. Take your time to work on what you love but do not forget to work on the one thing that inspires you the most, yourself. Look to always learn new things, develop new skills and acquire new perspectives. It is all part of the process. The more diverse you are, the more creative you will be. Do not be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone.
What kills your creativity ? Tell us in the comment section below.