Creative efficiency is a comprehensive skill you develop over time. It’s composed of many mini skills you need to practice and hone in on becoming a master creator.
If you are a creative leader of any kind, time is of the essence. There is always a lot to do. Saving time and resources is the priority during any creative process.
Today, I want to speak of what I think the number one mini skill for creative efficiency is.
Once you know what you are creating – you need to know what you are not creating.
Yes, that’s right, you read correctly. When you know what you are after, you should stay focused and know what you are not after. Which basically is anything else… That should be easy, right?
The easiest thing in a creative process is getting distracted from your main goal – creating what you want to create. Ask Steven Pressfield. He made his career, among other things, writing about the resistance any creative artist faces when trying to get down to doing the work.
Resistance stands in the way of any creative progress or efficiency. It holds within it everything you need to say an absolute NO to.
Saying NO to anything and everything that stands in the way of your creative process towards realizing your goal.
Some of us are bad at saying no.
Some of us are good at it.
Most of us are in between somewhere.
Now, if you are like me, you are a kind person, and saying no to someone you’d love to help is not easy. It’s a must, though, to improve your creative efficiency.
Other than that, so much is “Resistance,” I will not even try to go into a list of what’s therein. For an exhaustive list, go to “The war of art” by Steven Pressfield.
I’ll quote this: “The more resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art/project enterprise is to you – and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.”
So saying no to what distracts you from the important work you have to do, is a skill to learn, practice, and master.
As the saying goes – the way to Carnegie Hall is Practice, Practice, Practice! And I say also: saying NO, NO, NO to anything that stands in your way, including your own resistance, puts you on the right path to Creative efficiency.
During a certain period of his very long research career, my father collected population samples of wild lettuce from everywhere he went. When he went to New Zealand, he called me excited after a week of searching for it and said: There’s absolutely no wild lettuce in New Zealand.
He was pleased about that finding.
I asked, astonished: why are you so happy? You didn’t find any; is this not a bad thing?
– “No,” he said, “a definitive no is a great result – it’s clear. I can work with that.”
So NO is not as negative as we make it out to be. We all seem to be afraid of NO as if it’s the worst word we could hear or get as an answer. I’m here to suggest otherwise:
I’m proposing that if you want to improve your creative efficiency, you need to respect NO and use it at will, freely, and with no judgment.
In the comments below, let us know how your “saying no skill” is doing: on a scale of 1-10: 1 being very bad at saying no, 10 – being a master.