Productivity vs Creativity

Reflecting on the pressure I have been placing on myself got me thinking about something I’ve been observing on social media lately.

I’ve observed a lot of people hitting back at ‘Lockdown Motivators’ and the notion that if you are not using this downtime to be productive you are somehow wasting it. Reminding us all that it is okay if you are having a hard time right now. To be stressed and struggling. I know my fellow creative people are not creating much right now.

This all got me thinking about the difference between Productivity and Creativity.

In our society, we tend to view most things through productivity lenses. We rarely do things just because we enjoy it, because it feels like we’re wasting time.

Everyone is dealing with this difficult time the best way they can on an individual basis. For some this means not being creative at all, and that is perfectly alright.

We may not be creative right now, because we associate creativity with our ability to be productive. Because we simply don’t have the time, or the mental and emotional energy to pursue our creative goals. But there is a difference between productivity and creativity, and not creating at all may be making us feel even worse in the long run, because while we are living in survival mode, we are losing touch with what makes us come alive.

We do not need to be productive right now if we don’t feel up to it. By writing this I do not want to come across as a ‘Lockdown Motivator’. I do not want you to feel pressured into doing anything you don’t feel is right for you right now. I am not trying  make you feel guilty for not creating. I am gently encouraging you to keep in touch with your creativity. Creativity has incredible healing power, and is there for you to tap into anytime. Create just for yourself, and you alone. Let go of expectations. What you create does not need to be finished, and it certainly does not need to be marketable. Create purely to stay connected to your life purpose.

This concept will probably feel very strange for most people, because we are so used to viewing everything we do through the lense of productivity. But like many creative practices, especially artistic ones, it takes practice. But as I have mentioned in previous posts, this time of isolation and lockdown is an opportunity to truly learn to enjoy every step of the process of our creative endeavours, instead of racing to the finish line.

 

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