What's Killing Your Creativity?

employ creativity


One of the biggest reasons why people leave the corporate grind behind for the uncertain life of the mobile professional is freedom.

Freedom to decide their own schedule, choose their own clients, and perhaps most importantly, the freedom to pursue creative passions as a career rather than a past-time.

So what happens when you have your coffee, your laptop, and your favorite spot at Cohere, and…the creativity is gone?

You’re not feeling it. The well is dry. Everything you try feels like a regurgitation of something you’ve done before. You feel like the creativity is dead. Might as well close up shop and call it a day, right? Wrong.

According to research from Harvard University, there are five main culprits that are responsible for killing our creativity. Knowing and spotting them at work in your own professional pursuits will ensure greater happiness and productivity. Check out the five creativity-killers identified by this recent research, and let know if you’ve ever struggled with these particular problems in the past.

1. Role Mismatch: Taking on the wrong clients, accepting the wrong project, or getting too far away from the work we truly love to do is a sure-fire way to sap creativity. The wrong role puts us in a position where we’re constantly struggling to keep up and induces a constant state of creativity-crushing panic.

2. External End-Goal Restriction: Without self-imposed restrictions, entrepreneurs might never make a dollar, but the Harvard research shows that when restrictions about where and how we work are imposed by others, it’s a creativity killer.

3. Lack of Time or Resources: Every freelancer has been on the ramen diet during a dry patch, but it’s a lack of resources like time or a proper workspace that can cut short our creative juices.

4. Lack of Social Diversity: “Homogeneous groups have shown to be better able to get along, but it comes at a cost: they are less creative. This even applies to the social groups you keep, so beware of being surrounded by people who are too similar all the time, you may end up in a creative echo-chamber,” writes Gregory Ciotti for 99u.com. In other words: COWORKING.

5. Discouragement: Loads of studies have shown that a boss delivering genuine praise will have far more motivated and productive employees than one who constantly shouts criticism. We like our effort to be recognized, and when it is, we work even harder in hopes of more high fives and atta girls. Creative people thrive on having others impacted by their ideas. And guess what? That instant feedback, support, encouragement loop is build RIGHT IN to the coworking community. Must be why we’re so dang creative around here.

Seriously though, let know if you’ve ever struggled with these particular problems in the past, and how you dealt with them.

Image via Zeitgeist 1984

Share This