Are you doing or creating?
I often struggle to write because I don’t really have an idea of what to say. But if I always waited until I had an idea, I would end up never writing!
Therefore, I often start writing without a clear idea of what the destination will look like.
I don’t do everything in this way. As a software developer, if I started to work on a project without planning, I would go nowhere.
When doing creative work, I work best when I don’t have a destination in mind. But when I’m working to achieve a specific goal, I need to put my creativity aside and follow a process.
Creativity vs Process
Creative work is messy, inefficient, doesn’t have a predetermined goal and it’s usually slow. And yet, it’s essential because it creates the most value. Examples are writing a book,drawing a painting or simply coming up with a better way of doing things at work.
Process-based work is clear, efficient and fast but produces no new value. Examples are the iterative building of cars in carmaking factories.
Innovation always comes first. The wheel came first, then everyone copied it. The first iPhone was an innovation. The thousands that followed were the result of efficient process-based work.
Both types of work are needed, but it’s important to recognize what kind of work you’re doing.
Are you trying to come up with a breakthrough? Maybe you shouldn’t be following some “process for creativity”. Instead, peek out of the box.
Are you trying to get a project done? Maybe you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Check to see what are the best practices and follow them.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t improve an existing process, but there’s a time and a place for everything. When you are working, work. When you are creating, create. But don’t confuse the two.
The Oracle of FI is a middle-class guy working as a software developer. His goal is to achieve full financial independence by the age of 40.
He started this blog in 2019 in order to share his tips and techniques on investing, saving money and making the most out of life.
He has a cat and lives in France.