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9 Types of Creative Productivity

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Creative productivity is the value of creative work produced in a day. The value of creative works are often difficult to evaluate. In theory, five minutes work could be priceless and an entire career could have little value. Nevertheless, productivity is an important concern for most creative professions who have objectives they need to achieve. The following are common approaches to creative productivity.

Messy Desk

Ignoring any tedious administrative and clerical tasks to get lost in your core work. When administrative tasks are necessary they are separated from creative work. Multitasking on music composition and tax preparation isn't likely to go well.

Work Ritual

It is common for creative professionals to have rituals that they consider important to their creative frame of mind. For example, Ernest Hemingway often wrote while standing. Common rituals include a favorite beverage, mise en place, listening to music and taking steps to avoid interruption such as switching off notifications.


Always working on your most urgent or valuable project with a backlog and prioritization. It is productive to have a large backlog of things that you'd like to do, even if most will never reach the top of your list.


Imposing constraints on a project to improve productivity or to stimulate creativity. Making a suboptimal decision and moving ahead can be more productive than overthinking.


Letting ideas flow out without constraint. Often useful to get in a creative frame of mind.


Performing or creating something original without preparation. The term improvisation implies a group activity where members build on each others ideas.

Productive Assumptions

Making assumptions that will motive you, even if they are unrealistic. For example, the assumption that your coworkers are all on your side and want to see you succeed. It isn't necessarily true but may allow you to be optimistic, productive and creative.

Creative Control

Clear roles are important to productivity for collaborative creative work. For example, avoiding design by committee with a role such as creative director who makes the final call on all creative decisions.


Experimenting with your creative process to find things that work or don't work.
Overview: Creative Productivity
The value of creative work produced in a day.
Related Concepts
Next: Creative Block


This is the complete list of articles we have written about creativity.
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Creative Class
Creative Direction
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Creative Intuition
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Creative Works
Creativity Theory
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Inventive Step
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