The curse of creativity

“Creativity — a curse?” you ask incredulously. Creativity is only positive. Right?

Most people wonder how to increase their creativity. When you’re more creative, you come up with different — and often better — solutions. So what could be the downside of creativity?

Let me share a trend I’ve noticed among my coaching clients. I work with creative, smart, inventive, inquisitive, energetic business owners who want to channel their ideas into profitable projects. I’ve noticed in all of us — I include myself in this group — that our creativity means we’re not all that focused. We get distracted by ideas that sound fun or interesting. We flit from one 3/4-finished project to the next.

It’s hard to gain momentum with partially finished projects.

Focus is the missing ingredient. While my clients can be focused on the task at hand when it is new and fun and interesting, when it stops being alluring, it is abandoned. Without being finished. Because some new shiny, fun, interesting idea has supplanted it. The ideas flow freely: a new article, blog post, video, podcast, presentation, webinar, eBook, website, workshop, business service or product — the list of not-quite-on-focus tasks is never ending. And we gaily dart to the new idea or task.

Until that one loses our interest.

This cycle continues until one has the epiphany that the fun is in starting, not finishing, the projects. Without the discipline to focus and finish, you’re never going to get the traction you need to monetize the work.

So what do you do to curtail your “shiny-object” affliction?

  • Become aware of your task-hopping. It’s hard to diagnose and create a solution for something that is unconscious.
  • Once identified, review your thought patterns when you find yourself abandoning a project. Some people find it’s linked to fear: of failure, of success, of looking stupid, of scrutiny from others.
  • If it’s simply boredom, see if there’s a way to make the project more interesting so you can see it to fruition.
  • Have a tough-love talk with yourself, reminding yourself of the merits of bringing your idea to market. Without the finished product, you’re depriving people of enjoying the benefit of your idea, as well as yourself from profiting from it.
  • Set aside specific time to complete the project. This time is sacrosanct — it is not a suggestion that you could work on completing your project during this time, but a solid commitment that you will. Nothing — short of an emergency — will hijack your focus on moving the task closer to completion.
  • Make a solemn promise to yourself and to someone who will keep you accountable, that you will work *only* on the incomplete project before moving on to the next fun idea.

If you find yourself still stuck, schedule a consultation with me and we’ll most likely move you through it!