Do What is Important, Not What is Urgent
Put creativity first, not last.
Posted Oct 30, 2013
We all feel under pressure to reply to emails, tweets, texts and sacrifice what is really important. There will always be emails in the inbox. Carrying out chores will never create ground breaking and remarkable work.
Successful creative people put their work first, not last. They start the day with their real work. That’s when they feel energized and industrious. You owe it to yourself to make your creative development the top priority.
Mozart always put his music first. He would compose anywhere—at meals, talking to friends, playing pool and most famously while his wife was giving birth in the next room. Although he died young, he wrote huge amounts of music. It would take over 8 days to play all of his music, one piece after the next, without stopping. Mozart put creativity first. Great people treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.
The great French product designer Philippe Stark believes that if you have an idea you should transform it into a finished work as soon as possible. You get a shot of energy and excitement from an idea and you have to use that power. If you put work aside for a while and come back to it—you lose that exhilaration and start to question what you’re doing. You begin to think more logically - doubt sets in and the energy level drops. If you have an idea you have to bring it to completion quickly. You have to ignore everything and concentrate on your creative task.
Do not spend the best part of the day, when you are fresh, completing chores. When you turn to your serious work, your energy will have dropped and it’ll be harder to focus. Goethe said ‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’
It takes time to create something remarkable—a novel, a design, a software application or a revolutionary new company. It will never seem as urgent as the pestering electronic media we are swamped with. The thing that is most important is often the most quiet.
Rod Judkins MA RCA is an artist, writer, and professional public speaker, delivering lectures and workshops that explain the creative process and help individuals and businesses to be more inspired in their lives and work. He is author of the bestsellers, The Art of Creative Thinking, and Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self.
Copyright Rod Judkins 2013