What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money

As you get ready to start a new day, let me ask you: what’s the value of your time?

Something that may come to mind is “I’m worth $25 an hour”, or maybe more dollars depending on your occupation and experience level. While that’s a valid answer, time goes beyond the value of money.

One thing you can’t buy more of in this world and that is time.

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The relationship between money and time is peculiar. When you have some cash in your hands, you can either spend it or save it. The same thing happens with the way you use your time. However, unlike money, you can’t get back the time you’ve spent.

Therefore, the value of your time is higher than you can imagine. How are you currently managing it?

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Imperfect creativity: good is enough

Imperfect creativity is natural and good enough.

Anything that requires creativity has a human touch and humans are imperfect. This idea is still hard to assimilate. At some point in our lives, we’re taught to avoid mistakes and get flawless results.

Recently, I thought about my literature teacher in high school. Our discussions in class tended to lead to all kinds of random topics. One day, he expressed his frustration at some students that were obsessed with getting perfect marks. His words were unforgettable:

“In this life, you have to deal with the fact that you’re not perfect.”

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that statement sounded too harsh at the time, but the wisdom is there. If you think about it, life itself is imperfect.

So why is it worth hanging onto perfection?

Perfectionism is connected to your self-worth and is something you probably have to keep working on to overcome.

Creatives Doing Business

That’s another hard pill to swallow. In the Western culture, this is a constant struggle. Aim to be perfect or go home. On the other hand, in other cultures of the world, embracing imperfection is normal.

For example, there’s the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, defines it as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

I love the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect. There’s value in creating, doing your best to give it form, and releasing it to the world and let it be in its full glory with glitches included.

Creations are never complete. There’s always an improvement to make or a new version to start from scratch. After all, wabi-sabi is based on the cycles of nature, which are constantly changing. No creation ever stays the same.

With this concept in mind, how can you embrace imperfect creativity in your daily life?

 

Commentary on sense of wonder in companies

Sense of wonder is a key value for creativity and, at the same time, it’s a crucial asset at any company regardless of industry.

When you’re reading a job description, it’s common to find the company’s mission, vision, and values. The ideal candidate  would not only align with them but also embody them in and out of the office.

As a professional who’s been involved in the creative industry, it has come to my attention that sense of wonder isn’t listed as a corporate value. What would we do without adding a spark of newness to our daily tasks? The 9-5 working hours bite hard.

If surprise and spontaneity were a core part of a day in the office, and every colleague had a chance to incorporate them in their processes, professional environments would be more dynamic.

What does sense of wonder in companies look like?

Every industry is unique, and it would be impossible to find a fit-for-all scheme. This is why, when it comes to defining or redefining corporate values, it’s important to think about the culture that will be built. Culture itself affects behaviour. Therefore, encouraging sense of wonder in each collaborator has roots in attitudes and willingness to be part of that dynamic.

How does your company think about sense of wonder?

sense of wonder and creativity

Sense of wonder and creativity: surprise yourself daily

One element of creativity that’s worth revisiting as often as possible is sense of wonder. This concept tends to be associated with childlike wonder, which makes sense. What else would come to mind when thinking about a person who’s constantly surprised by life?

James Clear puts it in precise words:

Children are joyful and treat each day as a miracle. (…) Each day, they hear a new word or listen to a new song or learn about a new animal. It’s their first time visiting that restaurant or jumping in that pool or riding that rollercoaster. The world is continually unfolding before them.

 

Clear also asks a couple of important questions: How can you introduce more surprise into your life as an adult? How can you renew your sense of wonder and creativity?

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Declutter your mind: creativity lies deep within you

Declutter your mind, and creativity will flourish.

Now, this may sound a bit confusing. When hearing the word “declutter”, you might immediately think of cleaning your house or work space. However, tidying and organizing also takes place in your head. This a more complex task to work on.

Yes, aesthetics is an important aspect to feel that you are in a healthy and pleasing environment. Therefore, if your space is uninspiring or doesn’t reflect “you”, then a redesign might be necessary.

To declutter your mind, though, actions have to go deeper. It takes time, energy, and willingness to dismantle barriers that inhibit creative expression.

Let’s go through a couple of key points.

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Creativity and inhibitions: a deadly combination

When thinking about creativity and inhibitions, a couple of questions come to mind:

What blocks creativity? Why is it that, at times, we feel that we can’t use our full creative potential?

We are going through some difficult times in all aspects of our lives. Creativity is one key factor that can help us figure out our next steps in what we’re trying to solve. However, if we’re mentally blocked, it’s going to be challenging to move forward.

I recently came across an article on the top 10 common factors that inhibit creativity. This is an eye-opening read, and it caused such impact on me that I decided to expand on three of them:

  • Laziness
  • Fear of failure
  • Keeping your work to yourself

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There’s a time to flourish: creativity at its best

There’s a time to flourish and a time to be dormant.

A time to play and a time to rest.

A time to socialize and a time for introspection.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant something and a time to pluck it up.

Creativity is no different. Each step of a process comes with a season, in which times are more active, and others are more contemplative. Contrary to all the ideals of productivity, it’s unrealistic to expect outcomes nonstop.

It is a mistake and a misreading of nature to think that you, a living creature, will be flourishing all the days of your life.

austin kleon

Therefore, it’s crucial to know when to do things.

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Creative seasons: observing your atmosphere to flourish

We all go through creative seasons. Our focus varies depending on our mood, our environment, and yes, even weather.

Creativity, I believe, works in a similar way. There are periods of time in which ideas flow and exciting projects start; however, other periods are slower and more contemplative.

Jess McHugh, author of Americanon, reminds us of something essential for any creative process:

Things happen in their time and place, and we can prepare and make plans, but frost might come anyway.

Jess mchugh

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Know yourself: a time for introspection

“Know yourself.”

This is one piece of advice that has been around for centuries. In times like these, understanding this concept is as relevant as ever. I think any day is ideal for introspection.

Why do you need to know yourself? I came across a great answer:

Gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves helps us to be responsible – or response-able- meaning we can respond to life, rather than react.

Joey Hulin

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Developing confidence is an ongoing process

Developing confidence is a journey that goes one step at a time.

Trust process. These words have become more and more common to find in areas related to business, art, and self-development to name a few.

I recently came across this other approach: Think process, not product. Austin Kleon always has precise advice.

Process, inevitably, allows confidence to develop. Even when you’re not sure what you’re doing, you are constantly getting clues that lead to further steps. That’s why it’s a good idea to pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.

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