The Calculated Creative

4 Steps to Increased Creative Productivity (The Div-Con Framework)

Too many thoughts. No idea where to start.

Overwhelmed. Give up. Repeat.

More creative souls live in this destructive thought loop than you’d think.

But there’s a way to break the curse.

Becoming more productive while allowing freedom for creative exploration.

It’s called the Divergent-Convergent Framework. Div-Con for short.

Here’s how to do it in 4 steps:

1. Set a Goal

Close your eyes.

And really try to FEEL what achieving your ideal end state will be like.

Doing this first and embedding the emotion within your body can help to increase motivation for the next steps.

2. Creative Brainstorm

Set a timer for 20 minutes.

Then let your brain go wild.

Note down every idea that comes up relating to the main goal.

Nothing is off limits.

3. Actionable List

Now that your 20 minute creative ideation phase is over it’s time to bring your thoughts together.

Take all of your notes and make them into an action oriented list.

Here is where you’ll start to get a feel for what you can actually do to take steps closer to the goal you set in the first step.

4. Prioritize


Now you should have anywhere from 5 to 10 action items written down.

But where to start?

With low hanging fruit!

Prioritize your list with the most important being those that require the least amount of input (time, energy, money, etc) for the biggest impact.

How this is relevant for a:

Freelancer — Your world is constantly changing. Having a place to focus your energy and a way to prioritize tasks can prevent the feeling of a rug being pulled out from underneath you.

Full-timer — Managing team members, projects, external vendors, bosses expectations…the list goes on. You may have a lengthy list of action items miles long. But knowing where to start can be half the battle.

Dabbler — You may not know where to put your energy yet. And it’s because you enjoy a slew of different creative outlets. But getting to the next step of a fulfilling career requires more focus on less projects.

Both creative and logical thinking are important. But when we use one more than another we can get stuck on tasks. And being too focused on either ideation or execution will stop you from getting closer to your goals.

By giving yourself some time to:

- Feel what achieving the main goal will be like

- Prioritizing the tasks that require less energy up front

You lower the barrier to getting started and can more easily maintain motivation throughout your day.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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