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Are we becoming more efficient, but less creative?


Can you believe how far we’ve come in the last 10, 20, 30 years? Looking at the technology available to us now, it’s incredible that so much of it has been around for the last few decades. We’re advancing at an astonishing rate, but is that hurting our creativity? As we become more efficient at creating technology and completing our jobs, are we losing our ability to think outside of the box?

Productivity vs. creativity

In an ideal world, we’d be super productive at work while also being as creative as possible. However, the chances of that ever happening seem highly unlikely. Why? Well, creativity and productivity are two things that contradict one another.

If someone were to be productive, they’d efficiently accomplish their tasks while making constant progress. Productivity requires someone to be focusing on the job at hand without fail, whereas creativity needs time to breathe. You can’t come up with exciting new ideas if you’re never allowing yourself an opportunity to stop and think.

The rise of technology

Thanks to the advancement of technology, we’ve never been more efficient than we are now. Need to find out the answer to something you’re not sure about? You can get it up on your smartphone in seconds. While this is great if you want to know the number for pi or how many inches there are in a foot, it’s not so great for more open-ended questions. Things that once required some intense thought can now be found easily on the internet. It saves you time, but it’s hindering your ability to use your brain.

How does this impact creativity? Well, if you always rely on the internet to solve your problems, you’ll never learn to think outside of the box. Rather than coming up with an ingenious way to get a job done, you’ll just look at what everyone else says. If we all did this, we’d never come up with any new ideas.

The benefits of being disorganized

With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most creative people are the ones who are usually disorganized. Although people who live a cluttered and inefficient life might seem lazy or bad at their job, that’s far from the truth. These workers are actually just productive in a different way, and it’s all down to their levels of creativity.

We expect desks in an office to be neat and tidy, which is why when someone has one that’s the opposite, they find it easier to think clearly. Their workspace breaks free from the norms, allowing them the opportunity to construct ideas that also don’t adhere to the rules. That’s how creativity works. If you’re never able to put your mind in a place that has no boundaries, your imagination is never going to thrive. You might be efficient, but you’ll never be creative.

Efficiency and creativity are far more complex than what we’ve discussed here, and there’s no saying it’s impossible to be both. However, given where our focus seems to be right now, the former will continue to thrive while the latter disappears.