8 Essential Ways to Balance Creativity and Business

1. Find Your Ideal Environments
Find the environments you work best in for different types of work. For example, if you need to be heads-down focused on a specific task, maybe you are more productive in a quiet, distraction-free environment, like a conference room. If you need inspiration for the task at hand, maybe an environment with some ambiance, like a coffee shop, is more suitable.
- Tim Jahn, matchist


2. Outsource All Administrative Work

Every entrepreneur is overburdened by wearing too many hats. But true creativity needs uninterrupted blocks of time to shine through. As much as possible, outsource your administrative work — legal work, financial analysis, sales research, etc. Whether teammates or contractors, find others to do the “busy” work that distracts you.
- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches


3. Determine Your Peak Creative Time of Day

My morning is, by far, the most productive and creative time of the day. For others, it’s the afternoon or even late at night. The key is to identify the time of day when you are at your peak for creative work and make sure you block that time off every day. Don’t schedule administrative tasks or meetings, and turn off all distractions!
- Phil Frost, Main Street ROI


4. Do Creative Solo Work Before the Workday Starts

The office environment produces so many distractions that it’s difficult to focus. As you deal with the stresses of the day, your willpower and ability to think creatively diminish, which is why it’s hard to be productive at night. There’s a reason most successful people get up earlier. Do your creative solo work in the morning before work, and then do collaborative work at the office.
- Emerson Spartz, Spartz

5. Replace Yourself Constantly

Every time I grew to dislike an aspect of my business, I found someone who loved it with as much vigor as I had for other parts of the business. Whether it was a bookkeeper, scheduler, researcher, systematizer, community manager or happiness director, in each case I found someone who built his life around loving that role so I could continue to fill my own days with the joy of creating.
- Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

Thursday-Bram 26. Do the Creative Stuff First

The administrative work that goes along with running a business never ends. You’ve got to do your creative work before you get sucked into everything else. My preference is to work on creative projects first thing each morning, not even checking my email until my creative work is done.
- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting


7. Schedule “Stretch” Time

I used to get wrapped up in my daily/weekly to-do list and completely forget about “growth” activities — where I took the time to stretch my mind beyond immediate business challenges. Now, I schedule time alone — and with my team — to be creative and think deeply and holistically.
- Neil Thanedar, LabDoor


8. Block Off Time

My company makes entertainment magazines for celebrities and brands. There are parts of the job, like interviewing celebs, that are a blast. Other necessary parts aren’t as enjoyable. I use time blocking to balance the work and play. I’ll spend two hours working on a task I enjoy, and then two hours doing the “necessary stuff.” I don’t move on to the next “fun” task until the “work” is complete.
- Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak

About The Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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