Last night I watched Tim Minchin, the comedian and musician live. I’ve been following his work for years, and it didn’t disappoint. But what I didn’t realise until last week was that Tim had taken a ten year break from comedy, and this is his ‘comeback tour’. Ten years is a long time not noticing that one of your favourite comedians isn’t doing comedy, but he has been active in musicals and other projects and has remained present in the media.   

He explained the different projects he had been working on, and it made me think about the variety of pieces of work we can be working on in our businesses at the same time.  

The magic of multiple projects

Did you know that creative projects are often enhanced when you work on several at the same time? This is according to psychologist Albert Bandura and his research into the cognitive functioning of creative thinkers. 

“People’s creative efforts are more productively deployed when they pursue multiple projects simultaneously, at varying stages of completion, shifting among them as circumstances dictate. In doing so, they’re less likely to succumb to the impediments, false starts, inevitable delays and distractions of the creative process, and more likely to experience greater productivity and goal attainment.” 

Albert Bandura 

Now I’m not advocating multi-tasking, which can hamper productivity and effectiveness; this research relates explicitly to creative projects. While you may not consider yourself to be in a creative industry, creativity is needed for: 

  • Problem-solving – helping your clients, customers or team with an issue. 
  • Marketing ideas and promotions – even if you have a team working on your marketing, the people driving the business are in a position to spot the most persuasive promotions due to their wealth of knowledge. 
  • Creating or improving products and services – spotting connections, new ways of doing things, and realising something is out of date. 
  • Finding novel business opportunities – while we may resist change, the opportunities are all around us to find new ways of doing things. 

In short, you don’t have to be an artist to be a creator. And you don’t need to work in a creative industry to use this advice. 

Benefits for your business  

While it’s important to run your business, look after your clients and customers, having a business project (or several) on the burn can be both fun and fulfilling. Not only that, you may end up being proud of the results you achieve for your business!  

I may be biased, I always have some sort of business project on the go, whether it’s moving us to a new system or building something creative. We’re almost ready to launch the next exciting project, but more on that in a future post!  

Some areas to consider: 

  • What business projects do you have bubbling away at the moment? 
  • What projects would you like to get started?  
  • Can you work with someone else to get them on track?

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