You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

Sometimes a book jumps off my bookshelf and says look at me again- Now!
Being that I am currently studying marketing, when I picked up the book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ By, Richard Florida again, I had a whole new appreciation for its contents.

This national bestseller written by a professor of economic development, makes many key contributions to the discussion about the central role of creativity in the economy, and specifically highlighting a growing class of society he calls the creative class.

HERE ARE SOME Gold NUGGETS  or KEY QUOTES to chew on:

“Many say that we now live in an “information” economy or a “knowledge” economy. But what’s more fundamentally true is that we now have an economy powered by human creativity. Creativity– “the ability to create meaningful new forms”, as Webster’s dictionary puts it- is now the decisive source of competitive advantage. In virtually every industry, from automobiles to fashion, food products, and information technology itself, the winners in the long run are those who can create and keep on creating.”

***

“The economic need for creativity has registered itself in the rise of a new class, which I call the Creative Class. Some 38 million Americans, 30% of all employed people, belong to this new class. I define the core of the Creative Class to include people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content. Around the core, the Creative class also includes a broader group of creative professionals in business and finance, law, health care and related fields. These people engage in complex problem solving that involves a great deal of independent judgment and requires high levels of education or human capital. In addition, all members of the Creative Class– whether they are artists or engineers, musicians or computer scientists, writers or entrepreneurs– share a common creative ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.”

***

“Given that creativity has emerged as the single most important source of economic growth, the best route to continued prosperity is by investing in our stock of creativity in all its forms, across the board. This entails more than just pumping up R&D spending or improving education, though both are important. It requires increasing investments in the multidimensional and varied forms of creativity– arts, music, culture, design and related fields– because all are linked and flourish together. It also means investing in the related infrastructures and communities that attract creative people from around the world and that broadly foment creativity.”

***

The Creative Class  has 3 FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES TO ADDRESS:

1.) Investing in Creativity to ensure long-run economic growth.
2.) Overcoming the class divides that weaken our social fabric & threaten economic well-being.
3.) To build new forms of social cohesion in a world defined by by increasing diversity and beset by growing fragmentation.

This book shows how codependent and increasingly connected are the worlds of finance/business/economy and the worlds of the arts/creativity/culture.

It also really broadens the scope of what we may usually categorize as “creative work” and illuminates the integral role that creativity has in many of the jobs central to our economic health.

We all know how it feels to fumble our way through a vague jumble of to-do’s and get distracted, get some little things done, and at the end of the day wonder what we actually accomplished.

In contrast to that, how good it feels to be crystal clear on your priorities, have all tasks organized and listed, and to blaze through the list with efficiency.
Since time is a very precious resource, can we afford to be disorganized and ineffective?

SOME POINTS about EFFICIENCY

* PRIORITIZATION IS KEY for acting efficiently. Take the time to assess your list and determine an order of priority. Use Color coding, Stars, or a special box on your To Do List page to indicate which items are to be acted upon first. Tackle the most important and/or most difficult tasks first thing in the morning when you are sharpest, and it will set a great tone for the rest of the day.

*Have a MAP or MASTER PLAN. In visual or written form this big picture document can be a reference point to return to when we get distracted and veer off track. I have a vision board in my home office that I can look at, as well as my mission statement and a Master Plan word document on my computer.

* Your ability to GET STUFF DONE is strengthened by working your  ACTION and DISCIPLINE MUSCLES. To support this, I highly suggest developing and maintaining a daily practice (could by physical like running or yoga, spiritual like mediation or creative like writing). Even 15 minutes a day of any practice can help us greatly to get used to taking action weather or not we are ‘in the mood’. This is also a way to balance out our do do do work orientation with a non mental practice, and the byproduct is that we are practicing discipline which will spill over into the mental sphere too.

* STREAMLINE OPERATIONS by clearing space and getting rid of unessential objects, projects, and clutter. Clear and organize files on your computer every couple months.

* Being a sleek effective person who knows what they want and gets stuff done not only leads to more Success, but hey… its SEXY!

THINGS THAT ENHANCE EFFICIENCY:

* Good Systems

* Good Time Management

* Clarity and Planning

* Delegating & Teamwork

* Focus w/out distractions

TOOLS and SOFTWARE RESOURCES
that have been helping me streamline and up my time/task management game.

RESEARCH– R&D is a big part of the initial phase of almost any project. We need to research when exploring career options, getting a new apartment, writing an article or book, or looking for places online to promote our work.

Microsoft Word Notebook Documents-
This template is in all MS Word from 2004 on. To find it go to Project Gallery under File and then click on ‘Word Notebook’. You will get a blank document with multiple tabs on the right side. This way you can gather a lot of varied information related to your topic into one document. For EXAMPLE, I am writing this blog post in my Blog Topics notebook, and there are tabs for “Topics & Ideas”, “In Progress”, “Already Posted”, and “Radar Screen”. It’s easy to add, delete, and rename tabs as you go along. Using notebooks for any topic that is more multi-dimensional than flat leads to more streamlined virtual filing systems and less overwhelm.

Evernote- http://www.evernote.com
I absolutely love this tool and have been using it a lot lately. (It was tool #9 in my inspired productivity tools series.) Once you download it for free, its small icon lives at the top right of your screen and you can use it to get screenshots of sites relevant to your research. You can also add tags to keep it organized, and put the source url so you can easily return to that site (easier than bookmarking). For EXAMPLE, I am developing an educational branch to Catalyst Arts and exploring local organizations to partner with to bring the program to low-income youth. So here is a screenshot of my evernote notebook with c.a. education program tags.

Evernote_EducationProgram

What Else?? What helps you to act efficiently?

This is a very special Sunday coming up- it is Chinese New Year(Year of the Tiger), Tibetan New Year, and Valentines Day!

This year I got inspired to create this collage to offer up. Use it as you like. Send along to those you love.

I am not generally that enthusiastic on the Valentines bandwagon, as there is so much pretense and cheese and chocolate coated baggage associated with it.
That said- a day set aside to celebrate LOVE is a great idea. Really, if we expand beyond the romantic sphere and just affirm ALL the FORMS that LOVE takes in our lives and give affirmation and gratitude to this— it can only grow.

So my wish is that you truly give thanks— for your partner/lover if you have one, for yourself, for your cat, dog, mother, child, friends, angels, and any other place you receive the gift of Love from.

It truly is a precious gift.

Cheers to Love and Cheers to You.

🙂