By Kat Davis
Do you consider yourself a creative? If so, here are six habits that I’ve observed many successful creative types employ in their lives over the years. Some might not work well for you; some may unveil the exact thing you’ve needed to empower the talent and creativity that has been welling up inside of you. Consider these six habits as you continue your journey of expression:
1. Know your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.
I am a visionary. I can see the big picture. I can typically see things fairly objectively and take the 50,000-foot view approach to most ideas or problems. Put me in front of an Excel spreadsheet and my anxiety will rise quickly. I’ll get flustered and frustrated within minutes. I know my strengths. I also know my weaknesses. Consider becoming even more familiar with your own internal assets and liabilities. A saying that I keep close to my heart is, “A wise man is closest to himself.” For a moment one might find that to be narcissistic, but if you think about it a little more, if you know yourself well, then you’ll know how to best serve those around you and how you can best empower those around you with skills and talents where you lack. Some ways to start scratching the surface of this journey can be found here:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
DISC Personality Assessment
2. Practice saying “No.”
Use your calendar to organize yourself and intentionally plan out space. Life seems busier than ever before. Some of that is because of how we use technology, and some of it is a mindset of our culture. “The more you do, the more accomplished you are,” is what our mindset seems to be. It is wonderful to accomplish a lot, serve a lot and operate in the gifts we’ve been given. It’s also just as important to have time and space for reflection, meditation and rest. As demands on your time increase, you must become more and more discerning about how to use your time. Be intentional about carving out space for yourself. Plan it out on your calendar, in writing, and adhere to it. Protect it like you would an important meeting or performance. And stick to it. Often times, time and space are the first things we negate when trying to please everyone around us. Make time for yourself a priority. If you are empty, it’s impossible to pour out as effectively as when you are full.
3. Be a student.
There is always someone who knows more than you do. Spend time with people who are exemplifying the kind of work ethic, ministry or talent you’re aiming for. Most people are very happy to talk about themselves; how they got to where they are, the mistakes they made along the way, the advice they were given that impacted them. If you consistently have a desire to learn and expand your thinking, you’ll afford yourself priceless wisdom from others who have walked a similar path. And of course, be intentional to pay it forward.
4. Check in.
It’s very helpful to have a mission statement or a vision statement. Over time that can tweak and change, but knowing what your goals are and consistently revisiting them is important to staying organized and discerning how you spend your time. Make it a priority to regularly “check in” and make sure you’re spending your time in such a way that will accomplish your goals. Some helpful articles about how to determine your mission or vision statement can be found here:
John C. Maxwell
5. Respond to your “Top 5.”
Prioritization is tantamount as your influence and platform increase. Making good decisions when things are in the building phase will only translate to the ability to more easily make good decisions when you’re at the top of your game. One smart way to prioritize is to have a “Top 5” list of people who, no matter what, you respond to EVERY time they’re in touch. This might be your partner, your manager, your accountant, etc. Define who is a part of your team, both personally and professionally, and who absolutely must be responded to quickly when he or she reaches out. Let that Top 5 take absolute priority, and after you’ve tended to that group of people, then respond back to other inquiries.
6. Work hard and work smart.
A lot of times we think because we’re working hard, we deserve great results. In part, that expectation is reasonable. But what’s an even more sure fire way to accomplish your goals is to work hard AND work smart. It’s important to have people in your life who can see your life, career and ministry from a “bird’s eye view” and point out patterns and observations that might help you work smarter. For example, if you get derailed by paying too much attention to social media, what if you give yourself points in the day where you pay attention to social media, but then otherwise, you don’t look at it at all, and focus on your other tasks at hand? Or if you have to drive across town for a meeting, plan a phone call for the drive so you can accomplish two things at once. Working hard is necessary, and no one is going to work as hard on your career as you are or care as much as you do. But don’t forget to add working smart to that equation.
Industry veteran Kat Davis has gleaned experience from a two-decade career spanning various aspects of the music business, including music retail, on-air radio, concert promotion, radio promotion, grass-roots marketing, online and relationship marketing, artist development, booking and artist management. Kat founded The Brown Book Agency, Inc. in 2009 with a desire to focus all of those skills toward an elite roster of clients which includes Grammy-nominated artists/songwriters Matt Maher and Margaret Becker, worship artist Meredith Andrews, and new artist John Tibbs. Kat has authored TheDailyVerse.Com, a free, online daily devotional since 1999, and self-published the first printed volume of The Daily Verse in 2010. Kat is passionate about people and seeing human potential realized. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Kat now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the daughter of the late James D. Davis, US SEAL TEAM II, and Fran Davis. Her wonderful family also consists of a younger sister, a nephew and a beagle, Molly Pigg, who gets her name from her constant snorting. Kat’s an avid fan of the US Navy Blue Angels and aspires to fly with plane #7 one day.