The Benefits And Drawbacks Of An Over Active Creative Mind

You’re a creative person. We all are. That’s one of the reasons we are designers. But, how many of us have heard from someone that we have an over active mind and we come up with too many ideas? An over active mind can be both positive and negative. In today’s article we’ll explore both sides.


As a creative community, we want to believe that there are positive aspects of the creative minds we have but rarely do we look at the downside of it (or maybe we’re just too busy thinking of creative ideas that we don’t notice the down side?). So instead of just discussing the benefits of an over active creative mind (which I do below), I want to also discuss the drawbacks of the over thinking that we tend to do.

At the end of the article, feel free to weigh in with your opinions in the comments – I’d love to hear what others think.

Benefits of an over active creative mind


You have an endless stream of ideas and projects

It’s true – if you’ve got an over active mind like myself and Jon both have, you’re sure to know what we mean by 1,000,000’s of ideas in the pipeline. This is definitely beneficial if you’re trying to brainstorm new website ideas, business ideas or marketing ideas.

I’ve currently got a moleskine book on my desk filled with ideas and random thoughts, as well as 3 others that are filled up and sitting on my bookshelf for documentary purposes. By picking one of these books up (I recommend a pocket sized book for thinking on the go) you can store all of your ideas for later use.

You can become a leader in your field by sharing your ‘spare ideas’ with others

Going from the first benefit to this one isn’t that far of a stretch – you’ve got so many ideas, why not share some of them? On Guerrilla Freelancing I post about Guerrilla Marketing tactics a lot, which is my own way of giving away tips and ideas that I’ve had swarming around in my head. Right here on SpyreStudios I’ve also made a post with 15 Guerrilla Marketing tactics for freelancers, which helps keep me in the spotlight for those types of tips.

How can this benefit you? Easy. Share your ideas and become the expert for those topics and whenever anyone is looking for advice or help with something in your niche, you will be the first person on their mind. This could be writing tutorials, giving away icon sets, talking about website ideas, and so on. You’re creative, let the world know.

You see things in a different light than most people do

Seeing things in a different light than most people can definitely help you out in the long run. By being able to notice little aspects of life that your friends and family don’t notice, you can figure out problems quicker, find solutions to an issue that might going on in you life and then there’s the times you notice how the kerning on a sign above your favorite store is just slightly off (don’t lie, we’ve all done it).

The same thing is true for when you’re building websites, designing logos or working on any other creative project – you can see holes in a style and fill it with your own creativity. You might have a client who wants things ‘cookie-cutter’ style, but you can put your own twist on it because you see a positive end result, and by doing so, you earn the respect and admiration of that client – who by the way, will be talking about you to all of his friends and colleagues.

Drawbacks of an over active creative mind


Your mind becomes cluttered with too much stuff

At SpyreStudios, we talk a lot about minimalist web designs, lifestyles and office spaces, and there’s a reason for it – it’s healthy. Yes, having a lot of ideas is good for your creative mind, but what happens when you have so many things floating around in your head, you just can’t seem to focus on the task at hand? What do you do then?

Your brain will function just like your office – if you’ve got a minimalist office and it’s free of clutter, you’ll feel more relaxed and more productive and the same goes for your brain. So treat yourself to some time away from your creative mind and tidy up your thoughts – you’ll be thankful in the long run. You can do this by putting together a to do list of items you have to get done for clients, or items that you must get done around the house – anything that will give you some structure.

You start a lot of projects and don’t finish many of them

Here’s where I really feel like an ass, because I fall into this category, and my girlfriend will tell you that it’s a well deserved spot for me. How many of you have 3 or more projects ‘in the pipeline’? Raise your hands (for real, raise your hand!) I knew there would be a lot of you because this is one of the main things that haunt us as a creative community – too many ideas and not enough time to complete them all.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started something, or did weeks of planning for a project only to stop halfway and jump into something else. I blame CADD (Creative Attention Deficit Disorder) for it to be honest :) My main way of dealing with this as of late is to pick the three things that are most important to me and do them – a redesign of my blog design portfolio, more focus on writing for Guerrilla Freelancing and the launch of Giant Themes. By making sure I have a razor sharp focus on these items, I can keep my mind from wandering to the hundreds of other ideas I have ‘in the pipeline’.

You can lack the focus needed to get client work done

Working as a freelance blog designer, I know this down side all to well, unfortunately. Let me paint a picture for you – you’re knee deep in a client project, 1-2 weeks into the work and then you get this brilliant idea for a website that you just have to build. Instead of working around the client’s project, you actually lose focus on the client’s work, stop feeling productive and creative in their work and can only seem to focus on your own project. Sound familiar?

This is the most devastating item on the list in my opinion, and one that I wrestle with, even to this very day. It’s a struggle to keep your creativity under wraps and aim it in the right direction, but as a freelancer, you must remember that the clients always come first and if the personal project is important enough, you’ll carve out that extra hour or two at night to work on it.

Do you have an over active creative mind?

If you fall into any of these slots in the article, let us know in the comments. Vent your frustrations, boast about your accomplishments or just start some general chatter about the topic at hand – I’d personally love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the topic. Thank you for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it – and if you did, please take a second and tweet it for us :)


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