What Boosts Your Creativity More: Breaking Rules Or Enforcing Them?

What Boosts Your Creativity More: Breaking Rules Or Enforcing Them?

A simple rule may put you in the right mindset to come up with an incredible idea, but rules also stifle creativity when they’re too restricting. What helps you be the most creative? Lots of rules, just a few, or none at all?

Photo by Yaviki.

Matthew E. May , writing for creativity and ideas blog the 99u, asserts that the simplest rules are the best:

Our creativity is often determined by how actively engaged and focused we are. Sometimes our focus is dictated by the constraints, or rules, we apply to it. The more we focus, the more we create. The more we create the more we enjoy our work. And the more enjoyable, expedient, and efficient an experience is, the more meaning we give it. And here’s the thing: the simplest rules create the most effective experience.

What do you think?

Want To Make Your Environment More Creative? Kill Some Rules [The 99u]


  • This is an interesting subject.

    I work in a creative industry (film) and find that those companies or people who remain rigid and in-flexible often burn productivity and become a burden on the process, often building bureaucracy. With each person added to a department, the less productive we tend to become. And with each little job we create we jam up our pipeline.

    I have seen small teams produce far greater outputs so long as they are highly skilled at what they do. With a very strong understanding of the ground rules and the fundamentals of what the result is meant to look like as a finished product, we can apply new methods of achieving these results.

    Every Job I do (as a freelancer), is different, but the fundamentals rarely change.. my strength is in finding optimised and sometimes creative ways of bending the rules, but nor breaking them.

    Oh.. and keeping it as simple and direct from point a to point b is the ideal scenario.. I always also try to lay the ground work by starting from the end of the process and trying to establish my methods up front.

    Its all relative to creativity and rules..

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