For the CMO

4 Reasons Creative People Struggle to Finish Projects

Keep your workface happy, motivated, and efficient by understanding what drives them.

Source: Sergieiev / shutterstock

As important as data and technology are to the field of marketing, it’s still a creative industry. If you aren’t constantly coming up with new ways to pitch products and services, your leads will dry up, and your business will flounder. But having a team of creative people will also bring challenges. Here are four reasons creative people struggle to finish projects and how you can ensure your marketing team is as efficient as possible.

  • Their attention is pulled in a different direction: Creative people often have new ideas pop into their heads that can pull them away from what they’re supposed to be focusing on. As much as you love new ideas from teammates, you probably get frustrated when one project gets abandoned for another. Consider a “brain dump” session at your weekly marketing meeting during which team members can clear their brains of new ideas. In this way, they’ll know their ideas are recorded and can focus on the tasks at hand. If you’re only ever starting things, you’re not finishing anything.
  • They suffer from perfectionism: Sometimes, done is better than perfect. This may not be true for the person who designs, say, X-ray machines, but it’s definitely true for whoever’s writing your YouTube video descriptions. Don’t hold your employees to a standard of perfection, and encourage taking risks.
  • They’re overworked: Marketers are consistently overworked and undervalued in the workplace. Since many people don’t truly “get” marketing, they see it as a fluff piece within the company and not something to be taken seriously. Make sure you’re regularly showing gratitude to your team and encouraging the rest of your company to do the same. When we feel burdened by the amount of work we have to do but feel as if nobody is noticing us, we can have a hard time pulling it together and concentrating.
  • They’re procrastinators: According to Still Procrastinating: The No Regrets Guide to Getting it Done by Joseph Ferrari, PhD, a quarter of adults are chronic procrastinators. That means that many creative people simply struggle to get things done because they’re good at putting them off! Offer regular incentives for your employees in order to reduce procrastination, and better yet, make their work as flexible as possible. Some people may work better in a coffee shop, while others need a more formal environment. Some may choose to listen to music, while others require silence. By allowing your creative teammates to work in a way that best suits them, you’ll help them stop procrastinating and get to work.