Rethinking the role time crunches play for creativity
“Every now and then, a pressing deadline can concentrate the mind and produce a fully-realized idea, ready for airplay. But most of the time, it’s a long and winding road.” — Steven Jonson
Key insight from Steven Johnson’s Learning from Get Back: while time pressure and constraints can fuel creativity, the unfolding of ideas over longer cycles is also a significant pattern for creatives.
What I often see is that time pressure helps get nearly finished ideas out the door, so they get selected for time crunches, while ideas that need more incubation get deselected. Over time, we falsely attribute the time crunch as the catalyzing force for finishing, when in reality, it’s our prioritization and intuition doing the work.