Constraints Create Creativity

Constraints create creativity. It’s counter intuitive. But it has happened to me so many times…

It works this way: If you only have 5 minutes to do a presentation, you’ll finish the whole damn thing in 5 minutes. It won’t be 100% perfect, but it’ll be done. And sometimes, might even be your best work.

But if you had 3 months do that same presentation, it would take the full 3 months.

Here’s a personal story: I was a Year 1 UNI student, and I foolishly took a class on “Singapore Foreign Policy” meant for Masters Students.

I saw little hope of doing well… so I prioritized my other subjects above it. This led me to do something really foolish.

I sat on the desk that one night, coffee on hand, and a 5,000 word paper that needed to be submitted the next morning. I hustled hard and delivered.

I thought a “PASS” would be fantastic. To my surprise, I received an “A” for the paper… and even did better than most of the Masters Students.

Blind luck? Maybe.

I personally feel constraints (in this case, the shortened time) can spur creativity, to make you think faster, differently.

It doesn’t matter if you own a company or work at a job. Use this technique from time to time.

It might elevate you to new heights, or get you fired…..either way, it’ll be hilarious.

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