Does pressure make you more creative?

Sep 17, 2012 | Better Writing

“I’m more creative when I’m up against a deadline.”

Carol was only one of many who’ve said that to me over the years. They’re probably wrong.

Human beings are creative creatures. We have new ideas all the time, but we have most of them when we’re relaxed, not when we’re stressed out.

You’re most likely to get your good ideas when you don’t have to think about what you’re doing at the moment. Laying down for a nap is one of those situations for some people. For others it’s driving or walking or doing chores. Those are all relaxed times.

You probably aren’t more creative under pressure, but you’re more likely to make choices because you have to. When the pressure’s on, you can’t kick the can down the road and decide to decide later.

You’ll make better, more creative decisions if you practice making them before the pressure mounts. Do your homework. Let your ideas bounce around in your head when you’re relaxed. Capture the good ones and develop them.

That way, when it’s time to make a choice, you’ll have better options to choose among.

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