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Deadlines: Good or Bad?


Are Deadlines Good or Bad for Creativity?

New surveys conducted by the Harvard Business School suggest a more complicated picture of deadlines, and understudying their nuanced relationship to creativity can help you do your best work--on time!

BIG THINK16 May, 2014


What's the Latest?

New surveys conducted by the Harvard Business School suggest a more complicated picture of deadlines, and understudying their nuanced relationship to creativity can help you do your best work--on time! While participants of the survey were giving evidence of less creative thinking on time-pressured days, they reported feeling more creative on those days. Richard Boyatzis, a scholar of organizational behavior and cognitive science, said: "You show me somebody who says, ‘I’m an adrenaline junkie, I perform my best under stress,’ and I’ll show you an idiot."


What's the Big Idea?

The closer a deadline is, the less open we are to outside ideas, which are the lifeblood of creativity, say researchers. Still, deadlines do confer some benefits, like giving us a strong reason to prioritize the task at hand and not worry about smaller matters. "A deadline allows you to clear away other stuff," says Boyatzis. "Psychologically, you make a deal with yourself that you’re not going to worry that the washing machine may need replacing." You focus on just this one problem. "That’s where it helps."


I found this article because I'm just starting Chapter 10 of Frankenstina. Mind you, I have 17 more chapters to go and only 24 days to do them in. I want to leave myself at least a week for final editing and publishing for the October 31, launch date.


I have never set a deadline for a book. Ok, ok...I did but didn't keep it. But that was when I first started writing and no one was expecting any thing from me. I only had about 12 followers then. Now I have over 15,000 and a few of them are expecting to see Frankenstina on this Halloween.


I must admit the deadline has me motivated, but panicking also. I don't want to disappoint you guys.


Wish me luck!


Jerrimiah Stonecastle

Stonecastle Publications

"Throwing Stones at a Glass House"

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