Snorting Deadlines And The Creative Drip

Pressure makes diamonds. Geologically true. Creatively arguable. It seems the further we go down this creative path the more we are living deadline to deadline, not knowing what work is coming up, only that there is a shitload to be done next. The result? Zero downtime.

Quit your belly-aching! It’s the nature of the work boy. I know mind, I know, but the stress. For example for the last few weeks I have literally been doing nothing, I’m sitting in class and at home overwhelmed by the backlog of assignments behind me and their due-dates ahead of me. A complete inability to think has washed over the brain and I blame stress. Do I have anything to show my tutors aka the client? No, no I do not. Whenever we are expected to meet with them I do the old ‘name at the bottom of the list so they don’t get to you before the class finishes’ trick. Probably not a good ‘real world’ practice, but very effective for buying time.

The problem is that trying to force out an idea when you have deadlines hanging over you is like trying to pop an underdeveloped pimple. It’s going to be a lot of work, hurt like shit, and probably leave you with watery eyes and a feeling like you need to sneeze. Stress demotivates us and that effects idea-generation. For instance my lack of motivation right now is 1000, put that into a measurable unit, eg. Monkeys in front of typewriters and you would not get the complete works of Shakespeare due to the lack of motivation within me, and the monkeys.

It’s been said that pressure makes diamonds. However the same man who said that also said ‘let your ideas marinate’ and some of the ideas I think up under pressure usually require a ton of marination before I throw them on the barbecue. In some countries creatives have months to work on a single brief, insane marination. New Zealand creatives don’t have that luxury, we have to work faster and better to stay competitive, and we do it stupidly well.

After that patriotic, self-assuring and sickeningly ‘empowering’ sentence I have some advice for you.

Task division. The two greatest words you will ever come across when overwhelmed by your deadline demons. It is easy to sit and stare at the pile of briefs beside you and think ‘fuck this I’m going on Facebook’ but look what happens when you take all those excess briefs away and leave only one. All of a sudden MY GOD I’ve just gagged this assignment and now it’s my bitch, snap. The simple concept of out of sight out of mind can completely restore your motivation. Instead of worrying about how much you have to do just focus on one thing at a time.

Task (stuff to do) division (breaking up of) it’s honestly as easy as that. Ideas flow back like your mind just drank a ton of prescription grade laxative.

And don’t worry, we’ve got something on the TVNZ brief now.

p.s. anyone notice Ben’s post was 39mins late on Monday?... deadlines huh

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