May 29

It’s tempting to squeeze as much efficiency out of your days as possible, but in doing this, you risk forfeiting your best insights. Ideas rarely arrive just on time. It’s best to accommodate the unpredictability of the cre- ative process by allowing yourself some margin. If you think something will take an hour, give yourself ninety minutes. If you think it will take a week, plan for a week and a half. Yes, I’m aware that these inefficiencies make many managers squirm. However, this is anything but wasteful. It’s necessary.

Creativity is not efficient, but it utilizes everything. If you are pur- poseful and mindful, nothing goes to waste. By leaving a little bit of room in your process, you allow yourself the freedom to follow mental trails that arise or to play a bit with an idea before feeling the need to refine it. You grant yourself creative latitude. When the time pressure is off, your mind is free to roam without its executive function staring at the clock.

As a pro, you don’t have the luxury of unlimited time, but that doesn’t mean that you should artificially limit yourself either. Carve out margin for creativity, and you will experience insights you would otherwise miss.

Leave some room in your process for spontaneous insight and action.


How can you give yourself more space in your creative process?

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