今日推荐英文原文：《How to Be Creative Under a Deadline》
推荐理由：我们拿着 HTML 元素建造商店，拿着 CSS 样式表给门口贴上装饰，再聘用一些 JS 来负责买卖事项，三部分分别各司其职已经是既定事项了。但是有的时候一些每天都在重复的功能的确可以被简化一下：这个项目就诞生了，为你的 HTML 提供更高端的功能（虽然背后依然是 JS 在完成工作）而不需要你去操作 JS 代码。虽然这损失了一些代码可读性，但是适应之后只需要更少的功夫就能完成你平时需要重复一遍遍差不多的 JS 来完成的日常工作。
今日推荐英文原文：《How to Be Creative Under a Deadline》作者：Mythili the dreamer
How to Be Creative Under a Deadline
Tight time frames don’t have to be a bad thingDeadlines don’t have to be a bad thing. Our brains crave constraints and deadlines can help us focus on what’s important and what isn’t. Here are few ideas on how to stay productive and creative in difficult circumstances.
Use Your DeadlinesTeresa Amabile, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, studied 177 people working for some of the top companies in the United States. She asked them to keep diary entries for their workdays and note when they thought they were under various types of pressure and how creative they were.
She found that although tight deadlines did hinder creativity, so did mild deadlines.
Employees working to tight deadlines simply weren’t making an impact, so they didn’t see enough meaning in the work to think creatively. They faced crises, ad-hoc tasks, and the proverbial fire drills that kept them busy but got them no closer to finishing their core project.
Mild deadlines were to the detriment of creative thinking as well. They did not give enough creative motivation to the team to bring fire to the task at hand. Work simply became routine and mundane.
Now the interesting part.
Workers who were under a low to moderate deadline — the middle option between tight and mild — showed the most creativity across each organization. The stress of a due date may not be exciting, but a time-sensitive environment can give your work the focus it deserves and help you fend off the distractions that can derail an inspired train of thought.
“If people and companies feel that they have a real deadline, they understand it, they buy into it,” Amabile wrote in a Forbes article. “They understand the importance of what they’re doing, and the importance of doing it fast — and if they’re protected … so they can focus, they’re much more likely to be creative”.
So far so good.
But how do you create a moderate deadline? You’ve already been given a deadline and you can’t change it.
Well, you can’t change the single looming deadline. But what you can do is break it into smaller mini-deadlines. Using mini-deadlines as part of a bigger project allows you to compartmentalize your work and see progress as you finish each task.
Smaller deadlines take the stress off having to complete overwhelming amounts of work and instead let you focus on the tasks at hand. Every mini-deadline accomplished by you gives you added motivation to reach the final goal.
Switch Tasks FrequentlyIn a recent behavioral study conducted by Columbia Business School, researchers had participants engaged in creative brainstorming for multiple projects while using one of three work styles.
One group could not switch projects. Another group was told to work on multiple projects at the same time. A third group was told to switch projects at a set interval.
The results were fascinating.
Group three, the task-switching group, turned out to be the most creative.
“When attempting problems that require creativity, we often reach a dead end without realizing it,” the study’s authors explain in Harvard Business Review. “Regularly switching back and forth between two tasks at a set interval can reset your thinking, enabling you to approach each task from fresh angles.”
Frequently changing gears forces you to change your view of each task as you revisit it. This style of working fosters more creativity and avoids the rigid thinking that can occur when you focus for too long on the same project.
So, if you are stuck in a rut in a coding task, leave it and switch to testing. If you’re in a writer’s block and not getting any ideas, leave it and switch to reading. And so on.
Changing tasks not only clears your brain of cobwebs, it also gives you the impetus to think differently.
Brainwrite Instead of BrainstormBrainstorming is de rigueur in almost every professional environment.But here’s the thing: it doesn’t work in pressure situations.
In pressure situations anchoring sets in place. With anchoring, we tend to put undue weight on the first idea of a piece of information we’re presented with. Everything else afterward is judged on its relative merit compared to that piece of information.
What really happens is that the group assembles for discussion and zeroes in on the first idea that comes out (the easy way out). All further discussions focus around this first idea and before you realize it half the day has gone without anything worthwhile being accomplished.
That’s where brainwriting comes in.
Leigh Thompson, Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management says that if everyone writes down their ideas before the meeting, and then comes to discuss them, it removes the difficulty in discussing simple ideas. It also prevents people from trying to game the system by taking up an easy solution and then staying silent for the rest of the meeting.
An “initial ideas” period before the meeting gives people the time to think and to come up with an array of ideas, without the pressure of the brainstorming session
Divorcing the idea generation aspect of brainstorming from the discussion session is the only way to get truly great creative ideas, especially during pressure situations.
Don’t Give in to Impostor SyndromeIn a 1978 paper, psychologists Pauline Clance & Suzanne Imes reported a surprising level of anxiety in high-achieving women — PhDs and professors. They coined the term “impostor syndrome,”:
- [When someone] persists in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample object evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief.
You externalize your success, crediting other people’s poor judgment or pity for your achievements. You feel like your ability to do meaningful creative work is so transient and fragile that it could soon be gone forever.
Here are some ways to battle impostor syndrome and stop it from interfering with your creative mindset.
- Embrace it — it’s OK to be scared.
- Keep a log of your achievements to remind yourself of your successes (no matter how small).
- Keep a folder of “confidence boosters” (e.g., nice comments people have left on your work)
- Document your processes to stop doubting your methods.
- Avoid negative people (but listen to constructive criticism).
Finally, Control the SparrowWorrying about deadlines is like a sparrow sitting on your shoulder — jabbering on about all the awful things that could happen to you, how dreadful they will be and how little you can do to prevent them. Spend too long listening to the sparrow and you start to believe it. It will erode your confidence.
So, the next time the sparrow starts jabbering away in your ear, stop and listen to it for a moment. Don’t try to block it out, just listen to the anxious sparrow-like voice, and recognize that it’s not you and it’s not telling you the truth about you or your situation.
Look around you, take a walk, move around and reconnect with friends — all the while keeping the sparrow’s voice in your awareness without getting caught up in it. A bit like when you have the radio on in the background, but you’re not really listening to it — the sound goes in and out of your awareness, without capturing your attention.
The more you practice doing this, the more the worry of failure will fade into the background, the clearer your thinking will be and the calmer you will feel.
As Ron Bennet has said,
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”