Sunday, November 23, 2014

How Deadlines Inspire Creativity

Consider who you would ask to get an important task done.  There are three choices.  Your candidates live in three different worlds, Fantasy Land, Tomorrow Land and Adventure Land.  Here are their backgrounds:
  1. Candidate #1. He lives in Fantasy Land.  He's available for an immediate consultation.  He's full of ideas.  Some call him a dreamer.  His shortcoming is that he hates deadlines.  
  2. Candidate #2.  He resides in Tomorrow Land.  He's willing to take on your assignment but he can't work on it today.  In fact, today is never a good day for this prospect.  Odds are that he will ask for more time as the deadline approaches.
  3. Candidate #3.  He's from Adventure Land.  His calendar is always full.  This prospect's unassuming Timex triathlon watch is revealing.  Mr. Adventure Land loves the thrill of the roller coaster ride, timed to the second.  He is punctual and always arrives at least ten minutes prior to a meeting.  If you attempt to call him or email him, he may not immediately respond because he often blocks out time for other tasks.
Who do you hire?  My recommendation is door #3.  My opinion is that if you want to get something done, you give it to a busy person, not the guy who's big on promises but lacking in results, or the person who always puts off important tasks to tomorrow.  Tomorrow never comes.  Candidate #3 may give you a dirty look when you ask him for help and he may tell you he's too busy.  If he agrees to accept your request, he will look at his watch, re-prioritize his day, and quickly vanish from your sight.  He doesn't have time for small talk.  His creativity is inspired by the deadline you just gave him.  He will find a way to adapt and do whatever it takes to accomplish all of his assignments before his triathlon watch beeps and time is expired.

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