It’s a paradox but it’s true. Constraints help boost productivity.
Setting time constraints is clearly a way to focus the mind. I wrote a quick post on this. There are, however, also constraints on the form of your creative product that can help as well.
Somewhat related is the common quote that “discipline will set your free.”
The older I get and the more experience I have the more I realize it.
- Twitter: Having only 140 characters eliminates creative hesitation. People who might never create a blog post are prolific tweeters. And there’s real value, in the aggregate, of the creative output this 140 character limitation has caused.
- Haiku: These are poems with a small constraint just like on twitter. It’s really fun to debate and wrestle with only 17 syllables. If you’re trying to write a book and you want to make sure every word is perfect, you’ll be working on it for eternity and still not finish. With 17 syllables you feel like with a little bit of thought you can get close to the perfect words to say something in a short time.
- Bootstrap or any frontend, grid-based design framework: You can still basically do anything within a design grid but having a grid system to design within boosts confidence in the reliability of the final product and that makes creating more fun.
The hardest thing I do might be to write a post on this blog because there is no set format.
I like M.G. Seigler’s idea of trying to restrict his blog posts to 500 words with his blog 500ish.com. I should have thought of that.