Sometimes We Do Our Best Work With a Gun To our Heads!

gun to headWhy is it that some of us do our best work when we have a gun to our heads. Why do we lave things until the last minute ? Do we need that pressure in order to get our creative juices flowing.

I know that I, like many others, often leave things to the last minute, sometimes even the most important of things, and I am not sure why I do that.

What I do notice is that if I have too much time to do things I don’t really get a better quality product, having too much time can often have a negative impact on quality. I don’t know if its because I feel I have plenty of time, and I think I can always do it better later, or at least I have the time to do it again.

Whenever I am pressed for time, I have a much better success rate of getting things right first time, and the quality is usually better too.

I think this might be because I don’t have the time to overthink things, I just have enough time to do it.

Today I am sat here thinking about training course I have to create, one which starts in just over 8 days and so far I have not even created the title slides. I have all the material in my head, but when I have too much time to think I spend hours wondering what I should do, what I should include, what should I leave out.

I worry whether it will be good enough, whether people will like it, and all of this impacts my decision making process.

When I have my back to the wall and I only have enough time to do it, then I don’t have those concerns, my goal is to just get the material down and have it ready for that first session.

I know that this is not the case for everyone, I have three children and two of them do their best work when they have a gun to their head, whereas my daughter Jessica struggles, she does her best work when she has enough time to prepare without any additional pressures.

For me pressure brings focus, it gets my creative juices flowing, I think quicker, I see things so much clearer, and I am so much more decisive. Some of the concerns I would usually have never even crop up.

It’s like if I have enough time, my mind actually works against me, giving me other things to think about, distracting me. It’s almost as if I know that I need to be under pressure and short of time in order to get the job done well.

I have even tried to create artificial deadlines, in order to create the same effect, but it’s not the same, because deep down I know it’s not a real deadline and that I will ultimately have more time.

I’m kinda resigned to it, it’s now my modus operandi, but that doesn’t stop me panicking though as I start things with just enough time to do them.

I’d be really interested to know whether you struggle with similar issues and if so what do you do about them. Leave a comment and let me know.

Gordon Tredgold

#Leadership Principles