ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Constraints Only Help Creativity To A Point

Posted by Plish on December 22, 2008

We hear it all the time.

“Creativity thrives in constraints”

“We need to have boundaries to get the most out of creativity.”

Well…. Yes….

…and No.

Constraints =  Stress

Stress only helps to a point.  A gander at the Yerkes-Dodson curve shows when we get overstressed our performance trails off. 

Yerkes-Dodson Curve Shows Optimum Stress for Optimum Results

Yerkes-Dodson Curve Shows Optimum Stress for Optimum Results

Over stressed can be one of two things.

High Load Over a Short Time

High Load Over a Short Time

 

A Small Load Over a Long Time

A Small Load Over a Long Time

What can we do to optimize creative output?

Get used to dealing with situations that are constrained.  This will change your stress threshold so that it takes more stress to make your performance decline.  What types of things indicate that our productivity will start falling off? 

Look for feelings of boredom, procrastination, frustration, anxiety and anger, to name a few.

Be careful though - Many (if not most) of us have a tendency to think we deal with stress better than we do.

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One Response to “Constraints Only Help Creativity To A Point”

  1. [...] Constraints Only Help Creativity To A Point [...]

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