In a 2013 study, researchers Kathleen Vohs, Joseph Redden, and Ryan Rahinel found the that a disorderly space can have a positive impact on behaviour. They found that people are more likely to be creative when in a disorderly space than when in an orderly one. They did this through three experiments.
We are living in some strange times right now. COVID-19 has covered the entire globe. Here in Ontario, a state of emergency has been declared. Toronto is eerily quiet. There’s almost a 1984-type feeling to all of this with so much of the information I’m getting coming from the television.
I hope that you’re all staying safe, washing your hands, and enjoying the company of your loved ones.
Slow-motion multitasking. Tim Harford, in one of his TED Talks, shares with us how common a trait it is among the most highly creative among us (we should include ourselves in this group). Somewhat contradictorily, this type of multitasking is beneficial to the creative process. Multiple foci can work alongside each other to help you be your most creative.
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is a gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only be going through a volume of work that you will close the gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
This quotation really sets up the project that I’m about to introduce you to quite nicely.