Fletcher famously wrote that the first move in any creative process is to introduce constraints.
In fine art, for example, this might include lines and borders and shapes.
But there’s also such thing as proximity constraint. A geographic limitation that challenges your creativity through physical space and time.
Public transportation is the perfect example. I’ve read stories about people writing entire novels while commuting to work every day. Not because they’re geniuses, but because they’re trapped. They’re completely insulated from distractions.
That’s a proximity constraint. And if you’re having difficulty carving out the time to get your work done, you might try trapping yourself somewhere, and then creating your way out.
I once spent twelve business days sitting on jury duty, it had zero negative impact on my productivity whatsoever. During downtime and lunch breaks and court recesses, I still managed to read a dozen books, write tens of thousands of words, edit my latest film. held conference calls with clients and even launched a new website.
Because screw the court system. Meaning is made, not found.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m prepared to do my civic duty as a juror on the case. But I’ve got a business to run. And if I’m going to be trapped somewhere for three weeks against my will, you better believe I’m going to use every tiny pocket of time to improve my pace and results.
There’s no law against that.
Remember, the disappointments in life accrue faster than we can find external forces to blame them on. May as well create an internal locus of control and take ourselves out of the victim position.
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Have you cultivated internal sources of creativity so that your productivity isn’t dependent on your environment?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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