19 Oct 2015
4. Do we really work best under pressure?
Many of us, myself included, often feel we work our best under pressure. We are focused, motivated, and we get the work done efficiently and in a fraction of the time it would take if there was no deadline.
….but is this really true?
In the past when I’m songwriting I can find it hard to start songs, and hard to finish songs. The pressure of a deadline from a client or project can sometimes be all I need to get the work done.
But this is the thing: We are talking about getting things done and we aren’t talking about quality.
There’s been a lot of studies into how people act under pressure and the results may fly in the face of what we believe.
The truth is that we do work quicker under pressure, but the overall quality of work is lower than that if we were to work under less constraints.
So the excitement we feel when we complete a record just in time, could be eluding us from the reality that it may not be our usual standard of work. We have less time to rest and objectively listen back to our work and many mistakes can slip pass. How often do you listen back to a song and hear things you can change?
Thus the question comes; How can we work efficiently and create a great piece of work?
The trick is not to use pressure as a reason to start. The trick is to create the work way in advance of the deadline.
So the real question becomes, how can we motivate ourselves at a time when 1000 other things are more important?
The answer is to manipulate our environment. Next week I will show you how.