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The words “full creative freedom” and “take your time” are music to the ears of any creative professional. For some, the ability to create without any limitations or restrictions is how their best work is produced. For the rest of, constraints are crucial to achieving breakthrough creativity and fierce productivity. Two adages to keep in mind when faced with no constraints are:

On Creativity: “Creativity comes from constraint.” – Biz Stone (Co-Founder, Twitter)

On Productivity: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” – C. Northcote Parkinson (British Naval Historian)

By imposing tight timelines and clear parameters, you’re making things a little more difficult. In doing so, you’ll feel that you must work harder to reach your goal. By not feeling as prepared, you’ll automatically become more alert and inventive.

In Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Web Application, the team at 37 Signals reassures us by writing:

“Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.”

Their book is a love letter to the power of constraints. Read the full text here.

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