Will time management ruin my creativity?

by Natasha
(New Zealand)

Hi there

I am in the advertising business, and need my creativity to be on fire.

My boss has sent me to a time management course, and I am really worried that all this organization will ruin my creative thinking.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Thanks in advance

Kell's answer

Hi Natasha,
Your concern that you bring up is one that many people are concerned about.

While you say that you pressure inspires your creativity, the flip side is that there is also a concern that time pressure stifles creativity.

People often ask me whether being good at time management will make them into some mindless automation.

My personal response is that good time management is essential for creativity - as it ensures that we create time for a space to think.

But lets look at the hard facts.

Like stress, up to a certain point, stress (and time pressure) increase performance. However, after a certain point too much pressure stifles performance.

So what happens is you have this curvilinear effect, in which time pressure is OK up to a certain point and then it has negative returns on creativity - especially over the long-term.

For example, in a sample of 9000 daily diary entries in which people were in creative jobs, time pressure generally had a negative effect on creativity.

However, the context of the pressure is important. If people feel they are on a mission and are inspired, then this time pressure can add to creativity. But if you jump from crises to crises, constantly putting out fires, then this time pressure is likely to stifle creativity.

I hope that this helps

All the best

Other comments

Maybe our paper recent paper "On the relationship between creativity and time management" published in Thinking Skills and Creativity Journal is helpful. Although we studied students , we have found that indeed time management behaviors (either daily planning or long range planning) are relevant to creativity!


Other comments

Thank you very much for this Leonidas, and our readers also thank you.

If you would like to see an interview that I conducted with Dr Zampetakis on 'Time management and Creativity' then please see our interview at time management ideas.

All the best,


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