The Power Of A Deadline To Make You Far More Creative!

Nov 6, 2014 | Creativity

coffee table

While a wide open field of limitless possibilities is my Nirvana in the land of feng shui’d expansive design that I love, it is a funny thing that happens when you walk through the day always focused on endless options.  Nothing gets done.  After all, its impressively difficult to make a decision when you have a zillion options to consider and, well, if you choose, then you are limiting your options, right?

One of the coolest ways that I have learned to become more creative, productive and decisive while still remembering that there are an infinite number of options: DEADLINES. 

dana claudat

The images in this post were shot under an incredible dealine. I knew I could somehow pull it off, but I literally offered to style and shoot and edit to illustrate specific feng shui tips with like 4 hours of daylight left in the day.   (If you haven’t seen the feng shui tips for a calm haven at home you can check them out HERE on Mashable)

Mind you, after I said yes I realized  I needed to shop.  For plants.  And get them potted.  I didn’t even have my camera battery charged.  My front steps were still being painted a fresh coat and I would have to haul things through the back.

But I said yes because I very much needed a challenge and a deadline.

This would have taken me a good part of two days to shop and decide on and style and shoot. Maybe a whole week if I were given a week to be indecisive and think far too much.   But when you have about 3 hours total to shoot stuff before you lise all light, magical things happen.  Ideas become clear.  Resources spring to mind.  Risks get taken.

And while this was a vey small example of what can be done on a real deadline it brought to mind the ways that life can sort of linger without real serious deadlines.

art supplies

I’ve talked about this idea of shaping space with deadlines before in many ways.  Now I view it as an essential ingredient in creativity.

THIS awesome article from Buffer Social talks about the Psychololgy Of Limitation and how constrants can make you more creative. Deadlines are a constraint that can make creativity soar.

“When now-Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer was at Google, she was a big believer in creative limitations when it came to development, often capping prototyping time for a new feature. “We often can get a sense of just how good a new concept is if we only prototype for a single day or week,” she said. “In the case of the Toolbar beta, several key features (custom buttons, shared bookmarks) were tried out in under a week. In fact, during the brainstorming phase, we came up with about five times as many ‘key features.’ Most were discarded after a week of prototyping. Since only 1 in every 5 to 10 ideas works out, the strategy of limiting the time we have to prove that an idea works allows us to try out more ideas, increasing our odds of success.””

And if you need a very vibrant example of why you need to sit down and set some deadlines… Jack White will explain…

Incidentally, I found this video on Behance along with nine other killer videos on creativity that you can watch HERE if you are interested!

Deadines are awesome! If they are real. They should have real consequences.  Perhaps not devestating ones, but they should have consequences that you will feel and will not like.  This makes your time limit real.  This lights you up.  You may not be able to operate at this level every single day, but when you need to next-level things, say YES to the barely logically possible and watch the sparks fly! xoxo Dana



feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…   And, as always, please let me know what happens!



  1. Use Deadlines To Make Your Dreams Come True | The Tao of Dana - […] Deadlines can make you more creative.  […]

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