Aug 25, 2009

Too much time = Too little productivity

As a creative, time is a commodity that rarely arrives in abundance. Our day to day lives flow from one rush job to the next and crunch time campaigns development is almost your basic work mantra. But every thousand years or so, we actually get TOO much time to work on a project. Be it because work is slow, the agency is about to go under or the miracle that a kind AE was responsible enough to coordinate things like we only dream of, we have three to six weeks of time to do a project.

You’d think this would be a prime scenario for the development of the greatest assortment of ideas not to be used in a major motion picture. Dreams of Gold Cannes twinkle in your noggin and you swear to yourself that you will make every second count. Then you wake up and realize four weeks are up and your late for your second due date. The AE drinks coffee embittered by tears of frustration, the CD finally gets a real headache, and you are on the spot.

What the hell happened?

Well, just as having too little time is a crime against quality, so is having too much time. By having the illusion that the deadline is eons in the future, EVERYONE dicks around, takes a stroll short stop and asks how they got tacked out at first. This happens because the illusion of comfort and would be ideal scenarios play out in brains, but don’t seem to make it into the real world.

In layman’s terms, too much time equals trouble or as it were:

Time18 = Late half assed work

In that sense, creativity works like some of the world’s best soups or sauces, they reach their peak at the perfect balance of heat, time and pressure. Screw one thing up, be it too little or too much, and your gag reflex will go off quicker than you can say “uh oh”.

What seems to be the case is that though most creatives detest working under pressure, we have undoubtedly been conditioned to perform under the worst conditions, meaning that getting plush time frames and resources at times yields poor results. Hell I won’t having an extra week hasn’t done wonders for a campaign, a presentation, or even an ad, but I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t admit that at least once when I had enough time to do something, we didn’t hit a home… actually we kind of bunted once or twice. What’s worse, who suffers the most are the AEs that actually did their job, broke the norm, pulled through for you and you crapped on their good will.

So next time you get more than enough time to do something right, be sure to hand in work that is more than enough amazing. Either that or get used to working late and in a constant state of rush.


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