You realize at some point that there’s only a given amount of creative time you can squeeze out of yourself and if you try to extend that, it either doesn’t really lead to proper results or you have to pay a price the next day.
So you will discover that depending on what you do, you can only afford a specific amount of time for hardcore creativity. You can do maybe 3 or 4 hours of hardcore creative thinking where you sit there and really try to come up with a concept. Then there’s another 4 hours of concentrated execution. Even though it’s a very strict amount of time, and sometimes you wish you could sustain another 2 hours, you’ll be surprised by how much you feel you can get done when you start this kind of schedule.
The first 2 hours where you can really just sit down and work are the most valuable.
One of the good things about short deadlines is that people think straight. The problem is when people have too much time on their hands. Because then at some point everybody’s going to question, “Why did you make it red, not green?” and “Could we try it upside-down, or left to right?” and then at some point it becomes arbitrary.
When people have 2 days, the briefing is much better, and the discussion is much better. It’s not that people just sign off on anything because they’re in a hurry. They’re just really looking at what they have, and trying to make the best product, and get it done.
If the anxiety is about the deadline, then the energy really focuses on the result. If there is no anxiety about a deadline, all of the anxiety goes right to the creative part.