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35 Responses to Deadlines!

  1. MCS says:

    I have found that my creativity increase is inversely proportional to the amount of stress in my life.

  2. Just an observation: The axes are not mislabelled?

    The way I read it, in periods of great stress, one either has no creativity or lots of creativity.

    If creativity was on the Y-axis and stress on the X, it would read that great creativity comes in times of either little stress or lots of stress.

  3. Pandora says:

    Agree with Joker. At least, this graph with the axes switched would be a more accurate representation of MY life.

  4. LZ says:

    I agree, it would make much more sense if the axis labels were switched.

  5. DBanker says:

    Looks fine the way it is…can not of you work under pressure?


  6. James says:

    the independent variable here is creativity, so it should be read as “when creativity is low, stress is high. When creativity is medium/normal, stress is low, and when creativity is really high stress is high. Makes perfect sense in the context of deadlines as the title indicates.

  7. Stephen Maxwell says:

    So, really creative people are more stressed than I am? And really uncreative people are too, but I’m just fine. Huh.

    But I tend to get less creative when I become less stressed… which according to this would cause me to become more stressed…?

  8. cmrtroi says:

    A perfect model of any Food Network Challenge.

    Boring Cake = loser
    Awesome Cake Art = loser via (a serious chance) of having no finished cake at all

  9. wayne says:

    In my world, the axis labels would be switched and the curve would be flipped.
    When stress is low, creativity is not especially high. With moderate stress comes higher creativity. And with high stress, creativity craters.

  10. Jamie says:

    Sooooooo true.

  11. pi3832 says:

    It makes sense if you consider that for any given level of stress, there are TWO creativity levels, one high and one low.

    Sometimes deadlines force you to get moving, to stop debating your options and just DO SOMETHING. Other times they just way down on you, and make your lack of ideas seem like an ever-widening hole into which you are falling.

  12. Bret says:

    This one reflects my reality perfectly. Dammit.

  13. Chaz says:

    What if Creativity is always a 0-value, but stress fluctuates? Does that mean I’m doing it all wrong? :-/

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  15. Susan AH says:

    I completely get this. The axes are not mislabeled, and I live a work life that swoops from one end of the curve to the other.

  16. Ellen says:

    I don’t think the axes are mislabeled either. If a person is too creative, they create stress in a boring society. If no one is creative, society doesn’t grow or improve.

  17. (x, why?) says:

    When creativity is low, then there’s stress to finish something before the next deadline.
    When creativity is high, there’s stress to get it all done, or to at least make the notes and catalogue it all (but then there’s the stress of leaving it unfinished).

    So I think the axes are fine where they are.

  18. Pandora says:

    I guess the axes can go either way; I just usually think of my stress levels influencing my creativity more than my creativity influences my stress levels.

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  20. Nat says:

    I think that the line could represent one of two things:
    either amount of time spent or amount of money available
    and I’m totally feeling the time aspect right now

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  22. Axis Label Controversy ’09!!

    I could see it working both ways, depending on the kind of person you are. If you work in a medium where an excess of creativity can be a liability, like a syndicated newspaper comic or a Michael Bay movie, then it can be stressful to have your thoughts entirely occupied by the sort of thing that isn’t marketable to the masses.

    But personally, I would not only swap them, I’d also add an extra downcurve at the extreme right: I do rediscover my brilliance as deadlines loom, but if it gets too close, or something else is piled on top of the original request, or some other calamitous event comes down the pipe, I tend to freak out and go catatonic.

  23. dawn says:

    You’ve been working too hard!

  24. Jamie says:

    So if the axes are interdependent, does that mean the chart should be drawn at a 45-degree angle?

  25. DocDer says:

    mediocrity is the key to happiness.

  26. blablabla says:

    At the height of stress you either only write bare minimum (no creativity) or make it all up (lots and lots of creativity).

    Very funny, I can totally relate :)

  27. Ha Ha .. this one is too good .. it does seem a little different but sure is true. Creativity will increase with stress after a certain point. True because, people will find new ways to get over stress and or rather, get the work over and done with. What do you think?

    Random thoughts at

  28. Rafi says:

    “mediocrity is the key to happiness.”

    I think I’ve found my new philosophy in life.

  29. Reggie says:

    I may be coming in late, but it is clear to us procrastinators that this is exactly accurate–at least for me. We (mostly unconsciously)strategically procrastinate to achieve the deadline-induced surge.

  30. Reggie says:

    Oh, yeah, and to Rafi and DocDer–depends on your definition (happiness or mediocrity).

    To Jamie–sounds too much like actually doing math, don’t forget the premise of this site. :)

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  32. Damien says:

    Unless otherwise indicated, y is a function of x in these types of graphs. As x changes, y changes in response, with any value of x only having one corresponding y value (though not necessarily vice-versa).

    The way I see it, the labels should be switched. Creativity (y) is a function of stress level (x).

    Low stress = high creativity
    Medium stress = low creativity
    High stress = high creativity

    Even though the labels are reversed, I still understood it intuitively.

    The way it’s labeled now, stress (x) is a function of creativity:

    Low creativity = very stressful
    Medium creativity = not stressful
    High creativity = very stressful

    With the current labels, I would draw a graph that indicates an inverse proportion (i.e. the more creative I am, the less stressed out I am).

    I prefer the former interpretation. If Jessica is indicating that stress level influences creativity, I am correct.

    Keep up the good work, Jessica!

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  34. pete says:

    I would tend to agree with this.

    everyone needs a little pressure but sometimes I think deadlines really put a damper on a project.

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