We’re paralyzed by infinite possibilities. Give yourself some intentional restrictions in life and you’ll finally get inspired to act. Restrictions will set you free. ~Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers is a musician and the creator of CDBaby.com, which became the largest online seller of independent music. Derek provides this example:
I say to you “Write me a piece of music. Anything at all. Go.” “Umm…anything?” you say. “What kind of mood are you looking for? What genre?”
There are too many possibilities. The blank page problem. How do you begin with infinity?
I’ve seen this thinking within organizations frequently and I’ve done it myself. Give people lots of freedom and they’ll be creative. Instead, they become paralyzed. They return to their offices and keep doing what they’ve been doing; nothing innovative or even new or different materializes.
Testing has shown that restrictions actually aid creative thought. An art guild in Colorado took that finding literally and created an entire show based on restrictions. Each artist was limited to a 1′ x 1′ canvass. They believed that if they put certain limits on things, it would force artists to see things in different ways and stretch their abilities.
Disney believes that when you have unlimited resources, you can afford to be sloppy with your designs. Restrictions introduce a set of rules that you cannot change so you are forced to be creative in order to come up with a solution.Think about something you have wanted to accomplish but it’s stalled; it’s not moving forward. Identify specific restrictions, work within those restrictions, and then watch your creativity and innovation soar. Your restrictions will set you free!
Dr. Kathryn Scanland is the president of Greystone Global LLC, a consulting firm focusing on strategic planning, leadership development and organizational design. This post is republished with permission from Tuesday Mornings.