Slowing It Down

24 Sep

This past Tuesday Mona snapped at work.  We are sorry to disappoint regular guests to, but our VP Marketing and Sales of necessity still holds a day job.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  We are where we are for a reason.  For Mona, one of those reasons is to learn some humility and self-control.  Tuesday’s drama was evidence that she needs more time.
Mona Lisa in blue sweatsuit and orange headphones
So what happened in the office?  Mona returned from lunch, somewhat late, to be greeted by a boss in rather urgent need of information. Mona, feeling a bit guilty about coming in late, and always wanting to please, caught her boss’ flame and ignited into a problem solving ball of fire.  One hour later she presented a report to her boss.  The report, it turns out, got it all wrong.  To make matters worse, when Mona’s boss let her know, in a quite reasonable way, that there was a problem, she went a mess and even spoke badly of a co-worker.

Sitting at McDonald’s this morning, cursing the slow wi-fi, Mona reflected on the fiasco of two days ago.  How could she have handled the unexpected pressure better?  Why did she snap?

“Damn!”  Mona hissed beneath her breath.  “This wi-fi is slow!”  Mona was drawn back to her present slow-as-snails McDonald’s internet surf.  Determined that the poor experience with the wi-fi would not completely prevent her from accomplishing something, Mona slowed down her brain to match the slow speed of the internet connection.

Then the light bulb went on.  She understood a similar adjustment had been necessary in the office two days ago.  Even as she slowed down her thought process to control her frustration with the slow online connection, she should have slowed down her thinking to counteract her emotional response to the boss’ urgent requirement.  In both instances, an emotional response to external environmental conditions was driving the brain into high gear and beyond its capacity for efficient and productive thought.  Some detachment from the external realities was necessary in both cases to allow the normal problem solving process to occur.

There is a valuable lesson to learn from Mona’s experience for creative types.  We very naturally become emotionally charged in the heat of our creative process, and especially in the end game when everything is coming together.  We are dealing with our excitement at seeing the final product unfold and we are engaged in spontaneous creation and implementation as at no other time in the evolution of the project.  It is just at these moments in our creative process that there needs to be some detachment in our thinking, some conscious slowing down of the thought process to compensate for the emotional high of almost completed work.  Mastering this rather challenging balancing act will help you to avoid breaking things at the end!

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in creative process


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