Defer your decisions so there is more time to play

lightbulb deconstructed

In a study cited by John Cleese in his short but sweet book Creativity, it’s said that there are two factors that separate the most creative architects from their less-creative peers. One of those factors is the ability to defer making a key decision until the last moment possible.

Huh? Why would you want to defer rather than just get on with it?

“Well, it would be foolish, because if you can wait longer, two incredibly important things may happen.

  1. You may get new information.
  2. You may get new ideas.

So why would you make a decision when you don’t need to?”

I’d also venture to add a third benefit to deferring, and that is that the problem/issue resolves itself or goes away on its own.

“Doesn’t this mean that creative architects are, by definition, indecisive? Isn’t that a bit impractical and unrealistic? No! It simply means they are able to tolerate that vague sense of discomfort that we all feel, when some important decision is left open, because they know that an answer will eventually present itself.”

The real skill that these pros are demonstrating is self-confidence and trust in their process.

Speaking of process, what’s the other factor that separates creative architects? They use this extra time gained from deferring decisions to play with their ideas and their craft.

Defer a decision = more time to play.

Sounds like a good trade off to me.

Comments welcome!

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