When Things Pile Up: Creativity at the Edge of Chaos

When Things Pile Up: Creativity at the Edge of Chaos

Every business has its natural peaks and valleys. It could be seasonal. Or like me, you could have certain times of the month when important events and deadlines seem to crowd together.

On days when you are flying – when you are using your truly Unique Ability to do those things that no one else on earth can do – you feel like you can achieve anything and everything. And you often do. But even if you are able to fill 80% of your day with those activities because you are an incredible delegator that still leaves up to 20% of your day with things to do that don’t necessarily supercharge you. Like paperwork for example.


Sometimes it is an unexpected pleasure, like a surprise visit from a close family member or long-time friend. You do not want to miss that.

Opportunities crop up and you can’t ignore them. You have to at least say “Yes” to exploring the possibilities, whether or not they come to fruition.

It could be bad news like a call from your child’s school that requires immediate attention. It could be car trouble. Inconvenient at any time, and especially now.

Interruptions to help clients are bound to crop up when you are busiest. It’s a chance to prove that you really mean it when you say you provide outstanding client service.

The Bottom Line is that you are swamped. And tired. And stressed. And wondering how you ever got yourself into this mess.


Do the best you can. Communicate if you need more time and re-juggle priorities to keep people to whom you have made promises as happy as possible while you get out of the crunch.

Delegate where you can. Even if you can’t assign a complete project, there may be tasks that can easily be carried out by someone else who is ready, willing and able.

Renegotiate Deadlines. Sometimes deadlines are set deliberately early to avoid a last minute rush from absolutely everybody. Maybe there’s some leeway for you just this time.

Remember that creativity flourishes at the edge of chaos. You can really get creative when your back is against the wall. You see clearly where your original plans just can’t get squeezed into the time available so you ask yourself what you can do to achieve the end goal without going through all those steps. And Eureka! An idea is born!

And finally, congratulate yourself for your creativity. Drink a toast to yourself as soon as you come up for air. Who knows? That idea that came to you under pressure might just become a new product or service to share with other clients. For a fee next time.


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