I don’t know how fast or slow my creative project should be progressing

Micro Pacing


The Context

Do you know anything about plastic injection molding? Fascinating field. It's a highly scientific and complex discipline that every artist and entrepreneur could learn from. Particularly around the element of speed. Because while going fast along our creative process does give us more opportunities to ship, iterate and grow, it is possible to move too fast to learn deeply. There's one textbook on plastic injecting molding that explains the rate at which plastic cools can be an important factor in determining how strong its physical properties are. When the material starts heating up, molecules are disconnected from each other, allowing them to move freely. But as material cools down, the molecules will attach to each other again to regain maximum strength. That’s why it's important to cool the plastic down at the right rate. Slow enough to allow it to reach property physical strength, but fast enough to minimize cycle time and total cost. That's what you call an elegantly balanced production effort. Manufacturers can calculate to the hundredth decimal the ideal balance of heating and cooling their plastic, and as a result, produce an efficient output. How's the speed of your creative process? Are you someone who typically moves too quickly or too slowly?

The Tool

two color

Micro Pacing

MICRO PACING -- An elegantly balanced production effort between heating and cooling

This equilibrium is one that each of us must discover for our own work. Now, because each artist rests at the nexus of a vast number of interwoven causes and conditions that influence their process, it's going to be different for everyone. In fact, creativity researchers found that longer intervals of incubation provided a greater likelihood in reaching a problem resolution. Micro pacing means that every once in a while, go slow enough so that if you run into something interesting, you have a chance to notice. Give yourself space to sense your inner experience and really feel into the postures. If you're struggling to find balance in your production efforts, figure out your unique balance of heating and cooling like the injection mold. Don't move so slow that accumulated inertia is impossible to overcome, and don't move so fast that you rob yourself of the chance for meaningful growth.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

Personally, my biggest advantage as a creator has always been speed. Velocity has afforded me opportunities that most writers will never get. Prolificacy gave me several lifetimes worth of creative output, which gave me numerous interfaces to run into the wall, which exponentially increased my growth. But in several instances, pumping the brakes and pacing myself has also proven to be a useful production strategy. It's like my yoga instructor used to say. Speed can kill feeling. Hell, during the first stages of building this very software as a service platform, my energy and enthusiasm were so high, it was hard to sleep. My mind was racing with new ideas like a bobbin and spindle working at high speed. Holy shit, we need to get this product on the market yesterday, otherwise somebody else going to invent it before me. That excitement at having discovered something worth doing was intoxicating, and truly a blessing to possess. But a part of me also knew there was no rush.

The Rest

Micro pacing is part of wise mind. In your creative projects, the longer it takes, the stronger the product will be when you got there. Similar to plastic molding, it's like letting all of your creative molecules cool down and attach to each other helped them regain maximum strength. As such, progress will be steady and incremental. Every day, new research will yields new insights. Every day, new conversations with colleagues and potential users will unlock a new piece of the puzzle. This slow cooked approach helps you sustain momentum without burning yourself out, and without getting buried under the weight of inertia. And by the time launch day came, your idea will be in the best possible shape to maximize leverage. How's your pace?

The Benefits

Sustain project momentum without burning yourself out
Avoid getting buried under the weight of accumulated inertia.
Position your work in the best possible shape to maximize leverage upon launch
Exponentially increase your learning and growth during creative endeavors, regardless of outcome

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