Play + Archive + Deadine = Good Output
Time to play (i.e., pissing around") + deadline = making better things.
Michael Donaldson (@qburns)'s wonderful 8 Sided blog has a post titled Undermining, Not Underlining, where Donaldson writes about Brian Eno's process for making stuff.
Eno goes on to describe his fabled archive of half-finished music — “6790 pieces … I noticed today” — most of which is created through discovery, i.e., “pissing around.” Then, when he gets an assignment (a destination with a deadline), he pulls something relevant to the project from the archive and finishes it. That’s an inspiring process and one I’d love to replicate.
Earlier in the post Donaldson quotes Eno, who says:
The most important element in my working life, a lot of the time, is a deadline. The reason it’s important is it makes you realize you’ve got to stop pissing around. You have to finally decide on something.
This makes me think time to play (i.e., pissing around") + archiving + deadline = good output.