101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving.Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. http://www.pfeiffer.com
4. Dead Head Deadline
We live in a world of deadlines. Do it soon. Do it now. Do it yesterday. Just do it. It’s an
unrelenting pace with unrelenting deadlines. Tomorrows become todays, which become
yesterdays—all too soon. If you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it. Deadlines are every-
where. You can’t live with ‘em; you can’t live without ‘em.
But you can use them to become more creative. Despite our lack of love for deadlines,
they also have positive features. The most important of these is that deadlines provide
motivation. And motivation can increase our idea productivity.
The use of deadlines is a simple, yet often overlooked, approach. The process
involved is similar to goal setting: it gives us something to strive for and provides moti-
vation. If we know when we have to complete a task, most of us will pace ourselves to do
it. Deadlines force us to organize our thinking and move ahead.
Many of us have deadlines imposed on us. All it takes is for a boss to say, “Do such
and such by tomorrow,” and we’ll perform. There are times, however, when we need to
be creative on demand.
- To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible
- To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas
Small groups of four to seven people each
Materials, Supplies, and Equipment
- For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart
- For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots
(^1 ⁄ 2 ” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it®Notes
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