Our current world – one of quarantine – has constrained our living space, access, and brain power. But it is within these constraints that creativity can flourish, all because we must focus. In times like these, it’s great to think like designers, folks that “thrive on constraints, but hate compromise.” (Erik Spiekermann)
With constraints that limit our thinking, the likelihood of success increases. I’m reminded of this during quarantine as we must find new ways to parent. How can I entertain my child within the confines of my yard? I’m now responsible for designing a solution for significantly more time than I was while school remained in session. This is a new – and incredibly challenging – restraint.
Some activities we’ve considered for our child within this new set of constraints:
- imitating parts of the school day, to varying affect (math, recess, art, independent reading, comprehension),
- as many walks or bike rides around the neighborhood as possible,
- backyard scavenger hunts, and
- encouraging creating: coloring, Legos, and even reviewing movies on Instagram Live!
…and that’s just the constraints for our child! Let’s not forget the constraints as a full-time employee. But again, this is where creativity flourishes. In the short time of our quarantine, I’ve also created new routines and outputs, including:
- a redesigned web site, which you’re currently reading!
- documenting life at home via Instagram Stories,
- and soon launching two new podcasts.
Chances are good that little to none of these activities would have occurred without our current set of constraints. Designers thrive on them… and it turns out parents can, too.
Interested in learning more about constraints? Check out Jay Acunzo’s episode of Unthinkable.