Thursday, May 27, 2010

Make a good use of time pressure.

In life, one of the practical tricks to learn is to how to make a good use of time pressure.

By using appropriate time pressures, the brain's resource allocating networks, involving, for example, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, would be activated to recruit the various brain circuits necessary to execute the task. There is no guarantee that the attempt would be successful, but there will be a higher chance of success, and more opportunities to learn, depending on the degree that the appropriate brain circuits are committed. The time pressure can provide an appropriate constraint for execution and learning.

More often than not, use of time pressure leads to the production of meaningful results. Sometimes people have this misconception that trying to do something within a limited time would lead to a disruption of the quality of work produced. While there is certainly a theoretical possibility that quality would be thus compromised, in many practical situations that does not happen, as long as you know how to use time pressure in an appropriate manner.

My old Cambridge mentor Horace Barlow once made a witty remark about the use of time pressure, although Horace did not use so many words. When somebody was reluctant to write an abstract for a conference, claiming he did not know what he wanted to say, Horace promptly remarked that "he should write and find out"!

The idea that content should precede production is a often misleading illusion affecting many people. By using a time pressure (such as a deadline for the conference abstract), we can produce the content, often of surprisingly good quality, even if we do not know beforehand would be entailed.

1 comment:

Yuzu said...

Thank you very much for telling in making a good use of time pressure. I believe in a good people of pressure. Thank you.