July 27th, 2010
11:35 AM GMT
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I recently spent a lot of time interviewing William Kentridge, one of South Africa's most well-known artists. I interviewed him and wrote the documentary for CNN's show, African Voices, while also reporting the World Cup and presenting Marketplace Africa.  At the same time I was also juggling being a mother to two small children. The pace of life was "hectic," as they say here in South Africa.

As most working parents know, it's amazing how much you can fit into a day when you are busy. You work fast and smart when you have a lot to do.

Having lots to do means you get less bogged down in the small things. Just think about how little one accomplishes at work when you have no deadlines, an empty inbox and hours of unlimited time to waste?

Being busy is not just about surviving the business day and finishing tasks – William Kentridge actually finds that working at a fast pace and physically walking around his studio stimulates his creativity. Work begets art, in his case.

He told me:  "I find I have to get up to a certain speed, a speed of working, of drawing, of making, to generate the ideas. In other words the physical activity of drawing, tearing, erasing filming, is what actually gets my mind active and new ideas emerging. So that means there's a lot of material that gets made, maybe too much material but if I slow down, everything slows down and I go into a kind of hibernation, physically and mentally."

Do you agree?

P.S.: Yes I did write this blog between rushing to pick up my daughter from school and shooting a story for Marketplace Africa.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Tracy Zhu

    I agree, up to a point. Just like intense physical activity makes you stronger and faster, having to do more with less time sharpens your reactions and builds creativity. Of course, in both cases, it's possible to take it to the point where it's detrimental. Rest is important too, but easier said than done! And I came across this article as a result of work – looking for more ideas for my company.
    Tracy Zhu

    July 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  2. Oladipo Akinyemi Omole

    Yes I do, Robyn.It's rewarding, productive and checks boredom.I've discovered that doing nothing is boring... and dangerous too. Ask any unemployed person and he would agree.

    August 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  3. Nick

    Totally true! As a musician I learned very early that I can't write a piece of music by just kicking back on the couch with a beer and thinking about it. I have to be in my studio, hands on the knobs, fingers on the keyboard (as in piano/organ). I have to be doing. I have to be "working". That's when the magic happens and ideas are executed which I had not thought of previously. I'm sure writers will say the same. I suspect the ideas don't begin flowing full force until they are sitting in front of the typewriter (er... word processor). This all just goes to show that NOTHING comes easy. If you want something you have to work for it. Even creativity does not come free. Creativity is a "job".

    August 13, 2010 at 5:21 am |
  4. Ekta

    I totally agree with the above comments!! NOTHING comes our way unless n until we devote our time n complete dedication towards our work n sitting idle thinking about wat has to or could be done is never rewarding. To be "ENGAGED" in the work is the key word here.!

    August 22, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  5. Mark Opperman

    The most negative, unproductive employees are found in workplaces where there is too little to do. If you have demotivated staff who struggle to be creative, you most probably have too many staff for the work at hand.
    Have less staff, pay them more and let them work harder, and you have the recipe for creativity.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm |

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