Many procrastinators have claimed that ever-closer deadlines help them focus and enforce creativity. There may be something to that. Not quite the procrastination, but the forced wall of immovability restricting them that gets gears going. For proof, get your hands on a copy of The Five Obstructions, a documentary where experimental Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier inflicts five restrictions on his filmmaking mentor and friend Jørgen Leth, pushing him to make the same short film five times in different ways, driving him to the edge of creativity (and of his sanity).
Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College at Columbia University and author of Black Hole Blues, believes that it’s the restrictions in science that help scientists get more creative. It’s these limits that give scientists something to work against, or with, and force them to move forward.