I used to think I worked the best under pressure, like in the last two hours before a project was due (haha look at me right now), but realistically I was only preparing myself for an early heart attack from stress.
When I look back at the projects I am most proud of, from writing to art projects to even big gifts I prepared for someone I love, the common denominator is the anticipation of the end result. Funny, how my best work isn’t focused on the process, but rather how it could turn out.
Metaphorically, I place the end result of a project up on a pedestal, looking up at it dreamily while I work on its rough draft. Whenever I improve a piece of the rough draft that mimics what is up on the pedestal, I feel satisfied and encouraged to keep working. Pretty nerdy, right.
I can be threatened to produce good work with a “This is 30% of your final grade” hovering above my head, and I can be inspired as well. But under circumstances of my own anticipation and excitement, I think I feel the most relaxed producing the work, and thus create the best work.