The Beatles, Get Back: Deadlines

I’ve been watching the new Peter Jackson Beatles documentary, Get Back. Aside from feeling like you are actually there whilst they make the album which is pretty special, it’s also a tremendous opportunity to sit and watch their creative process at work. 

Both as individuals and as a group I think there are lessons to be found that stretch beyond music and apply to any creative endeavour. 

The first lesson that struck me was SET YOURSELF DEADLINES.

The whole documentary only covers about 21 days and when the group ‘come together’ at the start they have a handful of fairly vague song ideas and yet they confidently plan to record an album and perform a live concert of 14 brand new songs in about 2 and a half weeks time.

Obviously they are veterans at this point and they know what they are capable of, but it still feels like this is quite a stretch and I feel like the deadline is the only thing that forces creative decisions to be made. 

In my own experience a deadline fires synapses in the brain that would otherwise lie dormant. I can have half formed ideas in a notepad that go nowhere until I give myself a deadline and then suddenly I’m able to connect the dots to complete the picture.