Is creativity inversely proportional to discipline?

shrey vijayvargiya
Thoughts And Ideas
Published in
4 min readApr 2, 2024
Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

You know 3 years ago I was working with Coinswitch in India when the pandemic hit the world.

The entire team size was 22 members and I am the only mobile app developer in the team. The feeling was kind of exclusive but it comes with a lot of pressure directly from the founders.

I’ve enjoyed those days probably because of the challenges I was facing. The mobile app development apart from the Web3 domain and cryptocurrency exchange platform was quite new not just to me but to the entire world.

The pressure to build things fast and errorless was immense, honestly, I am craving for that pressure the competition of building and launching fast like a mad developer. I understand it’s not good for mental health bla bla, but a 23-year-old child only knows how to run like a usian bolt after finding his love for developing apps.

One thing was very sure for me in those days, the night code or programming in the night is something else in fact way better than programming in the daytime, after everyone logged off and no messages on Slack, no disturbance and sometimes you are all alone. That is the time when most of the complex problems are solved, I am telling you because I’ve experienced it not more than 40 but almost 80% of the time working in fast-paced startups.

I’ve even asked the CTO, then back, to allow me to work late-night shifts when nobody is present in the office to disturb you.

Since we were a small team so he told everyone not to message me till 7'o clock. But small teams don’t care about rules much, they break it silently without knowing everyone and so do my teammates.

I was not able to understand what exactly happened on the night shift.

What does go to our mind post 10/11/12 PM? Suddenly the ideas emerge like waves.

How it is even possible that whenever I try to solve problems for the entire day it automatically gets resolved in the night shift, post-midnight?

It has been happening to me since, now.

In coinswitch, I have this record or so-called streak of solving more than 40 problems for the company within a few hours and guess what time I was working?

It was 1 AM to 3 AM, that’s it, just 2/3 hours and most of the complex problems were resolved.

One reason I’ve understood very clearly so far is that my mind was relaxed and not under pressure or any disturbance in the night shift as compared to the daytime.

And that strikes with a new way of doing work. I’ve understood that it’s not related to the night or day time, it is more about my mindset. If I think I am under pressure I am not able to solve complex problems even though the solution might be simple.

Complex solutions need a calm mind to solve the problem. Creativity emerges when one goes out of discipline, with no rules, and no boundaries.

I am not against discipline and consistency is the game of discipline but my creativity goes down to nil or NULL whenever I am pushed in the discipline mode.

Is it true, that discipline is inversely proportional to creativity

I am not sure, I am learning the art of being consistent and yet being able to think creatively.

I don’t know if that is even possible, even if the time of writing this article is 11:24 PM, see that’s the nighttime and why I am always able to write something interesting at night.

Most of my top-rated articles are written post-11 PM, more than 60% of the stories which have 100K+ views are written in the night shift.

What is this relation with the night shift? I think it’s simple because our mind is relaxed and free of all stress, and discipline and that’s how it thinks creatively. This is the solid reason that always kills my idea of waking up early. I simply can’t think clearly after running in the morning, probably it’s not my cup of tea.

But if I do stuff at night just like today I am coming from playing football and writing this story it all works, the idea flows like water.

I am reading the reason behind this, I want my mind to work in the same pattern every time every day, I would have been at par and doing stuff I haven’t imagined I would do. That’s my personal goal, the ability to calm down my mind is helping a lot so far to accomplish the target.

If one can observe how we think when we are under pressure vs how we think when we are in optimistic and creative, one can understand and learn a lot about him/her self. We call it the beginning of Atamgyan in India in Hindi.

Everything begins and ends in the mind and we all perceive reality subjectively because of it.

— Shrey