Nobody said innovation was going to be easy, but it certainly won’t happen if we can’t find the time to dedicate to it!
The reality is that Innovation does not require large amounts of time. In fact we find it can be achieved in 15 minutes… a day!
But, can we find 15 minutes every day?
There are two approaches to achieving our extra 15 innovation minutes:
You either work harder, or you work smarter!
This is simple and quick to achieve. You could get up 15 minutes earlier to work on that innovation project, work later, take 15 minutes less lunch break, take less coffee breaks etc. The trouble with this strategy is that we are in danger of burning out. We all need rest and recuperation time. This is especially important when we need creative, open minds to find inspiration.
This involves embedding new work methodologies into our daily routine. As with any change, this may be challenging at first, but in the long run we’ll be less likely to burn ourselves out, and it will guarantee that extra 15 minutes a day to dedicate to innovation.
Here are our top 3 tips for working smarter;
1. Choose your most important goal each week.
Most of us try to work through our daily “To Do List” and usually end up with a longer list than when we started, making us disappointed with our lack of progress. Instead, choose your most important goal each week and aim to achieve it. This will help us prioritise our week and make us think about what is actually important, helping us focus our time and energy on achieving it at the cost of lesser important things. D0 not get urgent confused with important - it is easy to get sucked into all those urgent tasks, but we really should be prioritising by what is most important.
2. Avoid the email time suck.
In his book ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’, best-selling author Tim Ferriss, teaches us how to escape the 9-5 trap by working more efficiently. One of his methods is to limit the amount of time we spend answering emails. Tim suggests that we limit the number of times we check our email to three times a day. Keeping email open all day is the quickest way to kill your productivity. Instead develop a schedule for dealing with email: First thing in the morning glance over your emails and address only the critical ones. Midday check in on progress on the critical emails addressed in the morning. Finally before you go home try to clear the volume and smaller or menial tasks.
Worried how people will react to your limited email responses? Try setting up an out of office, explaining that you will only have limited access to emails. Also avoid having email announcements on your phone.
3. Give yourself an external deadline.
People often say that working Mums are more productive. Why? Because they have to be out the door to collect the kids and they feel like they have something to prove. You may not have kids, but you can give yourself a non-work related priority. Book in a personal training session for 5.45pm, organise weekly post-work catch ups with a friend who won’t be impressed if you cancel, perhaps volunteer for a charity or local sporting group. Ensuring that you are out of the office by 5.30pm, whilst still achieving the same amount as everyone else, will force us to be more efficient.
Work smarter and in no time at all, you’ll have all the innovation time you need.
Want some more hands-on help with your Innovation Activities? Our Innovation Programs can be tailored to meet your individual needs from Innovation beginners to seasoned Innovators looking to behind on existing skills. Please Click here for more Information.