Three Simple Habits To Guarantee Innovation Every Day15 November, 2017 / Articles
In our hectic daily lives, there’s not much room for innovation. Through trial and error as well as using some good old-fashioned common sense, I have found three simple habits to guarantee innovation every day. As a professional development coach, it’s important that I find space for innovation so I can share transformational techniques with my clients. We are only gifted with so much time in the day. How we use it matters!
Just Organize – Right?
Most people fall into one of three types of “organization” personalities:
- Planning overkill: Micromanaging every millisecond.
- Organizational indecision: Sometimes you plan, sometimes you don’t.
- Chaos on the move: No plan but you’re doing “stuff.”
Organization comes in many forms. Some people obsessively use daily planning tools to map out every minute of their day. To me, that seems constrictive and lacks room for creativity: an essential element in a healthy environment of innovation. Being organized is not meant to oppress our creativity but, rather, to open up space and free our minds to focus on our goals.
Including a basic organizational approach to your day is crucial for your success. If you have goals but have no plan to get there, it’s not likely that you will accomplish much. If you leave it up to fate, you might find yourself adrift in the lazy river of career complacency.
Keep It Simple
Complex solutions to organize and innovate almost never work. Even if they do “work,” they aren’t sustainable. Our lives are complex enough! That 10-step solution you read about probably isn’t easy to include in your busy schedule. The key toward establishing basic organization is keeping it simple.
We are awesome at overcomplicating everything. Simplicity is the secret of success to allow us enough space to innovate, focus on our goals and be creative. Innovation does not flow into a space of constraints and stress. In order to give ourselves the room to be creative, we must develop a habit of minimizing daily clutter.
Make It A Habit
In order to sustain any routine, it must become a part of our daily life. On average, it takes 66 days to form a genuine habit. This is much longer than original studies touting 30 to 15 days or less. It’s necessary to sustain a focus if you are planning on incorporating anything more complex than drinking water.
Choosing which plan to develop an organization habit is often based on personal preference or what goal you want to achieve. I will share with you three simple habits I’ve developed with success to guarantee innovation every day.
- Minimize your daily tasks. You probably have a to-do list as long as your arm. First step: Write all your tasks down. Second step: Minimize your daily accountability to three items. That’s right: only three. You can do your own experiment, but I’ve found through my studies that professional adults can only accomplish around three significant tasks per day. The more significant the task, the more challenging it is to complete. Asking yourself to do more often leads to disappointment.
- Plan your day and week ahead. In order to achieve success, you must have a plan. Then you must make it actionable. Start your day off with an email and social media free zone to plan. How is your daily plan supporting your weekly goals? Remember habit No. 1 and don’t succumb to the lure of putting more on the list! If you are an overachiever, you will want to dump more on your plate. There is just as much value in saying no as there is in volunteering. Understand your bandwidth and what adds value to your goals before agreeing to do more.
- Set aside time to reflect. Set aside a portion of your evening before bed to reflect on your day. You can keep a personal journal to organize your thoughts. Journaling is helpful if you have developmental goals — it allows you to look back and understand your progress over time. Did your day go well? What didn’t? Study your responses or reactions. Is there room for improvement? Are you moving in the direction of your dreams? What do you need to adjust? Be real with yourself. Focusing on what matters most is critical for success.
Give Up To Go Up
You may have noticed that each of these three simple habits to guarantee innovation every day require focusing and giving up items that do not serve your needs. You might use social media less or shut off the TV a bit earlier every night. While it is tempting to cram every spare minute of our lives outside of work with brain-candy, doing what is right and not what is easy is the key to success.
Remember, your plan needs to include time for yourself to recharge and relax as well as time to connect with loved ones. The point of creating an organized space for innovation and personal growth is not to oppress. Keeping your organizational plan simple will allow easy integration as a habit into our already complex lives. Mitigate unnecessary distractions and let go of those things that do not serve you. Surround yourself with supportive people and free your mind to focus on what matters most to innovate.