3 Things that You Can Do Every Day to Be More Innovative
It doesn’t matter if you are the Vice President of Product or a freelancing web developer, we all have the need to be more innovative. The ability to produce and incorporate new ideas and processes can revolutionize both our personal and professional lives. But is creativity something that only great artists and inventors possess? Is ingenuity something that great visionaries are born with, while the rest of us are destined to follow?
Of course not. Like any talent, innovation is developed with practice. While some of us may have a natural inclination for it, or were raised in environments that taught us fundamentals of imagination early in life, everyone—from the CTO to the intern—has an equal capability of producing incredible ideas.
So, how is this talent practiced? Like a budding pianist repeating the scales, there are a few small, but impactful habits that you can start implementing immediately that will warm up the right side of your brain:
1) Schedule Time for Deep Thinking
Too often we get so caught up in closing projects that we don’t have time to create new projects, except those that are assigned to us or fall into our lap. Being reactive like this can mean that our entire career is dependent on what opportunities are given to us, as opposed to opportunities we seek out. But, by prioritizing just a little time each day to think about the big picture or our role, our projects, or our business, we give ourselves the logistical and mental freedom to find, design, and create new opportunities for progress.
2) Look for Solutions in Irrelevant Places
If you are in search of new ideas, you can’t rely your tried-and-true sources of inspiration to provide them, because common muses inspire common thinking. Disrupt your old patterns of thinking by looking for solutions in illogical places. Copywriters, study the language of a cafe menu instead of literary legends. Or maybe you’re a medical ICU unit that discovers an efficiency solution by watching Nascar. It’s likely that someone already has the inspiration that you’re looking for, you have just been looking in the wrong place.
3) Interrupt Your Routine
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”? You may not realize it, but this probably applies to you. Our subconscious minds are continuously impacted by our surroundings, so if our habits and workflows are in a rut, so is our creativity. Instead, ask new people for feedback, brainstorm in a new environment, or even just take a different route to a different coffee shop and order something new on the menu.
Implementing these simple ideas may just be the keys to discovering a new product idea, finding that breakthrough solution that has stumped you for months, or even finding a strategy for finally keeping your room clean. Whatever it is that you want to innovate, the ability to design it is only three little habits away.
Want to learn more about innovation from a guru? In her presentation Building a Culture of Innovation at Nomad City 2018, Lorena Muñoz Cuadrado, Partner Operations Manager at Google for Work, will be discussing these universal strategies in depth. Join us on October 8-14 to learn it all, plus more keys to professional location independence, in the beautiful city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.