I recently read a post on LinkedIn by Simon Sinek that read...
Limited resources + optimism = innovation
I realized just how true this statement was as I thought about it. We are limited on what we can do in our day to day. Whether you are running a business or you are working for a business we are all limited on the time we have. So how do we overcome our limitations on time? How do we increase productivity?
While the answer was given by Simon already 😉, innovation. To pursue innovation it requires creativity though.
Creativity in my opinion is one of the first steps to innovation. Before we can roll out a new innovation, we have to get creative and design a solution to our business model. This creativity will lead to innovation, which will then generate a reduction in overhead and push our productivity ahead.
Lets breakdown a simple example. We are having to pull reports that get sent out to a Stakeholder every month. We are pulling this data from several locations and then we are running it through some process, and then we are sending it to them.
If we take this item and we were to automate it, we could implement a solution to automate it. We could take this data, place it in a cloud drive, that links to a BI tool, that then could manipulate it and create the report. Then that report could then be sent to the Stakeholders automatically.
Of course this perhaps a more complex task. Lets take a look at a simpler task.
Perhaps I am on a customer call, and they ask me to email them a reminder on Friday to submit a task (Or maybe you just want to 😊).
Rather than creating a reminder to remind your self to remind them.
Create the email on the call with them, click on Schedule for Later and select your date and time. Done. No need to work on that task later, it is a simple way to streamline the work you needed to do for them.
So in order to streamline and get more work done we need to get creative with our solutions. We need to find the things in our life that are taking up time, and get creative. Finding 3rd party apps and solutions are an easy start to this process. Finding an app for example that can send a Text message on a schedule was one way that I scaled and managed my website business (That was a while back). This simple tool enabled better engagement over time as well. Because after a customer encounter I was able to get in the car, schedule the message follow-up for the next morning.
How do we get creative might be a question floating in your head. Well, if you ask me, I would tell you, "Its not as easy as it sounds". I have found that I need to do several things.
Surround yourself with creative and innovative people (We at your company solves problems all day long and loves to do it)
Be willing to implement something that is "not perfect". Waiting for a perfect well rounded solution is not a creative process. Be willing to update it and refine it over time. Version 1 is better than version none.
Look to the internet! There are so many solution floating on the web, research some of them and find out what others are doing to solve the same problems.
Give yourself grace! Be creative is a process, and it can take years to get good at it 😄
If you are working hard at this process, then I am sure you will see some success come out of it. That success will equal innovation and will enable you to free up your time. These solutions will allow you to scale your business and your life. Knowing that you can now give more time back to your life and your business, or hobbies.
Now let's get a little practical if your not sure where to start. Here are some VERY BASIC things in my life I took to streamline my workplace productivity.
I already mentioned it, but SCHEDULE your email follow-ups 😊
Get an appointment booking software so that you do not spend countless emails going back and forth just to connect for a 15 or 30 minute email. There are a lot of good solutions out there. (You can Book Me, Microsoft Bookings, Just google it!)
Get an app so you can schedule text messages (Kinda like the emails).
To Do list connected to my email. I use Microsoft To Do, and it will read if I flag an email and add it to my To do List. Making email follow-ups easier.
Innovation and creativity are among my favorites things to spend my time on. So if you are struggling and wanting help. Reach out! I would love to connect and maybe assist on streamlining your business or your endeavors!