What impact would being more productive have on the results you produce? On your leadership and personal development? On your business’ bottom line?
Imagine how much more you could contribute to your organization if you could increase your productivity. Even by just a little bit. Like other skills, productivity is something you can develop. You can cultivate it. It’s possible you could be more productive than ever before!
But how? There actually are 5 unconventional ways modern leaders unleash their hidden potential and become more productive. Let’s explore them together.
1. Activate the Right Side of Your Brain
If you ever wondered what the sky tastes like, then you were using the right side of your brain. The right side is the creative side. And creativity has a huge impact on productivity.
Interestingly, the right side of the brain controls the left side of your body, so you can activate the creative part of your brain simply by using the left side of your body. Try throwing a rubber ball against the wall or writing a note with your left hand. When you use the left side of your body, you activate the right side of your brain – which in turn will help you find new ways to be productive.
2. Write a Table of Contents for the Problem
Writing has a way of forcing us to focus and visualize our thoughts with more concise words. Writing also is in and of itself a creative act. Oftentimes, we cannot figure out how to fix complex problems at work. If you sit down and write a table of contents for an imaginary book about your specific problem, it will force you to bring order to the chaos. You will then be able to see your problem along with its many facets much more clearly.
Reading through and thinking about your table of contents will provoke your creative thinking. And more often than not, the solution will simply come to you during this process. Write that solution down on your strategic To Do’s list. This will make you more productive as you complete your key actions.
3. Ask a Child What He/She Thinks
The ideas you can generate by simply asking a child for his or her thoughts on a matter may surprise you! Children have an astonishing ability to unleash their creative minds and generate solutions that adults would never even consider. That is because life experience has not yet taken its toll upon their young, creative minds. Those fresh ideas can then be turned into productive action items that will stun you and those around you.
The idea of asking a child is creative in and of itself because almost nobody ever thinks to do it. More importantly, the answers you get in return will be full of creative solutions that you can apply to your situation.
4. Give Yourself an Idea Quota
Another great way to unleash your creativity and generate new insights is to place 10, or 20, or even 30 blank index cards on your desk. Then grab a pen and turn off all distractions. Put your phone away, turn off your computer, and hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign you stole from the Marriott on your office door. Once you are all set, force yourself to write 1 possible solution to your problem on each of those cards. The rule is that you cannot stop until you fill each card. If you can’t seem to get started, begin with ideas that seem obvious or completely absurd.
The key is to get yourself moving! As you write, you will unleash your creativity and identify productive solutions to your problem. The answer you’ve been looking for will likely form itself onto one of the cards right in front of you. When you finish writing, step away for a few minutes. When you return, read through the cards. Chuck the ridiculous ones into the garbage, and work your options down to about 5 possible solutions. Ask a colleague for his/her opinion on the 5, and reduce your possibilities to 3 finalists. Then ask your team about the 3 remaining, and you will have an effective, productive solution to your problem.
5. Imagine the Solution and Work Backwards
Sometimes, the reason we cannot activate our creativity to solve problems in the workplace is because the leap between the problem and the solution is too wide of a gap. We try to build a bridge from what we know (the problem) to what we don’t know (the solution). It’s difficult to build a bridge from one place to the next if you don’t know where the next place is.
To unleash your creativity and find a productive outcome, quickly generate a potential solution. Now, instead of having something you know (the problem) and something you don’t know (the solution), you have 2 things you know (problem and solution). All you have to do now is work backwards from the solution to the problem to see if a bridge forms. If it doesn’t, then start again with a new solution until it does.
So, being more productive is possible. You just have to find creative ways to do it! These 5 ways may not be conventional, but they do help modern leaders become more productive than ever before. If you have any more questions about how you can be a more productive leader at work, give us a call at 310.589.4610 or email us. You can also visit the Executive Coaching page of our website to see how we support our clients in creating that A’ha moment to produce powerful breakthrough results.