In the last few weeks we have had a bit of our garden cleared and a new patio laid. The result of this has been quite unexpected. It has spurred me on to clear other parts of the garden that were long overdue some tender loving care. It has motivated me to spend time in the garden when in the last few years I have tried various inducements, bribes and persuasions (none of which worked btw).
So it got me thinking, is this true for my work life too? If I clear something away, that has been hanging about for a while does it make me more productive? I would have to say “yes”. This week I have finished lots of bits of work and felt very productive; one thing that had been “hanging over” me was an article I have been writing for the “Training Zone”, named “Being objective about ROI”. It has taken quite a bit of my thinking capacity and now that it has been finished, I feel like I am really motoring. Lots of other little projects have been completed as a result of this.
The new patio is a great addition to the garden and gives a completely different perspective to a space we have inhabited for over 14 years now. It has encouraged me to think about what else we could do to make the garden more: useful, attractive, relaxing etc. This is also true for my work as a trainer/consultant/facilitator. Adding a new perspective, by a chance conversation or an interesting article, can produce new thinking and boost your creativity.
Having just read an article on CPS (Creative Problem Solving), this has renewed by belief that creativity can be learned and practised. It is a process which, with the right tools can generate and regenerate thinking in a way we would not believe possible.
By now, you will probably have figured out where the mathematical reference has come from. So where does multiplication come in? Those who have read my blogs in the past, will know that I love working with trainers and it never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from other trainers. On my own, I am fairly creative but getting together with a group of other trainers sparks thinking not possible without the interaction of others. I often get comments from other trainers how solitary their working lives can be and if only they could spend more time with other trainers to spark ideas off each other.
So to be more productive as a trainer simple mathematical subtraction, addition and multiplication can provide that extra boost that you might be needing:
- clear your desk
- finish that one piece of work that has been hanging over you
- take away your usual distractions (phone, computer, books?)
- take yourself away somewhere for a while to recuperate (coffee, weekend break, holiday etc)
- make a list of the little things you need to do and hide the list away while you concentrate on the most important
- shorten a deadline you had set yourself
- Read an article/book
- Watch a TED talk
- Surf the net for a topic that stumps you
- Meet up with a friend who knows something you don’t to chat
- Extend a deadline you have set yourself
- Give yourself an impossibly long list of things to accomplish in one day and set a reward for achieving them even in part
- At work, in the office start an ideas board (few flip charts taped together) and invite everyone to share ideas, as and when they are free to do so, or you could do it online using “Linoit”
- Join an online forum for trainers (Training Journal, Training Zone etc)
- Join a LinkedIn group for trainers
- Join a local networking group for trainers
In case you are wondering, the patio is not quite finished but here is a picture of what it looks like so far…..