Our society throws the word ‘freedom’ around often with little thought to its meaning. How many times have you heard the commonplace phrase ‘financial freedom’? Are you expecting to eventually live financially free?
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“Creativity is the most practical thing a businessman can employ.” — Bill Bernbach, Co-founder of international advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB)
As a small business operator, you may believe that creation equals thinking about than setting up your company. Yet once set up, you must always be innovating to keep developing and succeeding.
Organizations need new ideas if they are going to survive and grow. Without the ability to think creatively, firms can stagnate and decline. The current market demands innovation. Customers want bigger, better, and more efficient products and services.
“Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to obvious problems.” — Rei Inamoto, Chief Creative Officer at AKQA
We tend to get so stuck in the day to day operations of running our businesses that we lose our vision. The Time that we used to spend imagining new ideas, turns into putting out fires and admin tasks. The daily problems overtake the long-term plan and stop us from working on our goals. How can you get back to why you created your business?
I recommend all my clients make it a habit to schedule days in your calendar for imagining and planning. Do it for the future of your business and your life. Stepping away from working IN my business to work ON my business, allows me to manage things I couldn’t do during the week.
During this day you can focus on the long-term and get back to the vision of your business. You can work towards creating a better future rather than stabilizing the present.
The Journal of Business Venturing have conducted many studies about what helps entrepreneurs. They discovered that those who reflect on how to solve problems outside of working hours generate more novel ideas. Creative Days are the best way in which to do this.
Creative Days are fantastic tools to cultivate your thoughts and ideas. Spending time away from the logistics to build your company can improve it or have it be more efficient. My clients report that initiatives formed on Creative Days help them produce breakthroughs.
Creative Days must be planned in advance. Have the day free from outside influences by avoiding schedule conflicts. I recommend you:
• Inform your team/employees that you are not available.
• Direct business calls to someone else or send them to voicemail.
• Do not book meetings during these hours
• Check work emails before or after your creative time.
When planning your Creative Day, pick a convenient day on which you can be away from the office. Move to a stimulating environment to feed new ideas that might not flow at your desk. You can choose to spend your Creative Days alone or with others to bounce thoughts around. This choice is dependent on what you need to accomplish.
You may wonder what you could spend an entire day away from managing your company. While the options are endless, here are some of the things my clients work on:
• Creating a 5-year, 3-year and 1-year business plans
• Educating themselves on their business or industry
• Choosing tasks to delegate
• Collaborating with similar minded colleagues to consider of creative solutions to problems – someone may conceive of something you hadn’t!
• Developing workflow processes
• Creating new programs and content
Many people ask “why can’t being creative be fit into a regular work week? Why can’t I spend a few minutes to a few hours a day working on these things?” The answer is simple: momentum.
It’s human nature to take a while before we can become engrossed in a task or activity. Thus, planning Creative Days gives us enough time to get focused on our ideas. When we switch between tasks, we lose focus and our work suffers from this.
Implementing these days means you can dedicated the rest of the week to working IN your business. You can manage daily operations tasks without wasting productive time going between activities.
You may believe planning one day a week away from your regular schedule equals time wasted. These are occasions you could be working on all the things that keep adding up. Taking this opportunity to plan for the future may help you to avoid continuous problems. You can preemptively prepare for them on these days.
When asked about creativity, co-founder of Lois, Holland, Callaway George Lois famously said, ‘nothing comes from nothing’ and that it is imperative to keep working on new ideas. Without working on new things, our businesses will fail. You must create to keep up with market demand.
Entrepreneurs often say they don’t have time to plan. This continues to represent the single biggest weakness for business operators. When you take Creative Days, you will notice a significant increase in creative output. Scheduling one day a week to be imaginative will build a strong, successful company.
Always remember to stay creative! Now is a great time to begin demanding a regular, weekly Creative Day of yourself and reap the benefits! Let me know how it goes.
You can read more about this and other pieces of advice in my Amazon international bestselling book: Damian Reid – Cure ‘Entrepreneurialitis’: 52 Habits To Earn The FREEDOM You Deserve.