Where do you have your best ideas? In my experience, you almost never hear anyone say “I have my best ideas at my desk in the office or in a meeting”. When I ask people this question at our creativity training they often say, in the shower, in bed, before I fall asleep, when I’m daydreaming, when I’m doing something else, when I’m driving.
To be in deep thought and properly creatively consider a problem, Jason Fried says in this TED talk ‘why work doesn’t happen at work’ that you need a good chunk of uninterrupted time in the office to get the creative process going. Ultimately all his suggestions are about making best use of time and considering that’s the no 1 enemy to creativity it’s got to be worth a try.
He argues that we expect people to work well but they are interrupted all day and this does not make for productivity. He says that the problem in the office are M&M’s – managers and meetings. He gives 3 ways to be more productive at work:
1. He suggests “no-talk Thursdays? Pick one Thursday once a month and cut that day in half and just say the afternoon. So just the afternoon, one Thursday. The first Thursday afternoon of the month nobody in the office can talk to each other. Just silence, that’s it.”
2. “Switching from active communication and collaboration, which is like face-to-face stuff, tapping people on the shoulder, saying hi to them, having meetings, and replace that with more passive models of communication, using things like email and instant messaging, or collaboration products – things like that.”
3. Have less meetings! “If you have the power, just cancel. Just cancel that next meeting. Today’s Friday — so Monday, usually people have meetings on Monday. Just don’t have it. I don’t mean move it; I mean just erase it from memory, it’s gone. And you’ll find out that everything will be just fine. All these discussions and decisions you thought you had to makeat this one time at 9 a.m. on Monday, just forget about them, and things will be just fine.”
As I work for myself now I rarely have the interruptions and issues that he talks about but I love the idea of no-talk Thursdays! Anyone trying to find more time for creativity could definitely give that a whirl! What’s the worst that could happen?….