Mo asks Todd Henry: What is your big idea for folks to stand out, to be creative, do their best work, and get their prospects’ attention?
A lot of people believe that they are not creative because they don’t make art, but creativity is problem solving. Any line of work that involves problem solving requires you to be creative on a daily basis. Most successful creative professionals have disciplines in their life that prepare them for moments where they have to be brilliant. They build study time into their schedule to fill their mind with valuable stimuli. If you want to be brilliant on a moment’s notice, you have to begin far upstream from the moment and that begins with building practices into life so you can deliver great results when you need to. One of the interesting challenges of working from home over the past year has been that meetings have become frictionless. That means that everyone needs to identify time on the calendar to commit to engaging in those disciplines. Block out time in your schedule to read, to think, and sit and think about your priorities. Get ready to feel unproductive for a couple of hours because creativity is not about efficiency; it’s about effectiveness. If something is important to you, you will find time for it. Those that are willing to take the uncomfortable step to carve out strategic time on the calendar are the ones that are going to see results on the other side. We have to manage our energy in the same way we manage our time. We need to think about our time in terms of investing, and when you invest, you are expecting long-term gains. Part of your time portfolio should be investment focused on efforts that may not pay off now but can lead to bigger results later on. Treat this time like a meeting with yourself. If someone calls you and requests that time, treat it like you were meeting with a client or important prospect. It’s also important to create feedback loops with your team so they can see the results of your efforts. We have to say no to things that aren’t using our time in the way that we want to use it in order to use our time effectively. One of the problems with meetings is that people will often set them for 60 minutes by default. One tactic you can use to restrict meetings to accomplish what they need to without wasting time is scheduling them at specific times (9:22) and a specific place (potted plant on the 2nd floor). You can also define how long you want to commit to when asking people to pick a time on your calendar.
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