One idea I shared, for which I am indebted to a mentor coach of mine, Richard Reardon, is about setting aside, on a regular basis, a “lab day” .
experiment by clix, via stock xchange
As I explain in the interview with Brandie, your lab day is a day when you put aside your usual work schedule and chores, so that you can give yourself time and space for some reading, creative thinking and experimentation, maybe some new product or service development.
And to give yourself a chance of making the day worthwhile. In other words, no email, no phone calls, no Twitter.
It’s your research and development (R&D) day. Value it. For anyone who is demanding your attention and might not get the “lab day” concept, of if you just don’t want to mention it, simply tell people you are working on a project and can’t be disturbed. Because you are working on a project – the project of the long term success of your business.
Do it regularly and feel good about it
Whether your lab day is once a week or once a month or perhaps at even longer intervals is not the point. It is doing it regularly and feeling good about it that count.
Feeling good about it? Yes, because it is usually not going to be immediately productive. Usually not going to generate income straight away.
It’s an investment in the long term viability of your business.
It’s about earning and being profitable in a year’s time, in five years’ time, ten years.
Big corporations spend money on R&D. They don’t do this out of any affection for innovation for its own sake.
They do it to keep ahead of the game. It’s a hard-headed business decision.
Try it. Say one day a month to start. That’s twelve days a year.
Probably twelve days more than most of your competitors are going to spend on focused, documented fresh thinking, testing and new product development.
Guess who’s more likely to be around for the long haul?
Oh, and you don’t have to wear a white coat. Although if it makes you feel better about setting the time aside, go for it.
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