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Innovation and creativity come from discipline

Technology, AI, multi-generational workforces and the current global pandemic will all contribute towards creating a paradigm shift in the way we work.  

Not only are we having to think about where we work, and how we work, we will fast be tasked with a very real requirement for us to work smarter, faster and more efficiently.  

For leaders to perform at their best they require a steadfast focus and discipline to create space and time for creativity, problem solving and contemplation.

Our inability to detach from our devices, and the phenomenon that we need to work harder and harder to deliver financial results, drive change, engage people more effectively and be more innovative than ever before is going to implode.

That is unless we lead from the front and start to rebalance our working lives.  To be a truly creative leader there are several things you need to consider.  

Create Structure

There is a reason why highly effective and inspirational leaders often talk about the 5am start to their working day.  

They have figured out that the morning is their most productive time and that structuring their day into concentrated 90-minute sprints of activity is the most effective way to tackle tasks.

They decide on a task and stay focused on it no matter what.

It is a myth that humans can multitask and be at optimal efficiency, so this requires real discipline, but the result provides not only focused work time but also time for contemplation and rest.

Rest and exercise

Rest and exercise are both essential for allowing your unconscious mind to innovate, and problem solve. They ultimately enable people to be more productive and solve business issues faster.

Resting allows your unconscious brain to kick in.  Which is essential for creativity and problem solving, Perhaps the reason that the BBC cited the current global pandemic and “pause” as a potential catalyst for innovators and entrepreneurs.

So, there is a reason you have your best ideas when you are doing something random!

In fact, your “resting brain” is said by some neuroscientists to be just as dynamic as an active brain.  It allows you to imagine the future, be self-aware and have empathy.

So, allowing your brain to rest is a critical part of the creative process and failing to take a break will mean you will fail to be at your best.

Leadership today comes with great responsibility, but the truly effective, creative and inspirational leaders will work differently and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Discipline and resting, is a skill, and finding out what you need to do to switch off is important. But the upside is clear - not only will you find more creative solutions to problems, but you will also get to solutions faster and be able to lead your teams more effectively.  

Time will not just appear; you need to plan and create the space for time out.