The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 10, 2014 • Issue 14:03:01
Little changes, big results
A day in the payments biz involves a diversity of activities that can include outreach phone calls, email correspondence, in-person merchant visits and follow up, research into new products and services, partnership meetings, strategic planning, equipment installation and support, professional development, and more.
You have probably adopted routines or devised systems to help you attain maximum efficiency. These ways of working can become second nature, providing structure that frees you up to focus on the immediate tasks at hand, which is obviously a good thing.
However, sometimes these ways of working become constricting. When you do basically the same kinds of things in the same way day after day, no matter how challenging or productive the tasks are, you can become lulled into complacency, which can dampen your creativity and limit your ability to think on your feet.
Switch your routines
One way to address this is to consciously change routines. For example:
- If you always drive the same way to work, take a new route. Leave some extra time, and pick a scenic route, if possible.
- When driving, if you gravitate toward one radio station, type of music or motivational speaker, change stations, music selections or inspirational CDs.
- If your office is above the ground floor and you prefer taking the elevator, walk up the stairs instead.
- If you check email first thing in the morning, start your day at the office by making phone calls or setting goals with co-workers instead.
- If you multitask throughout each day, define a few blocks of time and dedicate each to one activity only.
- If you always eat lunch at your desk, go out with colleagues instead. And try eating something you've never had before.
- If you don't take breaks during the day, set a timer periodically and take short walks to refresh yourself.
- If you habitually work the same hours, begin and end your day a half an hour earlier, or a half an hour later.
Change your environment
Another tactic that can stimulate creativity is to alter your work environment. Change the placement of your furniture; switch the pictures on your wall and the knickknacks on your desk.
And consider doing some of your work in a different location. For example:
- Email can be accessed from anywhere today. You could visit a favorite café, sip coffee and dispense with your inbox there.
- If you have memos or other materials to create, instead of writing them in your office, take a tablet or laptop computer home or to a park, and write them there.
- If you hold staff meetings in a conference room, find a local restaurant with a meeting room, and gather there instead.
These are simple things, but they can stimulate new ideas and actions. And those can lead to business breakthroughs of incalculable worth.
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