Productivity rocks. I post on how I improve mine every once in a while, even how doing nothing for two minutes can help boost that. But sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Today was a prime example of that. I had tons of meetings, things to catch up on and got so wrapped up into my work that I forgot to take a lunch break (though I definitely made up for that at Mary Mac's later that evening). Days like this are sometimes a necessity. You have to put in long hours once in a while to not only get stuff done - but to get that stuff done well. There is a law of diminishing returns at some points.
When you work in a creative field, taking time to just explore things is necessary food for the brain. It's easy to keep your nose to the grindstone so long that you miss what's going on around you. This is especially relevant to anyone who works in technology or marketing. It's a landscape that changes so fast and is in high demand. This is especially true with the Digital Innovation Group I work with at Engauge. We have a huge demand with clients needing our digital backgrounds and knowledge that we are constantly busy. I find, that if I let myself, I could slam myself with client work from 8-5 and not see the light of day.
However, that may not be the best alternative. Stopping and seeing what's going on around you could be huge later on. This isn't an excuse for slacking off but more or less making time for "smelling the roses" a priority...even if you have to intentionally schedule it in your work calendar. For example, despite our slammed packed days, @ratpack and I took about 15-20 minutes today to play around with a couple of Android apps like Droplat and Broadcastr, figuring out hypothetical situations in which those applications could be used. That's why they call the team we work with the Digital Innovation Group. It's vitally important to be intentional to check out the world around us before it leaves us behind. Otherwise we're just a digital group.
This doesn't mean just innovation. Finding other non-work related outlets to channel energy is valuable time spent in small doses. For example, @tondas and I will literally set up meeting requests with each other to play 15 minutes of ping pong in the office. Sure it's fun but I also return to my desk more refreshed on those days when stuff is flying at me at 100 mph. Sometimes innovation is best served when you change things up from time to time.
The wise Ferris Bueller said it best:
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
So the ball is in your court? How do you take little moments to stop and smell the roses?