Innovation Doesn’t Happen By Only Doing What’s Important

I’m in the business of advertising, creativity and new ideas. If you’re anything like me, then new ideas don’t just cometh unto you every minute of every day. If you’re like me, you have a busy life and a hell of a lot to get done each day – running a business, being a good employer, being a good dad, and at the end of it all still trying to be a good husband.

Have you ever wondered why you’re not doing anything out-of-the-ordinary? Why you’re always stuck in the same rut with regards to your ideas in your craft? Why you’re not able to innovate?   It’s because you’re only ever doing what you believe is “more important”.   You’re always going to have something that’s “more important” than coming up with a great new idea or innovative way to do something.

We all have to-do lists; the things that we write down on paper or pop into an app on our phone. We’re so busy trying to jot down what we need to do next that our life becomes consumed by “the next thing to do”.   Well, here’s the kicker: you’re never going to innovate or create anything new if you keep doing what you always did; if you keep trying to get your inbox to 0 or tick off the next important task on your list.

There’s a quote that says “success is never getting to the bottom of your to-do list” – and the same goes for innovation and good ideas.   We all strive to be productive and to get things done. That’s great. But innovation has nothing to do with being productive, nor is it about reaching a goal. It’s a journey.

Nobody ever changes the world by always obeying the rules. Think about that for a second.   Break the rules. Do things differently. Don’t answer emails for a day. Go to bed late. Play Xbox till 3 am. And at the same time don’t care too much. It’s when you care too much, that’s when it becomes a drag. I need to come up with the next big idea NOW for this new campaign- well guess what, it’s not going to happen.  Stuff what’s important. Throw it out of the window for just a day; break the rules.

Dunk a chip into your milk.   Flume is a business that employs 27 people and believe me there are always important things to do. Finance, HR, stock up on milk, make sure the internet is working. Those things are important, of course. But if we want to be a groundbreaking business, a business that changes the game, then we certainly aren’t going to do it by only doing the important things.

We’re going to do it by making time for what we never make time for – innovation. Usually, these types of articles have 3-4 steps to consider in order to achieve an endpoint. I’m saying stuff it, that’s not important. I’m going to end off by telling you to open your to-do list and delete the task that you feel is most important.

Then when you’re done you’re going to eat an Oreo, and then you’re going to lie upside down from a chair and think about how you would draw a coat of arms for Oreo if Oreo was a country.   Innovate. Forget what’s important. At least just for today.

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