Positivity, Flexibility, and Self-care

We can forget the needs of the people doing innovation. Looking after ourselves requires a new set of innovation skills.

We continue our dive into the latest headlines from the Censemaking Innovation Newsletter with a focus on those resources that can help you — the innovator — look after yourself, perform better, and create better organizations.

Flexible Work

Do you have a flexible schedule, yet feel compelled to work regular 9-5 hours (and beyond)? You are not alone. A new study looked at those who had flex time and how much stigma plays in keeping consultants from taking advantage of their flex time. The potential implications for innovation organizations are that we might be offering flexibility to staff, but they may feel reluctant to take full advantage — and the benefits — from it. Setting our hours means changing our mindset and building a culture of flex.

What can I do? Practice self-compassion and find ‘role models’ you can connect with — those who have embraced the role of flex work well. Check through your network, LinkedIN or other sources and find people who can model and support healthy ways of using flex in their work.

Positive Psychology

A positive attitude shapes how you see the world. Like innovation, it’s easier to talk about being positive than to consistently apply it to ourselves. Designer Jason Lengstorf has a practical take on how to actually be positive and not just talk about it. His one thing (go looking for the good) transformed him from being a self-described ‘entitled asshole’ to someone who was far more positive, generous, and happier. This simple approach is grounded in research and can pay enormous creative, social, and mental health dividends. 

How to use this: Begin with practice. Small, incremental shifts in something that you can do everyday, with relative ease, will lead to making bigger changes down the road. Start with simply noticing things and go from there.

Get More (Work) Satisfaction

Looking to raise your work satisfaction? A new research-based model of boredom suggests that building dedication to your work can do this. John Eastwood and colleagues found that disengagement from work due to things such as perceived over-qualification for the work, task demands, and lack of challenge contributed to disengagement. They argue that paying greater attention to the bigger picture of work, the mission, and the context can provide new things that can spur re-commitment to work. For innovators, this means looking more at the whole and the parts of their work.

How do I apply this? Review your work into tasks (small, daily things), relationships (people, collaborations, networks) and big-picture mission issues (purpose, goals). List these out and find from those lists the things you’re most attracted to and amplify your focus on those things. By building dedication to some things you may find yourself improving satisfaction with more things.

Thanks for reading. I hope these tips help you with your work and improve your satisfaction and impact.

For more tips and supports for innovators, sign up to the Censemaking Innovation newsletter and subscribe to this site for all the latest news, updates, tips and tools for making impact.

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