What Can We Learn From Unorthodox People?
At Think Productive North America, we like to incorporate a certain amount of ‘unorthodoxy’ into everything we do – from the way our team works, the way we interact with our followers and clients, right down to our time management training. We do that because to us, what really matters is the result – creating a community of happy, productive people. And as Graham puts it, “It doesn’t matter if you use the conventional route to get there, or find an easier path.” So what can we learn from unorthodox people?
Although ripping up the rules book can be a great and fulfilling feeling in the long-run, it might also be a scary path toward Productivity Ninja Unorthodoxy. We’ve put together 4 lessons which might help ease up that path.
1. Challenging the status quo often leads to new, even better ideas.
Don’t be afraid to shake things up just because ‘that’s the way it’s always been done!’ One of the key components of unorthodoxy is being willing to question everything – and not being satisfied with the status quo. One example of ‘unorthodoxy in action’ at Think Productive is having the whole team regularly conduct meetings where we actively challenge our practices and processes, to make sure we’re always making room for innovation and new ideas. And we’re not afraid to ax the things that aren’t working anymore, even if they’ve been around for as long as anyone can remember! Recently we found that meetings were taking up more of our team’s time than we’d like, so BOOM- meeting free Wednesdays was born. It’s as simple as that!
2. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone, even if nobody else is doing it (yet)!
Ever thought about kayaking to work? Mike Bandar, a recent guest on Beyond Busy – had a whole month of trading in his oyster card for a kayak. While we’re not necessarily demanding you get your hands on the nearest life jacket – we can certainly take a page out of Mike’s book: trying something new to challenge yourself and change your perspective. In fact, Mike tries something new every month – from a random act of kindness everyday to learning French. You never know until you try it, right? Head here to hear more of Mike’s 30 day challenges.
3. Just because it works for everyone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you – and that’s just fine!
When you think of a successful person, what do you picture? Big house, fancy car? Not Stephen Brobst. Another guest on Beyond Busy, Stephen is a huge advocate for a ‘stuff-free’ life. Regularly on the road, you’ll almost never find Stephen in the same place for more than 5 days – and you’d be mistaken if you thought that slowed him down in the slightest. From being the CTO to Teradata to advising the Obama administration, Stephen’s unorthodox lifestyle suits him perfectly. Again, nobody is telling you to sell your house – but don’t be afraid to carve your own path based on the way you like to work and live. And hey – if you think Stephen’s way of doing things sounds like your cup of tea, head here to hear more.
4. Finally, stay focused!
As Graham puts it, “a Productivity Ninja approaches work with the mindset to focus on the end result first and work back from there.” If you’re clear on your goal, the steps you take to achieve it can be moulded and manipulated to suit you best. Whether you choose to take the conventional route or opt for a more unorthodox way – what matters is the result, not how you got there!
Enough about how other people are embracing unorthodoxy, how will you do it? Let us know in the comments below or @thinkproductive
By Caitlin Fox
Caitlin is Think Productive’s Content Manager and Executive Assistant.
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