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Finding Opportunities to Improve Everyday Tasks

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I dread the colder months because I’m forced to take my jogging indoors on the treadmill, which is a source of boredom at its best. Yet, I’ve decided it’s time to turn this negative process into a better, more productive one.

My running process is quite routine. I hop on the treadmill, select a running speed and run 4 to 5 miles. Very often I attempt to zone out in hopes of reaching my goal in under an hour without going bonkers from staring at the wall nonstop. Yet, despite my best efforts, I struggle to overcome boredom. So I decided to conduct an experiment to see how easily I could transform the process productively.

So, the first step was to change my usual routine. Rather than simply selecting an unchanging speed and elevation, I created an interval program where every quarter-mile I changed my velocity. By setting the short, quarter-mile goal, I found myself more focused on my ever-changing speed rather than how bored I was. I also discovered that the constant vigilance created motivation in me like never before. I didn’t just want to finish 5 miles in under an hour, I wanted to challenge myself to run even faster.

Turns out, this philosophy really works. I completed 5 miles in 42 minutes, which meant that I shaved eight minutes off of my run! Before this change, I used to only have time for a quick stretch after the treadmill. But, by gaining the additional minutes I am now able to stretch and get in some weight training as well.

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© Flickr user William Warby

Everyday tasks can become so routine that it’s easy to neglect opportunities for change. I, for one, can definitely attest to this fact. I often wonder what took me so long to actively partake in intentional process improvement. The best answer I can muster is that I lost the motivation to remain engaged in a process that was easy to automate. In some way, shape, or form it seemed easier for me to stay the course rather than change it up. Yet, as I now see it, my inaction was actually making the process harder and less desirable.

The adoption of speed intervals in my running may sound like a simple and small change, but the impact it has had on me is astounding. I officially beat the boredom. I increased productivity. I achieved process improvement. Best of all though, I reaped all the benefits that come with strategic productivity growth and self-empowerment. Sure, some day the boredom of this task may creep back in, but with an open mind and the goal of constant process improvement, I have little doubt that I’ll be able to find a way to tweak things for the better yet again!

Given how many processes there are in our daily lives, many of us are filled to the brim in mindless routine. So, what’s the harm in proactively innovating new ideas wherever you can? If for no other reason, it will at least add a little flair and excitement to an otherwise boring task. And who doesn’t want that?

So, here’s my challenge to you: test out your creativity this month! Choose any process and change it up a bit to make it more fun and/or more productive. See how quickly your innovations change the process as a whole and reflect upon the impact it has made on your business or in your personal life. I guarantee it will be worth your time!

Stuck on how to implement these principles in your organization? Contact the business development consultants at AccelaWork today! We’d love to help you maximize all your processes.

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Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Ashley has been working with the AccelaWork team since 2008. She is a communications expert with a background in corporate work, and a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the greater Indianapolis area with her husband and four children. Ashley enjoys jewelry, fashion, and coffee.
Ashley Lee

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