Productive Downtime is a Startup Leader’s Secret Weapon

How I learned to innovate thanks to company-sponsored partying

Joe Procopio

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I’ve been perfecting a leadership practice over the last 20 years that has produced some surprising gains in both productivity and innovation. I call it “productive downtime.”

At first, the concept might seem counterintuitive. But once you figure out how to do it right, the results can be game changing.

As a leader, your primary responsibility is to maximize your team’s productivity. You need them to be efficient, you need them to be motivated, but most of all you need them to be working on tasks and projects that will produce the most impactful results to your business’s bottom line.

Getting everyone on your team to work a little bit harder doesn’t do the trick. You have to think outside the box.

And to be clear, I dislike that turn of phrase as much as you probably do. What exactly is in that box? Why are we going outside of it? What do we do when we get there? In a vacuum, “think outside the box” evokes images of a clown show, and the fear is that you end up wasting time doing trust falls and not sharpening your focus on what’s going to produce quality results for the business.

Thinking Outside of the Box…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com