Now that services like Google Earth and Windows Live Local are taking satellite pictures of our world and make them freely and easily accessible for everyone, companies are starting to put their logos on their roofs. That way, when someone is looking to directions to the party they are going to, they will see the Target or Home Depot sign at the same time. Free advertising. Companies like RoofAds can hardly keep up as they try to service that new market.
That got me thinking because it is such a beautiful solution. If you have a building, you have a roof. You don´t have to do anything special or extra to get your word out in this way once the ad is in place. Aside from some paint it is completely free advertising. I liked the idea so much that it got my mind wondering, like most things do, how it could apply to personal productivity.
I´m not suggesting that we all pull out a ladder and some paint and climb onto the roof of house to let the world know who we are. I am, though, thinking about times that we could take something that exists anyway and turn it into increased productivity. The roof is there, so we might as well use it for something productive. What examples are there of that same type of thing in our own work lives?
As I thought about it, I realized that I had just done that same type of thing recently, though without thinking about it in that way at the time. I am a complete sports nut. I live and die for my beloved Michigan Wolverines and Calgary Flames. I spend hours every week reading about the major pro and college leagues as well as golf, tennis and horse racing. I get a lot of pleasure out of it and I wouldn´t want to have to cut back on the time I spend. I would definitely be more productive without that particular fixation, but I wouldn´t be as happy, so, to me, it doesn´t matter.
Since one of the hats I wear is a writer, I have found someone who will pay me to write about the sports I love. I was already doing all of the research every day anyway, so by putting in just a little bit more time writing I have managed to turn my pleasure time into profitable time. It´s not a ton of money, but I´d be spending the time anyway, so some money is better than none. In much the same way, Target isn´t going to get rich from having an ad on their roof, but the roof is there anyway, so one extra customer puts them further ahead.
Apply the same thinking to yourself? Are there things that you do that could be applied in other ways at the same time? Can you make yourself more productive without doing more or cutting things you are doing? Can a pleasurable habit or diversion be made productive without sacrificing the pleasure? Now that I have realized what I accidentally stumbled into, I will be looking at everything else I do to see if there are other, similar circumstances in my life.