What Keeps You From Innovating?

by Katie Konrath

What Keeps You From Innovating?This morning, I watched a fascinating TED talk by Toby Shapshak about innovation in Africa.  In it, he projected the image above.

“It’s a picture of worldwide electricity usage, right?” Toby asked the crowd.  When people agreed, he replied, “This is actually a map of innovation. In the rest of the world, people are too busy playing Angry Birds to focus on innovating.”

Is that true?  Well, as it turns out, Angry Birds users log 200 million minutes every day!  So it’s highly likely that a good portion of that electricity above is due to bored people playing a game where they lob virtual birds at each other. Astonishing, right?

But the point Toby is making is that in developed countries, people spend a lot of their day doing “time wasters” – which takes time away from the time they spend innovating.

Nearly 60% of US smartphone users spend most of their time on entertainment apps. People with smartphones spend 115 minutes a week using social networking. Going beyond mobile, 9.1 million viewers watched the season finale of The Bachelor and 112.2 million watched the Seahawks destroy the Broncos in the Super Bowl. (And trust me, both of those were a disappointment!)

Think about it – how much time have you wasted this week?  What thinking could you have been doing instead?  What problems could you have solved?  What’s sucking up your time and distracting you from making amazing things happen?

image credit: getfreshminds.com

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Katie Konrath helps companies come up with “ideas so fresh… they should be slapped” at leading innovation company Ideas To Go. This post was originally published on GetFreshMinds.com. © 2014 Katie Konrath.

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