The tech world needs creative risk takers like makers. A lot of companies don’t know how to develop the mindset of “I’ll try it” in their people. That’s what innovation is really. All the maker movement is doing is helping people develop their own sense of experimentation. —Dale Dougherty, founder of Make: magazine and Maker Faire

There couldn’t be a better time to bring your whole self to work. Those awesome things that make you a “maker” also make you a great problem solver, and the good news is you don’t have to leave that part of you at home. There is nothing more satisfying than making and building something yourself. You know the sensation … you feel like a badass! But it’s not always easy to find the time to incorporate all of those projects you want to do. Here are some work-life hacks that can help you find time to make and build.

1. IDENTIFY WHAT’S DRAINING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

As busy as we are, not all of that time is productive, even enjoyable; there are a ton of distractions and inefficiencies at home and at work. Jot down how you spend each day for a week; if you want to get fancy, you can even create a pie chart that will help you visualize the types of things you spend your time doing. Some people take it a step further and map out their processes to figure out where they can improve their workflows to be more efficient – and this can even free up more time for personal projects.

Using the right technology can help you eliminate your productivity drains and get noticed at your job.

“Nearly 50% of my job now is Quick Base related, and I believe that the work I’m doing is important and impactful,” explains Senior Manager of Operational Excellence & Data Analytics, Joanna Schreck. “Quick Base helps our team stay efficient, which empowers the business. And others across the company are quickly taking notice.”

2. RESERVE 10% OF YOUR TIME FOR “WHITESPACE PROJECTS”

There are many studies that show blocking a certain portion of your time at work for unstructured “play” and experimentation can not only boost happiness and get you exercising your natural curiosity and creativity, but it can also boost engagement and productivity as well. Grab some co-conspirators and make it a team-building exercise, find a nice space and collaborate on a project together!

Using a platform like Quick Base can help you effectively collaborate and get visibility across your organization. One Project Controls Manager, Lee Gilmore, discusses his experience with Quick Base and how it’s led him to new career opportunities. Here’s what he had to say about his latest role:

“The best part is it’s a brand-new job, carved out specifically for what I do best. It’s the perfect Goldilocks analogy! I get to be creative and build from scratch, which is the fun stuff for me,” says Lee. “Creating good tools that people use every day and find valuable has been very rewarding for me both personally and professionally. I love what I do.”

3. FOCUS ON ONE PROJECT AT A TIME

Have trouble starting a bunch of DIY projects and never quite finishing? Create a Kanban board (Japanese for “signboard” — made famous by an industrial engineer at Toyota) to focus on one project at a time and visually see your progress as you go. They can also be fun to make — the more creative, the better. At the top of your board, create three columns: Not Started, In Progress, and Completed. Write out all the tasks you’ll need to do to complete the project. Then move those tasks across the board as you work. Remember you can only work on one thing at a time!

 

Go be you and keep on building!

If you can work an Excel sheet, you can build Quick Base apps for everything from order fulfillment and customer service to contract management and sales processes. It’s rapid prototyping for the layman, enabling businesses to build custom applications 80% faster sans coding. Unlike out-of-the-box software solutions, Quick Base offers free trials, so you can hop in and play around with building your own custom solutions. Visit quickbase.com/make for a free Builder’s License and let Quick Base be the makerspace of your workplace!