thadcoxdesign - It's a balance. Being innovative just for the sake of being innovative is a waste of time. It's style over substance and won't do you any favours long term as you'll only build a reputation as someone who is overly reliant on gimmicks.
However, if you are spending time researching new techniques and methods with clients in mind, then this is useful. You are improving your own knowledge and if you are able to find something unique and innovative than perfectly fits what the client does, then that's when you hit the bullseye!
Streamline your discovery process by choosing 5 of the best sources of information and get into a habit of checking them once in the morning and then again in the evening. Don't spend longer than 15 mins and be selective about what is worth using for client projects and be sure to audit your sources every month.