Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Delete these 4 things from your routine to be more productive #blindpost

The following is a blog post from Jeff is CEO of DragonArmy, the ultimate entrepreneur and one of the most genuine and compelling leaders and presenters I have worked with.  I thought his post on productivity was interesting and wanted to share it with everyone.

 Here is Jeff's post...

This is a blindpost from another article but for some reason I can’t remember where the article came from…

Delete these 4 things from your routine to be more productive

#1 – Stop checking email all the time. Email is the silent productivity killer. You can spend hours inside of email and even come out of it thinking you got a lot done, but that’s usually not the case. Email is like this ever-flowing distraction faucet that never seems to stop. What I’ve started doing is blocking out time on my calendar for checking and responding to email. I try hard not to check email other than those pre-selected times.

#2 – Observe the 80/20 rule. Most likely, 20% of your effort will get 80% of the results. Look at your calendar and think about the things that you’re doing that are moving the needle the most. Try to do more of those things and less of the things that are not driving much value. I’ve started color coding my calendar based on the different activities I do during the week. That’s helped me see where my time is being spent and how I can be more productive.

#3 – Don’t keep a to-do list. This probably sounds counter-intuitive. However, I have become a believer that a to-do list is like that closet in your house where you keep sticking junk that you want to use later, but never do. Most people I know have a hard time really knocking their to-do list down effectively and instead it just continues to grow and adds stress as it does.
Here is my new to-do system that so far has made me much more productive.

#4 – Stop trying to multitask. There’s really no such thing as multitasking. If you’re watching a show AND working on a presentation, your mind can’t effectively be doing a good job with either. Or if you’re someone that checks their phone a lot while talking to someone in person – please tell me that you’re not one of those people – then how can you really be focusing on the person you’re talking to? You can’t. Focus on what you’re doing and compartmentalize your activities more. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can juggle multiple things at once and still be productive.

What did I miss? Are there things you do that help you be more productive?
~ if you liked this blindpost, here are more you can check out. And a handful of my friends will suggest blindposts for me to write from time to time, please feel free to do that too!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wonderful Pistachios Super Bowl spot

Pistachios, pistachios, pistachios…the Wonderful Pisatachios Super Bowl spot won the night.  If you haven't seen it... click here

For a while now, I have been working with agencies and watching TV wondering if our industry is truly creative or is it simply following a set of rules laid down by our advertising forefathers.  There is plenty of work that is incredibly creative but sometimes I feel like the work is being bogged down with outdated rules.  The two rules that I question the most are branding colors and calls to action.  The pistachio ad brilliantly lampooned both creative laws in two, perfect 15 second spots.

Regarding branding colors, I get that you can own a color by constantly reinforcing it.  Coke owns red, T-mobile probably owns pink.  But if you are not spending buckets full of money, it can look ridiculous.  The first Redds Apple Ale spot that I saw featured a guy in a red (really more like watermelon) colored hoodie.  I am guessing that they had to custom make that hoodie because no one where a watermelon colored hoodie.  I watched the spot and immediately thought that the agency was selling the client on the fact that the watermelon colored hoodie was what branded the spot.

Perhaps if they spend another four-hundred or five-hundred million dollars per year, for the next ten years, they will be the second most popular drink trying to own red.  It is as if the client and agency somehow felt that plastering a spot with red and spending a few million dollars was going to get it done.  I understand that they had to make the hoodie some color, so why not make it red.  But all I was left with was the thought “what kind of tool wears a watermelon colored hoodie.  I wouldn't want to drink the beer he drinks.”

The next rule of creative that I am not sure applies anymore is the call to action.  I imagine for direct response work it is a good idea.  But saying talk to your doctor about Crestor doesn’t make much sense to me.  A call to action implies taking action now.  Unless I am seeing this spot in a doctor’s office, I am not going to speak to him now about Crestor, so what is the point of the call to action.  Calling GEICO now, makes sense.  Telling me to pick up a box of Monkey-Chow next time I am at the grocery store, doesn’t make sense.  There is too much time between the call and the action.

I understand that there are tons of people and issues influencing the creative work.  Let’s just consider which rules we want to keep and which we want to eliminate.  Once we are no longer bound by so many creative shackles, perhaps we can create new best practices that new generations of ad folks  will have to follow.
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