Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stealing Time

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I find blogging on a regular basis -- really the only way to blog -- is a challenge. Not because I don't enjoy it; I do. But there's always something else, something seemingly more pressing, to do.

We live in a busy world. Work, kids, friends -- yes, even blogging -- demand our time and attention. My blogging guru, Drew McLellan, a marketing expert from Iowa, recently posted some suggestions about how he manages to find extra time ... in some of the strangest places:

Things have been a little busy lately. We just launched a huge campaign for a client (had to go from creative concept to on the air in 34 days), I've had this little thing called Blogger Social going on and then there's Age of Conversation '08.

Many of you have e-mailed or tweeted, wondering how I've been juggling it all. Truth is ... like all of you, sometimes I think I can't possibly shoehorn one more thought into the day. But somehow, we all do.

Time is the scarce commodity today. I think it goes beyond the new, leaner organizational structure. Much of the blame should be aimed at our pagers, phones, PDAs, and people "buzzing" into our day and not only taking up time but also continually breaking our ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

Even when things aren't so crazy (when is that again?), sometimes we need to carve out some time to think, write, be creative or power through a project. Here are some thoughts for shutting down the buzz so you can concentrate:

Plane ride for one. One of the best things about flying is that no one can reach you. Peace and quiet. So turn off all electronic devices and close the "cabin" door and just work in solitude. If you explain what you're doing in advance, no one will begrudge you a little alone time.

Play hide n' seek. Why is it that when you are feeling absolutely under the gun, your co-worker has a weekend she just has to tell you about? If you have a colleague who's out or a vacant conference room, these make for great hiding places. When you're not where you belong, people assume you're just not around.

Get out. It's difficult to be strategic or creative when you are sitting in the same place, looking at the same wall, day after day. When you have big picture planning to do, grab your team and get out of the office. Find a coffee shop, park, or other haunt that you can just escape the daily grind and let your mind run free.

As marketers, we're forced to be creative on demand. Sometimes you have to give yourself a little edge to get the job done.

Check out Drew's blog at It's always a good read, even if you're not in the communications/marketing field.

1 comment:

Drew McLellan said...

Hey Frank,

First -- thank you for the very kind words.

Second and more important to your readers, I think one of the big takeaways from blogging is that we have to ease up a little.

When I first started, I "crafted" each post. I labored and agonized. But now, while I always want to be thoughtful and add some insight or value -- I don't kill myself over every word.

I realize that in this medium, it's okay to just let my natural voice and hopefully an interesting topic, carry it.

Another trick of mine -- I stockpile. If I get on a tear and can write 3 or 4 posts, I'm good for the week. I think of it as the canning mentality. Sure, it takes some time but it is a very efficient way to feed the family for awhile.

Again, thanks for the head nod and compliment.