Friday, November 21, 2008

How to Keep The Creative Juices Flowing

Cold weather tip: Letting the Faucet Drip Will Prevent Freeze-up

When you live up north, a faucet that was not dripping was the sign of a frozen pipe in the possible near future. The same goes for advertising and marketing work. You have to keep the creative faucet dripping. You have to keep ideas moving and your psyche motivated. When we feel our ideas can't flow, we will literally stop trying. It got me to wondering, if cold weather freezes pipes, what freezes up ideas?

Connectivity: Being attached to the world via Treos, Blackberrys or iPhones is a sure way to keep us from thinking. Or not. I know I'm too busy responding to e-mails to just take a walk in the park to think through a problem but yet I find the time. All these electronic gadgets and nice and helpful but are they a help or a distraction? These devices are great tools, but they should not be allowed to become a shackle. I heard about a creative director who was offered an awesome job that he turned down simply because the agency was adamant that he be reachable 24/7 through his agency-supplied Blackberry. I don’t blame him. No amount of money is worth that. Another problem is our consumption of too much garbage that wastes time to solve problems. We must unplug ourselves if we want to connect with our best thinking.

There are a lot of examples of burnout in business. It's a result of the same type of problem the Blackberry causes: Too many things to pay attention to that have nothing to do with thinking and creativity. Many agencies require their employees to work so many hours, there is little time for personal hygiene let alone a personal life, much less experiencing the world we're supposed to be able to communicate effectively with. A person simply can't be spontaneous when he is worried about getting a mountain of work done in the next 24 hours, day in and day out. When deadlines becomes the daily life, it works like subzero temperatures on an unwrapped pipe.

We all create differently to develop ideas. I like to think and jot ideas down on a note pad. Others like to doodle pictures. Some like to sample from books and magazines, etc. It really doesn't matter how you come up with a great idea. What matters is that you are always moving forward you your thinking. There isn't much room to explore in a 7' by 7' cubicle office. So get out, enjoy the day, See and feel some real sun shing and wind in your hair, but you need to know the difference between being productive and goofing off. If you consistently produce great thinking, you know you’re on the right track.

Another observation about cold-weather plumbing. If you leave the faucet wide open, there is a lot of wasted. Turn the faucet off completely and you get shut off from what you need, when you need it. The key to being productive is balance. Know when you need to walk away and give the problem time to simmer and cook in the deep dark recesses of your brain. Have confidence that you are working on it while you're taking that walk running or having lunch with your wife. Don’t be surprised if your ideas always have a fresh feel and your “other” life in balance

Larson note: You need to be multidimensional. A one dementional person is just that, paper thin, uninspired, and unexciting.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. Need your brochure translated. Pick your language and if needed pick your country. Yes we do translation work for your sales and marketing pieces.

*Advertising Age

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