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March 25, 2009 / jasonpinto

Oh, stifle me

beastieboysWe are not there yet (at least, not in the northeastern part of the U.S.)… But we are getting closer.

Maybe it’ll be some day in June…or if we have to wait, July. You’ll wake up… and start getting ready for work. But despite all efforts to conserve movements, the 85 degree temperature and high humidity outside will cause you to break into sweat.

You will try putting on your tie, or buttoning a collar. Ouch! Do you know that feeling? Where simply pulling up the knot, or buttoning the top button causes you pain? It seems to increase your temperature 10 degrees.

Yes, when that happens, I can think of one word – stifling.

That can happen to us in the marketing world as well.  We may have the best intentions… An idea pops in our head, and we start visualizing how to make it happen instantly. We start sketching out ideas, running through phrases that we can use…. but then……. nothing. Well, see, it doesn’t always just disappear.

Sometimes, things legitimately get in our way, and we need to shelve an idea. But other times, we need to (oh man, pump your fist in the air, Beastie Boys-style) “fight for your right to be creative!”

Two of the biggest obstacles that we may face are time and our environment. Here is a quick guide to help you ensure that your creative ideas flourish against these opponents:

TIME –  Okay, deadlines. They exist. This can be a very good thing sometimes. Projects that extend forever can be a complete drag. But deadlines cannot control every action that you do. Yes, when you need creative time, put it on  your calendar. You can even put it in capital letters (i.e. 2 PM – WORKING ON WEBSITE, CANNOT MOVE THIS TASK) if you need the encouragement. Whatever it takes, when that time comes along in your day, go do it. Take a 1/2 hour to brainstorm ideas for the website… or to record a new video.. Whatever it is, do it.

ENVIRONMENT – This one can be a killer. We may love our workmates.  They work hard along with us… But maybe they don’t share the same love of marketing that we do.  Or maybe it’s our surroundings… we sit at our desk for 8 hours a day, we look at the same whiteboards, print-outs, etc. And when it’s time for us to work on a creative project, we feel completely blah.

Well, I love finding ways around this one…

– If there are empty rooms in your office, then you are really running out of excuses. Yes, just go to that space… bring only what you need to start working on your idea, and do it. A slightly different surrounding can work wonders.

– Go outside! Maybe it’s just for a moment….but get some fresh air, and look around. Perhaps you see the woods, or workers at a nearby business, or people driving to and from work. Whatever it is, it should help to start clearing your mind of the day’s activities. Then, go back inside, and start creating. (Or, if it’s nice enough, work on your idea outside!)

– Do something outrageous. Have you ever done push-ups in your office hallway? Have you ever whistled or sang while at your desk (we do not encourage doing this for more than 15 or so seconds.. otherwise, beware of flying shoes). Yes, do something that is absolutely outside of your daily routine. It can help shake things up and relax you.

Last tip – believe in your ideas. If you do, you will make extra time, if necessary, to get stuff done. You will find the right environment. Maybe it means waking up earlier, staying up later, or looking like a goofball for a few minutes. But if you believe in your ideas, you will find a way to get them done.

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2 Comments

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  1. CasTex / Mar 25 2009 6:26 pm

    Thanks for this post, I am interested in.

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