Starbucker over at Ramblings from a Glass Half Full (who always makes me think!) just posted an "I have too many things rattling around in my head" lament that I have no doubt most people can relate to. I know, as an agency owner and active community volunteer (not to mention dad et al) there are some days when I literally run from meeting to meeting, trying to squeeze in phone calls in between meetings. And then I wonder…when will I get all the work done that these meetings generated? Those are frustrating days. But, to be fair, I do it to myself.
Coning is something we invented at McLellan Marketing Group because all of us need some "quiet time" now and then. Every employee at MMG has a traffic cone in their office. When that cone is placed in their doorway, it means, "unless the building is on fire, do not disturb me."
I coned myself for about 90 minutes yesterday. The week had been frantic and I was riding very close to several deadlines. I got more done in those 90 minutes than I had all week. And best of all….I felt great. I felt calm, I felt successful. I felt like I was back in control. Here are some of my secrets to successful coning.
- Have a commonly understood signal (like the cone) that everyone in your office will honor.
- Set the example by NEVER interrupting a coned person.
- Turn your cell phone, regular phone et al ringers off.
- Do not check e-mail, blog feeds or any other distraction during your coned time.
- Do not do it for more than 90 minutes (its very frustrating to be on the other side of the cone and need to talk to someone who’s been coned for 3 hours.)
- Make it a habit. Do it at least 3 times a week.
Of course, it does not have to be a cone. Get creative. As you can see, I have added a skull to my own cone…just to reinforce the gravity of circumstance that one would experience if they broke the code of the cone.
It’s hard to keep those marketing juices flowing if you are feeling bogged down. Find a way to get yourself some quiet time. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you get re-fueled. BTW– The Chicago Tribune liked this idea so much, they shared it with their readers a while back.
(And yes, I have a carpet with a little road on it for match box cars in my office. Another post for another time!)