How do you bend time?

30462848 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. 

How do you give yourself an edge?  What’s your favorite time bending trick?

12 comments on “How do you bend time?

  1. Ed Dron says:

    I find public libraries to be very conducive to writing. There’s something about being surrounded by books and people who are busy reading and researching. I love the energy.

  2. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    In my mind I just ‘lost’ two whole working days: teaching my new pc how I want it to behave 😉

    As for ‘recharging’: I love to sit in our garden after work, just to ponder – not distractions, no interruptions, just given my thoughts ‘free-flow’ time. Spring had arrived very late here and when last week I finally manage to have one of my ‘garden-holidays’ I realised how much I’ve missed that during the long winter!

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  3. Jay Ehret says:

    Take a personal retreat. This week I am checking in to an unknown out-of-town hotel for two days. Bringing just my laptop and a project that I need to finish.

    Of course, you could always just ignore time because there’s evidence that time doesn’t even exist anyway: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/in-no-time

  4. Ed,

    Ohhh, you are so right. I love just walking into a library. And to sit at one of those big wooden tables, surrounded by books — you’re right there is an energy about it.

    I took my daughter to the library recently to get some books for a research project and thanks to the internet, she hasn’t spent a lot of time there. She was nowhere near as comfortable with the whole system as I was at her age.

    A casualty of the web.

    Drew

  5. Karin,

    I am breaking in a new computer as well. But, it’s only taken me about an hour. Love the mac! (Sorry…could not resist!)

    I think there is something about nature that allows us focus and actually lets our brain “float” above the din of our ordinary thoughts and go someplace different.

    For me, it’s water. Ideally the ocean. But here in Iowa, that’s not really an option. So I’ll take a lake or river.

    Drew

  6. Jay,

    isn’t it funny how much more we get done on a plane, train or hotel room? I am going to do the same thing today — but my retreat is going to my office on a Sunday. There’s no one there and I will get 3x’s the work done that I would get done at home.

    Maybe it is all about removing any temptations?

    Drew

  7. I stay up late and work after everyone else has gone to bed. It isn’t the best on my sleep schedule, but I find that when I have no other appointments to worry about and no one bothers me I can get the most done.

    When I worked in an office, I’d sometimes find a conference room that I knew wasn’t going to be used and take my laptop in there. People could find me if they really needed me, but the casual dropins went away.

  8. Mark,

    Truth be told, that is one of my favorite time benders too. Which is why we are both commenting at 10:30 pm on a Sunday night!

    Drew

  9. Jeff Gwynne says:

    Thanks, Drew. You’re right. I’m going out to play golf right now.

  10. Jeff,

    Did you really go play golf? If so — good for you!

    Drew

  11. Jeff Gwynne says:

    I did and then I came back a wrote about golf and blogging. Walking around out there is a great way to think and discuss.

  12. Jeff,

    I know….great post!

    Drew

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