Best Practices for a Creative and Productive Day!
As creators, we can’t always control our creative flow and, consequently, our productivity level. Fortunately for us, there are practices we can implement that just might increase creativity and production in our daily lives.
Here are a few that we recommend:
Get in Touch with Your Intuition
Albert Einstein called the intuition “a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.” There are patterns in our daily lives, organic ways in which the world moves that we can tune into and harness for our own creations.
Tuning into this natural flow allows us to arrive at conclusions that just make sense. When you can’t find anything new in the patterns around you, ask questions about them. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to switch up your environment: go play.
Shake Up the Pattern
“Our brains are constantly changing, they’re adapting, they’re learning, they’re dynamic,” according to Dr. Sahar Yousef, a UC Berkeley-trained cognitive neuroscientist. “It’s truly a canvas, and you can change and manipulate, depending on what you’re exposing your brain to. You can create different associations.”
You don’t have to go as far as taking a vacation to the other side of the world, but maybe change up your routine a little bit: go for a jog before sunrise, take a drive through a different side of town, listen to a new artist or playlist. There are plenty of ways we can find new perspectives and patterns we never thought about before. Although these changes can spur creativity, it’s not always good for the production side of things.
Keep Your Work Area for Work
“What is important here is intentionality in the environments we choose to do specific types of activities,” Yousef says. So, while switching up your daily pattern can help spur creativity, keep your actual work area for focused productivity so that your brain doesn’t get confused.
When we start allowing copious amounts of emails, meetings, calls, or even meals to interrupt our productivity time, we are training our brains to multitask instead of focus on the task at hand. Set aside some time for these distractions outside of where you are productive so that when you get back to your productivity space, your brain knows it is time to focus.
Mad Men Marketing 2014 NFL Mock Draft
1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney (DE South Carolina) For some reason, everyone seems to think that Houston really wants to go QB here. Quarterback IS the most important position on the field, but none of the quarterbacks in this year's class are worthy of the #1 overall pick. For that reason, how can you possibly pass up the opportunity to pair JJ Watt with Jadeveon Clowney. This is a total no-brainer. All of the other rumblings HAVE to be smoke and mirrors.
2. St. Louis Rams – Sammy Watkins (WR Clemson) I think this is the last year Sam Bradford gets to legitimately make things work. Adding Watkins to a receiving corps that already has Tavon Austin could really open up the passing game. Ultimately I think the Rams trade this pick and get a tackle. There are a lot of people that would like to leapfrog the Jaguars if they suspect they'd take a QB.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack (LB/DE Buffalo) Ideally, the Jags would have loved it if Clowney fell into their laps, but Mack is one heck of a consolation prize. In fact, he may turn out to be the better pro in my opinion, (no one has questioned his effort) and his measureables are off the charts for a defensive end/rush linebacker. Think Von Miller with better size.
4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel (QB Texas A&M) I think Cleveland is the perfect place for Manziel to BEGIN his career. Cleveland could use some positive exposure and that's precisely what they'll get as long as Manziel can keep his nose clean off the field. This is more than a PR move, however, Manziel can definitely sling the ball downfield, and he's the best I've ever seen at rolling right and throwing the ball across his body to the left to find the open receiver (a lot of scouts would say this is ill-advised). I don't think he's a running QB; I think he runs to throw and he should have a top-tier target in Cleveland when he arrives. He's close friends with Lebron James and Lebron had a decent start to his career in Cleveland.
Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills)
5. Oakland Raiders – Blake Bortles (QB UCF) I think this pick has the potential to be traded, not to the degree that the #2 pick does, but I wouldn't be surprised if Oakland traded back. Matt Schaub will be 33 before the season starts, so he's not the future. Pryor got traded to Seattle for a pittance. I think the raiders let Bortles learn a couple of years behind Schaub and make the first intelligent move they have in a long time. Bortles has the body and the poise to excel. Sadly, he doesn't have the name (seriously, say it 3 times and see if it sounds like a Pro Bowler to you) and I know that sounds silly, but it's the vibe I get and it's my mock draft, not yours.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson (OT Auburn) It's an absolute tragedy that Atlanta is even drafting this low. I know they need a pass rusher, but they might be able to snag another Auburn player a little later for that specific purpose (MAYBE). Robinson is an absolute mauler at tackle and could help anchor an offensive line that protects one of my favorite passers, Matt Ryan. With proper coaching and improved footwork, Robinson could be a perennial Pro Bowler.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jake Matthews (OT Texas A&M) Safe and smart. A trade could be possible here, with Tampa moving back.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr (QB Fresno State) Christian Ponder is a model of mediocrity and his uppance has come. Carr has the fastest release I've seen in this year's QB class.
Justin Gilbert (Cleveland Browns)
9. Buffalo Bills – Mike Evans (WR Texas A&M) Stevie Johnson has lost a step and EJ Manuel needs a legitimate #1 option
Anthony Barr (Minnesota Vikings)
10. Detroit Lions – Darqueze Dennard (CB Michigan State) People have been mocking CBs to Detroit forever. Maybe someday they'll draft one. Dennard has the ability to turn picks into points each time he snatches a pass out of the air.
11. Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert (CB Oklahoma State) Gilbert and Dennard are kind of like #1 and #1A CBs. A lot of people have Gilbert mocked ahead of Dennard.
12. New York Giants – Eric Ebron (TE UNC) Quick! Name your favorite New York Giants tight end moment…….NOTHIN'. Ebron can change all that.
Odell Beckham Jr.
13. St. Louis Rams – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S Alabama) The Rams haven't had a dominant safety since Aeneas Williams. Dix is a physical guy who could really get the secondary going.
14. Chicago Bears – Taylor Lewan (OT Michigan) There has been a revolving door along the front five. Lewan has the size and the pedigree to anchor the line.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Louis Nix (DT Notre Dame) This big tackle has the girth and power that have become a hallmark of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense over the years.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Kony Ealy (DE Missouri) Ealy could definitely go earlier than this. He has a lot of upside and a high motor. It's a shame the Cowboys have a huge hole to fill with Ware's departure.
17. Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Pryor (S Louisville) It seems the Ravens are constantly reimagining their secondary. The front 7 are amazing, but this is where their focus should be.
18. New York Jets – Brandin Cooks (WR Oregon State) Think Santana Moss in his prime when you think of Brandin Cooks ceiling. Could be a game-changer like Desean Jackson.
19. Miami Dolphins – CJ Mosley (LB Alabama) Remember when Zach Tomas was wreaking havoc at Middle Linebacker in Miami. Mosley could be the guy that leads the league in tackles as a ROOKIE.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Teddy Bridgewater (QB Louisville) Most don't have Bridgewater falling this far, and if he does, some teams will probably be salivating over a potential trade. This would be a great fit and Teddy would remain a Cardinal.
Brandin Cooks (New Orleans Saints)
21. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Donald (DT Pittsburgh) This guy has been climbing draft boards and if that holds true, he will be drafted as high as 10.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Kelvin Benjamin (WR Florida State) This would help ease the pain of losing Jackson and would give the Eagles another red zone threat next to Riley Cooper.
Johnny Manziel (Cleveland Browns)
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Zack Martin (OT Notre Dame) With the losses along the line and the addition of Fisher, this could give the Chiefs two young bookend tackles.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Dee Ford (DE Auburn) POTENTIALLY the best DE in the draft. Played against top tier competition and knows how to really bring it.
25. San Diego Chargers – Kyle Fuller (CB Virginia Tech) Not incredibly confident about this pick, but the Chargers need help on defense, badly.
26. Cleveland Browns – Odell Beckham (WR LSU) It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Browns will be selecting a QB/WR tandem to team up with their amazing WR.
Marcus Smith (Philadelphia Eagles)
27. New Orleans Saints – Marqise Lee (WR USC) Make no mistake, Lee is a playmaker and the Saints have had the same stable of receivers FOREVER!
Deone Bucannon (Arizona Cardinals)
28. Carolina Panthers – Davante Adams (WR Fresno State) With the departure of virtually every legitimate receiver, a target for Cam Newton has to be a top priority.
29. New England Patriots – Tim Jernigan (NT Florida State) No Vince Wilfork makes this an easy selection.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Anthony Barr (LB/DE UCLA) The 49ers have the luxury of drafting based on potential. Barr is a pass rusher that used to be a runningback. Think Brandon Jacobs with more speed.
31. Denver Broncos – Jason Verrett (CB TCU) I, personally, like Verrett better than Fuller, but think he'll be perfect in Denver.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Shazier (LB Ohio State) I would be a LITTLE surprised if Shazier were still here, but if he is, he may not be for long.
Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings)
A Splash Of Color
We just wrapped up the second in a series of 9 artists completing their artwork on designated portions of the automobile. That means 7 more local artists will be given the opportunity to render absolutely anything they would like on a mobile canvas. During next year's One Spark, the car will be raffled off and the artists' work will be showcased to the masses, with all proceeds being split evenly among the 9 artists. If you haven't seen the artists in action, I would encourage you to come out to Art Walk next time and experience the live music, crowds, and libations surrounding this evolving piece of modern art. The artists have a limited amount of time to finish their work, so it's very fast-paced and exciting to see things take shape right in front of your eyes. The event happens right in front of Mad Men Marketing on 111 E. Bay St. in downtown Jacksonville at what has been collectively dubbed “The Elbow”.
All Hop’d Up On Craft Brew
Each Friday, we will choose a new local brewery to patronize and sample their wares. Today, Friday the 13th, the crew joins Aardwolf and the “wolfpack” to sample their 4 new offerings. I'm especially excited to get my hands on the Belgian Pale Ale. It's important to support local businesses for Mad Men Marketing, but aside from that, local brewers offer more robust flavors that cater to beer connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Many of these local pubs also offer a fair amount of fun, such as the game room with the over-sized Jenga pieces at Green Room or playing cards at Intuition. Since many of these places also don't serve food, they invite you to order from other local vendors and bring your food with you. We can't wait to get started!
**(Mad Men Marketing encourages you to drink responsibly)
Real Mad Men, 1960 vs 2013
One of my favorite aspects of the television show, is how they nail the creative process. The research, development, execution, and pitch. Sometimes no matter how hard you want to magically have a great idea, it just won’t come to mind. Other times you can think your idea is ground-breaking, but the client isn’t onboard with your direction. As far as the business world of a career in the creative industry, Mad Men is spot on.
Always watching their back from their coworkers, the cast of Mad Men are consistently out for themselves. Everyone is trying to get ahead, and willing to go to extreme lengths to be at the top. Today, this would be the perfect set up for a failing business. Burning bridges won’t get you far as an agency, as well as taking the time to lend a hand. A successful agency is sustained by good relationships, not only with clients but also with the entire team. Going the extra mile rather than cutting corners is what makes a great agency stand out from a good agency.
The Power of Advertising
In my opinion, this is the biggest change to advertising due to technology. In the 50s and 60s, the media had a certain control that it no longer has. With so many product options, advertising clutter and noise, ways to order, and convenience of the internet consumers’ brand loyalty is nowhere near where it was in the past. Being able to search for the best prices around allows consumers to be fickle with their purchasing decisions.
The power today is in the hands of the consumer. Rather than creating a marketing plan that you think is effective, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Would I benefit from paying attention from this ad, or is it just feature dumping like the other 3,000 advertisements that I see on a daily basis?
So, would an agency like Sterling Cooper be a top agency on Madison Ave. in 2013? No, just as the world evolves over time, so must agencies. Technology has pushed agencies to become more consumer-driven in their strategies. While Sterling Cooper would wine-and-dine their clients into their ideas, it was mainly their way or the highway. Today a lot more listening needs to be done rather than talking.
As Don would say “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation.” However Don never had to deal with Yelp reviews. Sorry Don, your persuasive words might not make the cut in modern advertising. Time to work on your people skills!