Monday, June 29, 2015

How Is Your Workplace Productivity?

     Whether it is country, pop, or even rock and roll, we all have that one genre that really gets our blood pumping and brings a smile to our faces. Of course we jam out to our music in the car or during a visit to the gym. But do you listen to your favorite music at the office? That is simply unheard of, right? Actually, recent studies show that listening to your favorite music while completing a task is actually proven to increase productivity and creativity while simultaneously decreasing stress. Of course there is no magic song that will miraculously increase your productivity. The magic behind the music is simple. Music makes us happy. Music encourages a release of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. This has a similar effect to eating a food you find pleasant. It is no surprise that the release of dopamine helps to counteract feelings of stress. We have all found ourselves stuck in a stressful situation that may cause us to make hasty decisions or possibly cause us to stray away from the decision making process as a whole. When we eliminate these negative feelings and replace them with positive feelings we allow ourselves to open ourselves up to multiple creative thoughts and actually analyze the tasks at hand. As with all things, listening to music in the work place has its limits. It can be very easy to slip in a pair of headphones all day and retreat into your own little world. This can be an obvious no-no when dealing with client or coworker interaction. However, a short 15-minute break to listen to your favorite songs and refocus attention has the ability to drastically change your mood and mindset for the day. After all, a happy mind is a healthy mind. So why not give it a try? Next time you are feeling stressed or mediocre in the workplace slip in a pair of headphones and put on a song you enjoy. Besides lifting your mood, you might just find yourself more productive than ever.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rise and Shine! Take on the Morning Feeling Well Rested and Ready to Go.

We all know those select few people who hit the ground running as soon as that alarm clock makes its first morning wail. These people seem to have all the energy in the world before their first sip of coffee. Then, there are the rest of us. We are the incessant snooze button worshipers. The people who have the daily, morning battle between looking presentable for work or just 15 more minutes of sleep. We look to those chipper morning people like they surely can't be human. But, what if we could all become “morning people”? What if we could constantly wake up feeling well rested and ready to take on the day? Thanks to a new application called Sleep Cycle this distant dream can now become a reality. How can a phone application make me feel more rested you may ask? This app works by tracking your sleep cycles throughout the night. Each sleep cycle can last about 90 minutes, varying from light sleep to the deepest sleep (REM). The application allows you to set a wake up phase between 10 and 90 minutes long. This is the range of acceptable times you would be willing to wake up. By simply choosing your preferred settings and placing your smart phone under your body while you sleep the application can track your body’s movement and determine exactly which sleep phase you are in. When the phone detects movement that indicates you are in a light sleep cycle during your desired wake up phase it will sound an alarm. Waking up in a lighter sleep cycle allows you to feel more rested and rise easier than if you were to have your typical alarms go off during a deep sleep cycle.  The application even generates graphs showing exactly which sleep cycle you were in at a specific time of night. Thanks to our constant innovations in technology, becoming a “morning person” may no longer be such a far-fetched dream. Download the Sleep Cycle app and give it a try. You may just wake energized and ready to take on the world!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don’t Waste Your Summer

You can feel it in the air, quite literally, that summer is here. The weather is heating up and the humidity is rising like it’s nobody’s business. Even though it technically begins on June 21st, also known as the Summer Solstice (you’ll thank me later when you get that trivia correct), society has begun summer after Memorial Day. The “Summer Sales” ads have been airing for a few weeks so we’ll take some liberties in announcing that summer is here…now what?

Whether it is for you or your kids, make sure that you don’t waste your summer! It can be so easy to blink and it be Labor Day. I know what you’re thinking “my job won’t give me 3 months off for summer, how can I take advantage of summer?” The best ways that I’ve found to work in summer fun with actual work is do the little things. Take your lunch break outside underneath some shade, go for an early morning run in the cool air, do family activities at night and on the weekends.

The last one in that list is the most important. Make time for family time. Your kids are out of school and want to find fun things to do! Go to a baseball game, head to the lake for a day, take a mini 3 day vacation over the weekend. Or, if you are looking to stay at home, have a picnic in your backyard for dinner, grill out with friends, go to a park in the evening and play some sports. The possibilities are endless and the weather (other than the dreaded 2:00-5:00 pm 100 degree weather) usually is very pleasant and allows for great fun.

Your kids are also a huge part of your summer plans. If you work in the day, make sure that they aren’t sleeping away their summers. If they are old enough, try to get them to go apply for a summer job, put them in camps for a few weeks to get active, and something that my mom would do during the summers would be give us a chores list. **Gasps** Yes, chores lists are a great way to get your kids to learn responsibility in the summer. If they are going to be home for the day make them a list before you leave and give them an incentive to get it done before you get back. They will learn responsibility and ownership of their things and it will help them serve you when you are not home.

Above all, make sure you and your family are using their time efficiently during the summer and not wasting days. Don’t get into a “lazy summer” mindset because it is very hard to break out of. Grow closer to one another in your family and make time for lasting memories. Don’t forget a camera and the sunscreen!!   

Don't forget to share this article with your favorite friends and family.  They may need some help this summer!  Have a super summer!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Super Bowl 2015 Commercials - Did they make an impact?

"The average 30-second Super Bowl commercial can cost as much as $4.5 million. To some advertisers, it's worth getting their brand in front of more than 112 million viewers, which is the number that watched last year's game." - ABC

Click Here to Watch:

My favorite was the Budweiser Lost Puppy Commercial.  I was not only touched by the soft music, but the friendship between the puppy and horses.

Which Super Bowl Commercial was your favorite and why?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dr Pepper's Creative Team Should Receive An Award!

Viral videos may appear to be up to chance at times, or have large budgets behind them, but sometimes a great story can spend years on the Internet because it includes some very important qualities.

+Dr Pepper  has created a very emotional story that not only includes a cute homeless fur baby, but a happy ending too.  The first time I saw this video on Facebook, I knew that Dr Pepper had created a viral video just as +Budweiser Brew House  has created many beautiful emotional viral videos in the past.  When you feel an emotional tie to the story, you continue to watch it through its entirety to see the ending.  If the story hits you personally, then the possibility that you will share with your friends and family is greatest.

The following are a few tips that can help someone create that viral video that will be shared through the Internet for years to come.

Making a video that people enjoy and want to show their friends.

Dr Pepper shared a story that included a cute homeless fur baby walking through his town looking lonely, dirty, and unapproachable.  Something that all rescue groups can emotionally tie themselves too as they see this on a daily basis. It also hits the hearts of every person who doesn’t volunteer to rescue, but donates funds to help heal the hearts of the homeless fur babies.

Shorter is sweeter

Did you notice that the video was less than 1.5 minutes?  They were able to tell a story, without words, using a variety of short video clips, and even a happy ending that we were all looking for.  Make sure that you video is less than 1.5 minutes.  We are in the immediate gratification era that doesn’t want to be kept on a line waiting too long.  Shorter the video the better if you are able to get your story across with some emotions included.

Sharable and likable

Do you believe that Dr Pepper created a story that is likable by many people?  Fur babies are loved by many and are usually the best viral videos per marketing experts.  Using a specific breed for the video gives us the idea that the fur baby is homeless without having to use a true homeless fur baby.  We also think he is homeless through the video clips that include the daily walk through town and the other doggies moving across the sidewalk when he walks beside them.  The happy ending is the most important so that people get excited and want to share the video with others.

Even though there was not one word used in this video, we can get a feel for the emotions that not only the fur baby had, but the Dr Pepper truck driver.

Reel your viewers in with a story

Did Dr Pepper reel you in to the story line?  I know I was watching with my complete attention to make sure that the fur baby was going to be ok.  I even got worried when I saw the shelter sign and wondered if it was a no-kill shelter.  Seeing the happy fur baby jump up in the car at the end was a relief and emotional jolt that I felt.  It even made me write this blog post the very minute I finished watching it and sharing it on social media.

Make it easy to be publicized

I mentioned sharing the video on social media channels, but I used the original YouTube link instead of sharing the post that I found on Facebook. After you have made a compelling video with a great story, share it with people who would care about what you have to say.  Encourage them to share it with others and you have started the ripples of virality!

Dr Pepper made sure that the commercial was posted on their YouTube channel, shared on all Dr Pepper social networks, and will be using this on TV to drive more Internet shares.  When I posted this video on my blog, I was able to use the ‘embed’ button found on YouTube.  This is a special setting that must be set when you create your YouTube channel.

They made sure that this video was tagged and named for easy Google searches.  If someone didn’t see a post on the Internet, but wanted to find it with a search they would be able to find it easily.

Make sure you are allowing anyone and everyone to find your video or see your video on social networks, blogs, websites, etc.…  If they can’t find it, it won’t be shared or go viral.

I challenge you to write a script for your viral video and begin working on the publicity plan for the video launch.  Don’t create a video without a plan to launch it or you won’t get the publicity that you so desire.  Plan ahead and you will be excited about the results.

Don't forget to share this article on your favorite social network.  Your network of friends, clients, family, and others may need help with their fall marketing.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Look Back To Plan Forward - John C. Maxwell

Happy New Year!  What did you do to welcome 2015?  Throw a party? Toast at midnight? /spend time reflecting on the past year and creating a plan for making the most of the new one?

Researchers have discovered that transitional times (like the new year, or the beginning of a season) naturally motivate us as human beings to make changes and try new things.  That’s probably why we make New Year’s Resolutions, vow to lose weight, and go back to the gym, only to find it full.  It’s a natural time to “turn over a new leaf.”

For many years, I’ve used this time of year to look back on the previous 12 months and evaluate my experiences – as a leader, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and business owner.  I’ve often said that experience alone isn’t a good teacher.  But evaluated experience is.


Read more….. 

Found on The John Maxwell Co. 'The Leadership Wired Blog' 
January 7, 2015