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Tracking WOnder - brand and innovation June

Best Articles in Brand & Innovation for June

Tracking WOnder - brand and innovation JuneEvery month Tracking Wonder brings you some of the best articles from across the web that have stopped us in our tracks or given us pause to think and consider perspectives in creativity, brand, and innovation.

This month we’ll look at getting in the creative zone, the importance of company culture, and the psychology behind picking color for your brand.

With help from Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros, I’ve gathered and curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence – all via storytelling, brand, and innovation. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Consistency for Success

The Power of Consistency For Business Growth

Tracking Wonder - Consistency for Success

Consistency is your ally to steady growth in creativity, business, and life.

While it may sound unsexy, you know and I know the best laid plans will fail without a dedication to consistency. If you’re running a small business or you’re a solopreneur, the power of consistency for success is particularly relevant. Here’s a few ways that consistency will fuel growth for your business and life. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Persistent Sprints Build Books & Businesses

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Are you time-strapped or focus-challenged, but keen on writing a book or have a business to build?

It might seem counter-intuitive – even threatening to your cherished beliefs – to imagine writing a book or building your signature business Story 15, 30, 45 minutes at a time. But that’s how you can do it.

Fantasies trap us.

When we imagine writing a book or building our newest business artistry endeavor, we conjure images of languid, lush hours mulling, creating, wandering, and – eureka! – you’re writing that brilliant book or launching that extraordinary endeavor. It’s terribly romantic. Read more

Image: Unsplash

Basecamp Templates: A Delightful Time-Saver

Image: Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

Guest Post by Erin Haworth, Tracking Wonder’s Systems Shark

The Remote Team’s Time Challenges

I’m fortunate to be Tracking Wonder’s operations manager and overseer of a dynamo team of remote contractors. It’s common for three or four team members to be working on one client’s brand story, strategy, website and online assets at any given time.

Projects like these require lots of coordination and lots of collaboration. But that’s not a simple task considering our team doesn’t work from a single brick-and-mortar studio. We need an entire team to operate on the same page even though we span 4 time zones, 6 states, and 2 countries.

Our projects also require we be responsive to each other and to our clients in a timely fashion. Again, not easy. But that’s what I do at Tracking Wonder – I track problems until I find a viable solution. Read more

Boost Creativity Shape Time

12 Riffs to Help Boost Creativity & Shape Time

Boost Creativity Shape Time

I know that finding time to do the stuff you’re most passionate about is hard.

In these times, it’s hard to ignore the shifting cultural causes that call you to act.

As creative thinkers conventional planners and time management systems don’t cut it. Neither do random sticky notes plastered on your computer.

In light of this fact, I created a productivity tool and time management system designed for professionals, thought leaders, business owners, and creatives called the Mind Rooms Guide. It’s been developed based on the psychology of creative thinking and productivity.

Here are some thoughts on how to boost creativity and Shape Time to Act.

1. REMEMBER THE DEAD LINE.

In 1944, Miklos Radnoti knew the Nazis would shoot him and the other Jews marching across Hungary any day, any hour. When his wife later had his body exhumed from a mass grave, they would find a notebook of poems tucked in his field jacket’s pocket. Somehow, he stealthed out a pen, the sound of gunfire rattling like bones, and wrote a series of poems.

Radnoti’s persistence is a haunting reminder of my mortality, of this odyssey’s limited time.

The pressure of time, the fact of mortality, the real dead line, compels me to create, and to create with awareness and intention.

2. TANGO WITH TIME.

All of us creatives tango with time. Most creatives cannot wait until their kids go off to college or until retirement or until divorce or until they quit a job to begin their real work. Gratified creatives with packed lives create before the family gets up or in “pockets of time” – on the subway or in the forty-eight minutes between when their children have fallen asleep and before they themselves fall asleep.

One way or another, we’d be wise to make peace with time, stop fighting it, and avoid bemoaning its scarcity. There’s plenty of time to be had, it turns out, and if we can’t change the way chronological time works, then we can change the way we work with it.

Instead of managing time like some begrudged worker, we can shape it. Think of yourself as a potter more than a manager.

To show up and shape time as a creative has less to do with calendars and more to do with loving the mind. And the body.

Creativity is not about waiting for the muse – despite Elizabeth Gilbert’s charming spin on the Greek muse.

Creativity is about showing up and shaping time for the muse. Read more

dude at desk

How to Stop Fighting Time

dude at desk

We business artists are blessed and cursed with a generative mind – the ability to come up with lots of ideas.

You may be feeling the effect of shifting cultural causes calling you to act. How do you find the time in an already profoundly packed schedule for your deep creative work?

Sunni Brown, named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, nailed the problem this way: “Discerning which opportunities to pursue has been a bogeyman in my creative work for years. I just couldn’t settle on the criteria for choosing.”

Read more

tracking wonder relax for productivity

How to Take Breaks That Improve Creativity & Productivity

tracking wonder relax for productivity

Finding time to do your most creative work is hard.

An optimal work-and-create flow is an extended period of time in which your mind and body are performing at their best when engaged in high-thinking and high-imagining tasks and projects. You sustain focus, your body’s fire stays stoked, your attitude flourishes, your imagination hangs from the monkey bars.

It’s pretty typical to get overwhelmed by obligations and tasks that don’t leave much time for the projects that light us up.

In light of today’s cultural causes, now more than ever you may be feeling called to act.

But most of us know that pulling all-nighters and pumping our bodies with caffeine does not an optimal work-and-create flow make. Read more

The Art of Prioritizing Projects

juggle

Puijilittatuq—“he does not know which way to turn because of the many seals he has seen come to the ice surface” –Inuktitut, Canadian Arctic

When it comes to the myriad project possibilities that pop to the surface for creatives and business artists, Puijilittatuq is an apt metaphor.

People have repeatedly asked me for advice on how to prioritize which projects to execute now versus later or never.

Here’s the tension for many of the people and organizations with whom I work: Possibilities seem unlimited, but potential is limited. The wide-eyed creatives and business artists I’ve witnessed who flounder amidst possibilities tend to misspend their energy, attention, and potential—all of which are finite.

They get frustrated, even paralyzed by poly-ideation, poly-passions, and poly-possibility.

Best not to be a Pollyanna and think you can do everything and do it right now.

When working on multiple projects, at least one key difference exists between those creatives and business artists who flounder and those who flourish.

Their ability to learn to discern.  Read more

Bypass Overwhelm & Make Your Art Happen This Year

make_art_not_war_by_v_imagine_l-d33i8gf

You likely have meaningful art of some kind that you yearn to create if not finish this year.

But here’s the paradox we eager creatives live in: Possibilities seem limitless while our human potential is limited.

There are four common obstacles we mortals must face:

  • You have limited time.
  • You have limited capacity to focus before your squirrel mind gets distracted with twenty other ideas.
  • You have limited capacity to come up consistently with novel and useful ideas.
  • And you have limited sweat, stamina, and blood sugar to burn so you can discern and execute on the worthy ideas.

What to do?

I’m inviting you to a free coaching call to discuss how you can leverage your limitations and bypass overwhelm so you can flourish instead of flounder when inevitable challenge, change, and chaos come your way this year.  Read more

The Art of Shaping Instead of Cursing Time

boohandMy four-month-old girl gawked at my gesticulating form from across the study.

From her jungle-motif seat, she watched my hands as they whipped hieroglyphs – words and arrows and grids – on my new white board wall adhered to the new sliding barn doors. I was determined to get perspective on what projects I could advance – and how.

How was I going to continue being a loving hubbie while also advancing a book, launching teaching programs, designing events, meeting responsibilities to speak and present and write, and – oh yeah – care for this precious creature entrusted to me?

My daughter’s life span, curiously, correlates with a period when I learned to shape time in ways that have led to my greatest periods of productivity, creativity, and impact.  Read more