Creators_Block_iTunes-01.pngWhat Inspired This Episode?

Since the beginning of the year, the team here at Quintain has been partnering with another local company (Skyline Technologies), to work on some “soft skills.” While the word “soft” might lead you to believe we are hanging out doing trust falls all day, don’t be fooled. These facilitated workshops focus on the tough stuff, like communication and leadership. These are big concepts and it poses an even bigger challenge putting these concepts into practice with a team that spans both coasts.

Last week, Kathleen and I headed to our final leadership session of the year. It was a full day packed with massive reflection on what we’ve learned and why. It led me to re-read a few of the articles we had touched on in previous months. The really great thing about taking the time to look back is that it gives you new perspective and builds on your experiences. Sometimes things appear differently the second or third time around, and that’s exactly what happened when I re-read “Reclaim Your Job” and “Beware the Busy Manager,” by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal for Harvard Business Review.

Both articles had such an immediate impact, I quickly forwarded them to Liz.

We both reacted similarly, quickly determining that both articles had been written about and to us. There was no contest that the biggest thing we have struggled with in the past and are still struggling with today is the constant push and pull between being busy vs. being productive.

It’s so easy to confuse the two – whether you work at an agency like us, balancing so many different client demands and/or the demands of a business itself, or you’re a business owner. (Heck, this conversation probably applies to anyone making their way in the professional world – marketers, entrepreneurs or otherwise.)

So, naturally we decided to take a deep dive into both articles for this week’s episode, in order to determine how we can be more productive and improve our own work-life blend.

Listen to this Episode:

So, What Did We Talk About?

  • Our first experience with video marketing and being on the other side of the camera with at Quintain’s Video PDQ event.
  • Are managers and other professionals really as busy – or short on resources – as they say they are?
  • Is there a difference between being busy and being productive?
  • How does focus and energy play into how effective or purposeful you’ll be in your role?
  • What’s the real reason behind procrastination? Or is there more than one?
  • Why do we need to overcome the psychological desire to be indispensable at work?
  • How do you take back control over your calendar?
  • What bad habits are you enabling others that gobble up your time?
  • Will Liz and I ever give the same answer to our secret question? Today might be the day…

Here’s What We Had to Say:


“Oh, there is a fine line between dumb and stupid, and I’ve danced across it many a time.”

“Quintain is not going to close its doors if I cease to exist, which sounds a little harsh. But keeping that reality check in my mind means I can say, ‘Okay, I didn’t check my work email after 7 p.m. tonight. Stop feeling guilty about it.'”

“It’s all cyclical. There’s always an email to answer. There’s always a phone call to take. There’s always an alternate priority to sitting down and thinking or reflecting.”

“You have to be focused on making sure you’re the one in control of your schedule.”


“There are some people out there who I don’t think could possibly survive in a world where they actually attribute responsibility to themselves. The world will always happen to them.”

“You can’t have a ‘Look busy, Jesus is coming,’ attitude about everything in your life, because you’ll just be spinning your wheels.”

“I think this is something that people succumb to a lot. That they don’t have the ability to change their surroundings.”

“Sometimes, depending on the depth of your organization, you’re going to find a lot of managers that end up also having to be the executors.”

Here Are the Resources We Talked About:

Get in Touch and Spread the Creator’s Block Love

What did you think of this episode? Is there another topic or question you want us to take on? Or do you just want to say hi? Reach out to us on Twitter at @CreatorsBlockHQ or using the hashtag #creatorsblockparty. You can also say hi to me at @jhyphenl or Liz at @naptownpint.

And don’t forget – whether you love us or hate us – we would really appreciate you reviewing our podcast on iTunes!

…until next week!