Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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Speaker Ads

speakersAs a Marketing major in college I studied advertising theory. In one of my textbooks was a picture of some speakers and the quote “Ever notice how you don’t pay attention to speaker ads until you need some speakers?” The point being that if you are not receptive to what’s being advertised then you tend to not pay attention to the ads. I have found that this is true in many things, not just advertisements. If something is not immediately applicable to you, the chances of you processing and retaining it decreases greatly.


The primary concept of communication (the academic study) is that of the message. The message contains information and (for lack of a better term) direction. In the case of a speaker ad, the information is that “hey here are some speakers you might want to buy” and the direction is a magazine ad. There is another part to a message and that is successful receipt, and this is where life becomes difficult for advertisers because receipt is completely out of their control. Think about the day after the Super Bowl. You are talking with people at the office about your favorite commercials and invariably, there will be one that you all remember but can’t remember what it was advertising. The receipt of the message got lost.


So what does all this have to do with balance? Simple. I often can’t remember what I’m going to be doing a couple of weeks from now. I have a PDA with a calendar that I keep my important dates on because without it, I’d never remember them. My lovely wife will tell me we are going to be doing something but the message never gets received and it is suddenly a surprise to me when I we have plans. The message has information and direction, but my receipt of it just did not happen.


So what can I do about it? Obviously paying closer attention when she speaks would help immensely, but I’ve discovered that 9 times out of 10 it isn’t that I wasn’t paying attention; it more along the lines of the information is received and stored momentarily but then removed.


I like to think that I’ve got a lot of things on my plate and in my head so there is less room to remember things like this, but then again I can recite practically all of the movie “Better Off Dead” by memory but not remember what year my son was born. So clearly it is not storage space that is the issue but rather how I apply the information I received.


So for the next few months, I’m going to try an experiment where I write down things like dates of activities and at the end of the day I’ll jot them all down in a master calendar. I feel by starting a process I will better be able to deal with my lack of conscious memory. Let me know what ways you try to keep track of the things you need to do. I’d love to compare ideas.