Category: Time Management

Fighting the Winter Blues with the Posture Book Club

As we dig our heels into the second month of 2021, I often find it tough to keep the energy and momentum that I had coming right out of a restful holiday season. One thing that always helps keep me focused until warmer days arrive is diving into a book that focuses on a particular aspect of productivity or organization.

A few members of our creative team decided to test this out together. We agreed we would followup with each other and share what we read in order to help keep that information in our brains and put it to good . And thus, the Posture Book Club was born.

Check out our selections below – additional recommendations are welcome!

Joey’s pick:

“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

Creativity is something that’s really hard to turn on and off and is often impossible to force. While the title of this book is attention-grabbing, it was the subtitle that made me want to read more: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.

Joey

Kat’s pick:

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

I love that design can be used as a tool to influence people and inform the greater good – what better way to brush up on your communication skills than reading one of the biggest 20th-century handbooks on influential communication?

Kat

Mat’s pick:

“Manage Your Day-to-Day” by 99u + Jocelyn L. Glei

I’ve read this book before years ago…so much has changed since then so quickly. I wanted to read it again to see where I can sharpen up and improve how I run my days.

Mat

Tony’s pick:

“Hyperfocus” by Chris Bailey

Everyone knows I wrote the book on how to focus, but I figured I’d give this one a try. What were we talking about?

Tony

Video Q&A: Heir to The Sleigh Edition

Hello and welcome to Posture’s Video Q&A: Heir to The Sleigh Edition! Today we’re chatting with Sal and Charles about our interactive holiday video, Heir to the Sleigh. Join us for an inside look at the creative process and technical organization that is required for a successful interactive video project.

What was your initial reaction to the idea of an interactive video?

Sal: I knew this was a cool idea from the start! It’s not like any traditional narratives we had done in the past. When you start to make it interactive (similar to the movie Bandersnatch) and add branching paths into the mix, the project starts to get more exciting.

How did you organize such a content-heavy project?

Sal: Once the script came together we immediately started taking all that information and putting it into a visual flowchart (as shown). The chart was very handy on production day!

Charles: Along with the chart we also set up a team project in Adobe Premiere. I worked on the color correction and initial setup while Sal did the cutting. We attacked this project scene by scene, giving each one a number and its own sequence.

What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Charles: A challenge we faced was developing the right solution for the user experience without sacrificing our vision for the video. We found a few services that did what we were trying to accomplish, but they were for much larger projects. Luckily, our awesome development team was able to save the day with a semi-custom solution.

Sal: Another challenge was our limited time window to shoot all the video content for the project in just one day. So, we decided to keep the execution of the shoot as simple as possible!

Tell us about the editing process and how user decisions influenced the story.

Charles: It was very segmented and organized. Every path had to be siloed to keep our organization and each scene was given its own sequence. An important thing we had to keep in mind with any large video project is quality control. For example, if we do a color correction to one iteration of a clip we have to be sure we’re keeping that color consistent throughout any scenes whenever that shot is used.

Sal: I was surprised to see  how much complexity is added to a video project when you start introducing multiple paths. It definitely took a lot of effort and devotion to maintaining an overall picture of the final product. Oh and LOTS of flowcharts!

Was there anything you would have done differently?

Charles: I try to not look at a project like this as ever completely ‘done’, there’s always improvements that can be made, and keeping it open in my mind can set you up for success.

Sal: The obvious answer is “more time for pre-production”. In a perfect world, every project would have exactly the amount of time needed to plan everything out but that isn’t always the case.

Charles: I agree, but it was still exciting for us to push the limit on something like this!

What would you tell someone interested in video production?

Start yesterday! Your first video won’t be perfect; mine definitely wasn’t. But use whatever tools you’ve got at your disposal, even if it’s just your phone, and get creative! Start assembling a crew of collaborators, friends, supporters, and people who bring out the best in you, mentally and creatively. A lot of cool stuff can come from a group of inspired creators!

Sal Bulzoni

To anyone who has an interest in video production learn from everyone, everywhere! There are so many differing opinions on everything, so listen to people’s production stories, they can teach you a lot.

Charles Ferran

You just got Sandstormed

Did you ever have one of those days where the clock magically turns from 10:15 am to 5:15 pm and you have no idea how that happened?  Somewhere between meetings, emails, unexpected visitors and scope creep, you completely lost track of your day and now your head is spinning in disappointment and confusion. You’ve just been sandstormed.

Named after the popular trance techno song of the same name, “Sandstorm” is our Posture term referring to our day being thrown into fast-forward.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the song, but just in case, you can check out the original 1999 track by Finnish DJ and record producer Darude (listen here).

The seven-minute song has an iconic repetitive beat that embodies sheer speed and momentum. When Spotify played this song one too many times in a single day, our entire office found ourselves transported throughout the day with no reason behind the rapid passing of time or scattered nature of our brains. That’s when we coined the term: we had been sandstormed.

FUN FACT:
The song’s name came from the text on the startup screen of the synthesizer used in the song.

So how can you avoid the storm?

Well, first of all, don’t listen to Darude in the office. But the real problem behind an office sandstorm is time management, something we all struggle with.  Here are some ways we try to avoid the storm:

Stop multitasking

Whether we want to admit it or not, our brains are not natural multi-taskers and shifting between tasks and yielding distractions does, in fact, slow us down.

Avoid multi-tasking

Forbes reports “Changing tasks more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of 10 points.”

Make a list and check it twice. In our office we use a phenomenal project management system called Asana. With fun checkboxes, project lists subtasks and all notes and conversations housed in one place, it keeps us on task and all tasks in one place.

Stay conscious of the time.  I went through a phase where my mac was set to obnoxiously announce the time every hour on the hour. While it was a creepy robotic voice that was startling to the entire office, it was immensely helpful in giving me a reality check on how long I had spent on a particular task…or how much time I spent avoiding a particular task.

You don’t need to watch the clock to be aware of the time

Track your time

Our agency runs on time as our currency, so it makes sense that we track all of hours as an essential part of our billing system. But it’s easy to rack up three-hours of uncategorized or unbillable time. Treat your own business like you would a client. Maybe no one is pulling those hours for a bill, but at the end of the week you’ll be able to review the data… you’d be surprised how much time you spend answering emails!

Time management

How does the Posture team manage time?

Gabriella Santos

“I like to make small lists and accomplish each task one-by-one.”

Gabby


Kathryn Bondi

“I schedule blocks of time for my daily tasks so that way I’m not bouncing around aimlessly between to-do’s.”

Kat


“Everything kinda feels important to me, so I try to break it down into three categories: critical non-negotiable (eat, sleep, etc.), critical (the meat of the day), and important (everything else).”

Mat


“When it’s time to focus, I throw on headphones and avoid eye contact.”

Jamie


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