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How Curiosity Killed the Cannes Lion.

Are you a student of advertising? Do you absolutely love it? Are you soaking up all the cases, reading all the sites? Are you doing this so much that you leave little time and focus for your own work? This is a challenge many of us face – how to make time to keep up with all the incredible content that can help us do our jobs better, while making the time to focus on doing our jobs, on creating our work.

I have struggled with this as much as anyone. A creative person wants to know everything. Because what we do is create new and unexpected connections from within our broad range of disparate ideas and knowledge. We are always curious. Yet too much feeding at the troth of content and too little digestion can lead us to add very little value. We need our time to work. We need our time to add value to the material we have assimilated. We need our focus!

You can’t do it without a plan. Best-selling writer (and successful entrepreneur) Dan Heath told me that he writes his books on a computer without email or Internet connectivity. Let me tell you something, to spend any time with Dan is to know that this is an extremely focused and disciplined guy. And yet, he says that the only way he can focus on his work is to eliminate the possibility of distractions. He’s got a plan.

You need a plan. Write it down. Make sure it works with your responsibilities and the roles you play. This may take some creativity and negotiation with others. Have times when the email is off and the browsers are closed. Consider having times when the devices are shut down and in a drawer. In a world of work created on computer screens, ideas that emerge on a blank sheet of paper, or in a conversation, or on a cocktail napkin could stand out.

Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It: Make Your Focus Plan.

Follow Mark on Twitter @markdimassimo