Articles

Neuroscience of Organization

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I’m fascinated by books on how we can improve our thoughts, patterns, and ideas. Unfortunately, many of these get trashed away in the “self-help” section. Unfortunate not because of the content, which is brilliant, but because of a certain stigma that goes along with being caught in the “self-help” section.

I absolutely love that section of the bookstore. It holds some amazing truths and poses questions that can enhance our daily lives. One of my favorite books is Getting Things Done, by David Allen.

In his interview from the Washington Post, researcher Daniel Levitin explores the link between multi-tasking and a lack of productivity, amongst other things. He talks about how good organization is scientifically PROVEN to help the brain function better. One of the salient ideas is that our brain is not capable of true multitasking. In that sense, we are much more like an iPhone that an Android. We are hardwired to do one thing well at a time, and we tend to jump from thing to thing when we multitask. The problem with this is that we don’t allot enough time to finish one individual task, and our brain has to “reboot” briefly between ideas, costing us valuable time and resources. But as research has proven, multi-tasking can release dopamine into our synapses, making us FEEL good inside.

What’s the lesson? The lesson is to stick to the task at hand, even if it doesn’t necessarily feel like the best thing to do in a given moment. Have a clear, concise goal and map, and an agenda to keep yourself to it. Use your calendar religiously, and find some system of organization that can help you stay on task.

For more information, and to read the entire interview, check out the Washington Post article here.

Planning Meetings and Booking Entertainment for Corporate Events

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It’s Friday afternoon, and you’re about to enjoy a relaxing weekend away from work. Suddenly your boss looms from above — “I’d like to put you in charge of planning our upcoming function.” Even though this is the last thing you would like to do, you really have no choice. Planning a meeting or seminar can seem like an impossible proposition, and the need to find unique entertainment for corporate events makes the task even harder. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can make your job easier.

  1. Prioritize. Discuss with your company the importance of different event components. These include your budget, entertainment for meetings, event location, date and time, catering, stage and decor, and event sound and lighting (A/V).
  2. Tackle your list one piece at a time, or build a committee, assigning components to different members. Make sure that confirmations are made in the same order as your priorities for the event. If entertainment is your top priority, for example, you’ll want to focus on booking quality corporate entertainment before anything else. Your other priorities (including date and time of the event) will revolve around the speaker’s schedule. If the venue has to be specific, lock it in before contacting anybody else. Done this way, you’ll make sure that your lower priorities are fulfilled without limiting options for the most important pieces of your event.
  3. Make sure that you set a realistic total budget for the event, and break it down according to your priorities. It’s almost certain that some vendors will cost more than anticipated because of their quality and demand, so know in advance whe that money will come from.
  4. Get creative with research. It’s obvious that most people go straight to Google for their research, but there are other viable options. Facebook can be used as a search tool as well. For example, if you were looking to hire a mentalist for corporate events, you can go to Facebook and type mentalist into the search box. If any of your friends have ‘Liked’ a particular performer, they will come up in the results box. This is a great way to get word of mouth recommendations without actually calling everybody you know! You can also visit review sites like Yelp.com, or ask other vendors for information. If you’ve already booked entertainment, for instance, you can ask them for a catering recommendation. If they’ve worked your area before, they’ll likely have a helpful suggestion.
  5. Have a backup plan. If your catering or lighting company has to cancel last minute for any reason, you need a few replacements in mind. But bear in mind, it’s important to get vendors with good track records. There are VERY few quality reasons for a vendor to cancel, and should they have to bow out, quality vendors will leave you set with a replacement.
  6. When all else fails, consider hiring a professional event planner. The demands of coordinating an event are many, and coupled with your normal job at the company, may be overwhelming. Explain the situation, and outsource to a quality planner or DMC (destination management company) in your area.

Hopefully this helps you to plan your next function and to secure your entertainment options in advance. For quality corporate entertainment, call corporate magician and corporate mentalist Kevin Viner.