Think Time

Jim Bierfeldt

Jim Bierfeldt is the founder and chief strategist at Logistics Marketing Advisors, a marketing firm that helps logistics businesses define and communicate their value, and then translate that value into revenue.

When it comes to the home, yard and garden, my wife and I are the perfect combination of creativity and brawn.

She’s the decorator, gardener and landscape architect with an eye for where pictures should be hung and where new perennials should be planted.  I am the (shockingly low-paid) labor, dutifully hammering, digging and otherwise executing her vision.

She imagines.  I sweat. think

In logistics marketing land, that handy division of labor isn’t always possible. You may need to be both thinker and doer.  The problem with that is, when there’s a lot to be done, “do time” wins out over “think time” – every time.

Prioritize think time

Think time is important to all marketers, but it’s particularly important in logistics marketing.

The executives to whom we sell are already drowning in promotional emails, advertisements, white papers, and webinar invitations. When we are immersed in program execution and hitting deadlines, we run the risk of just creating and promoting more and more of the same stuff.  We need to give prospects LESS of what they’ve seen before and MORE genuinely new ideas delivered in creative ways.

That requires think time.  Door-closed, phone-silenced, email-off think time.  When every hour of every day is spoken for with meetings, phone calls and program execution, big picture thinking gets lost.

Finding time to think

Here are some things I do to prioritize think time keep the creative juices flowing:

  • Schedule “think time” on the calendar. Block out time to think through a particularly tough strategic challenge, like how to generate more leads, or coming up with a more effective creative strategy for your advertisements. Turn off email during this block. The constant pings interrupt your thought flow. If it’s an emergency, keep your mobile handy for an urgent text.
  • Listen to podcasts while driving. Turn drive time into thinking time with a mix of marketing-focused and more general podcasts. I like Duct Tape Marketing, TEDTalks Business, and Unmistakable Creative. If the content triggers an idea I can apply, I’ll interrupt the podcast and capture the thought using my iphone voice memo feature.
  • Turn exercise time into think time. This works for me because my turtle-like, 12-minute-mile pace lets me relax and get lost in my thoughts.
  • Read. Your inbox is likely filled with way more “how to do this better” stuff than you can ever read. But exposing yourself to a steady stream of ideas is important, so choose the people or organizations whose blogs, newsletters and tweets are truly worthwhile and carve out the time to read – maybe early morning or weekends. New ideas and approaches will undoubtedly surface. And don’t forget books. Anything by Seth Godin is a worthwhile read for logistics marketers.

What works for you?

Remarkable is just an idea away. Create time in your schedule to allow these ideas to surface.


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