Some of you who have been listening to the Beyond Productivity Series may have noticed something different in Episode 4. Or maybe you didn’t, which will show the point of this post.
It didn’t have an intro and outro jingle. Listen to the beginning and end of Episode 3 to see what was cut.
You may have also noticed that the vocal intro and outro was much shorter. Or maybe you didn’t, again showing the point of this post.
What’s In A Jingle?
A few projects attacked me yesterday during the time I had reserved for editing the audio. In case you’re wondering, it takes about 4 hours from opening Garageband to hitting submit on the post to complete each episode. Luckily, it’s one of those projects that doesn’t take a lot of creative juice to do.
Project attack happens. But yesterday was unusual for this time of the year in that it was actually tolerable outside here in Lincoln, which meant that Angela would want to go for a walk while it was warm.
The audio took a bit longer to prepare than I expected despite the flow I was in, and the waning daylight posed a hard constraint.
Then came the moment – I had finished editing the audio from the call. I looked outside – crap, only a little more time left.
I had a choice to make.
I could spend the additional 20 minutes splicing jingles and vocals, in which case we couldn’t go on the awaited walk together, or I could get the vocals in sans the jingle, post it, and go for the proposed walk. (Of course, I could have finished the audio later, but we were slated to hang out later that night. And I had committed to get the audio out yesterday.)
We had a nice walk.
It’s Not About the Jingles
The point of the story here has more to do with priorities than jingles. It’s entirely too easy for us to get wound up about things that probably won’t matter and let go of things that are important.
You see this when graphic designers spend hours obsessing over 3 pixels on something that only they will notice while their kids sit on the couch waiting on them to play. Or when programmers spend a week coding a feature that .5% of their user base cares about at the expense of sunlight, exercise, and the features that 80% of their users want. Or when entrepreneurs get stressed out about and over-plan for one-off contingencies that may not manifest or that, even if they did, could be managed successfully and faster when they happened than they could in the abstract.
Part of what I’ve been reminded of lately is the importance of taking all of your priorities seriously. Some of you may have thought I was being hyperbolic about the walk that created the deadline stress above, in which case I would ask why the default answer is to negotiate the personal aspect of our lives instead of the work-related aspect. Shouldn’t we take the time and expectations of the people we’re in meaningful relationships with as seriously as we take the time and expectations of other people?
The walk and time spent with my beautiful, supportive, and patient wife was important and needed. The jingles were, well, jingles.
Think about it.
Joely Black (@TheCharmQuark on Twitter) says
This is very true. It’s so crucial to remember what really matters; so much is lost when we forget that.
Joely Black (@TheCharmQuark on Twitter)s last blog post..TGIAD: There’s so much going on I don’t know where to begin
Christine Martell says
What a lovely reminder. So simple in concept, yet so not in practice.
Christine Martells last blog post..More about seeing color differently
Mike Stankavich says
Charlie, I didn’t even notice that there was no jingle. Interesting that having a secondary design element missing was far less noticeable than something that’s inappropriately intrusive or distracting. I like that you mentioned Angela by name in this post. It’s a nice personal touch that I don’t recall seeing before.
And of course thanks for reminding us to focus on the essence. As an enterprise software developer I see a lot of cases where developers build unwanted or unneeded features. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that our audience doesn’t have the intimate familiarity of the details that we do. Things we see as huge or glaring are barely noticeable to them and do not add value from their perception. And that’s the perception that matters.
Good choice. The other day, I made the choice to spend some time outside too in the unseasonably warm weather. I love this choice in the context of the project being a discussion about productivity too.
Duffs last blog post..duffmcduffee: Researching PageRank. Google.com is 10, but Yahoo.com is only 9. Hmmm…do I smell bias?
Nathalie Lussier says
I think you made the right choice. 🙂 Your insights on priorities is great, I think you show a very balanced way of life. A great example, and also a queue that maybe I should go and spend some time away from my computer. 😉 Thank you Charlie!
Nathalie Lussiers last blog post..55 Green Budget Tips to Show Nature You Love Her
Excellent point and something we should all think about more often.
In fact, the thing that is concerning me about growing my business is precisely the balance between that and other things, particularly how available I am to my kid (who is homeschooled, so it isn’t like I just do it while she’s not here). I’m still mulling but so much of the advice about “time management” (which I hate) is purely about managing your “work” time as if that is easily separable from other things. Sure, if you go into the office, you can set clear boundaries between work and non-work, but one of the attractions of self-employment for me is that I don’t want that.
JoVEs last blog post..business is going…
It does come down to choice. I like opening and closing beds (jingles) in my podcasts. I think the art (music) moves people into space- art serves transistion. So, the 30 minutes it takes me to make a set of beds for an entire series of podcasts is time I want to spend. It’s fun to do and it’s my work. My work is fun.
For some people, the 3 pixels problem and its fix are important so the fix bring them joy. However, perfectionism is an enemy and if there is no joy in nothing but “perfect” then perhaps the priorities are lost.
I hope I am illustrating your comments. I love to do these kind of goofy things in podcasts. If jingles aren’t your thing, then skip them. I’ll still listen.
All choices. Thanks for the good things you folks are talking about here. Nicely done.
Seans last blog post..Storytelling for Business Podcast, Number 2
@Joely: So much is lost, indeed. The frustrating thing is how much harder it is to regain them once we’ve lost them.
@Christine: Yep – my new question is “Is this a jingle?” It’s been working on the short-term; let’s see how it pays off in the long term.
@Mike: I hadn’t realized that I’d never mentioned Angela by name. We’re starting to take our online stuff new directions, though – so you’ll probably see her name a lot more. If only I could get her to write about the stuff SHE comes up with which is often way better than stuff I come up with.
I also like the asymmetry you bring out in the first part of your comment. I hadn’t really thought much about that, either.
@Duff: Interesting that you brought out the context of this. I find myself asking, also – “what would the panel think about this?” I love the different perspectives that come up as I imagine what each of you would say.
@Nathalie: I’m working on consistency on that front, to be honest. Some days I get the right balance, and other days I’m way off. The trick has been finding what works without beating myself up about when things don’t work.
@JoVe: I, too, have been grappling with similar issues. What happens when work becomes an internal pursuit rather than an external pursuit? How do you balance time between things that are important along different axes? How can we set healthy deadlines and honor them without getting uber freaked out about them?
As you can tell, I’m writing more as I things become clearer to me.
@Sean: I agree with you – the jingle bits can be fun. So it wasn’t about choosing between something I didn’t want to and something I did want to do; rather, it was about choosing between two things I wanted to do. It turns out that one was clearly more important than the other.
Andre Kibbe says
Glad to see you put “elaborate jingle intros” on your not-to-do list. “Back in the day,” when podcasts were new, they rarely had musical intros and outros. I personally never miss jingles, which seem to be a convention copied from older media. While they make great auditory “logos,” the point of diminishing returns is probably 5-8 seconds. You made the right choice by avoiding overproducing things. It saved you time and it saves the listeners time.
Andre Kibbes last blog post..Outsourcing Life: Sid Savara on Virtual Assistants
@Andre: I really appreciate your feedback here, for two reasons: you’re part of the cast, and I have a dude-crush on you. Angela has commented about it in the past, but it’s true.