Advertising
Advertising

Experience Building

Experience Building

The difference between Starbucks and McDonalds from a coffee perspective is what? The experience. Starbucks wants almost $4 for a cup of coffee near me, and McDonalds wants $2. Starbucks wants $6 an hour for wifi, and McDonalds wants $2. It’s far more cost effective for a road warrior to sit in a McDonalds doing their internet chores.

But would you tell a client you’re sitting in a McDonalds? Would you say Starbucks? See?

I think the difference is in the experience and how it’s been crafted. By the way, McDonalds is working on it. They’re putting in leather sofas and tile and all kinds of things to support a change of experience. But enough about my example. Let’s talk about experience building and how it relates to life hacking.

Advertising

Experiences

I’m using this term as a noun. I mean to call this something similar to a “chapter” or a “scene” in a book or play. An experience has a beginning, middle and end. An experience is a small measurement, where an “event” is the larger collection of these. Going to a wedding is an event (a series of experiences). Having a private moment with the two sets of parents in a private setting by a stream during the reception is an experience. Make sense?

Experiences can be built around job interviews, if you’re the interviewer. A series of experiences can be built into a dinner party. One might be the entrance to the party. You can let guests come right to the door, or you can start the evening with a big banner that says, “Bring your best ideas to this dinner.” A team meeting can be an experience. A software code review can be an experience.

Advertising

Oh, a quick disclaimer: just because you craft an experience doesn’t mean people will get the desired result you want. I once went to a well-crafted dinner party. The hostess had French cuisine, soft lighting, lots of new artwork for us to view, and a carefully crafted series of compact discs loaded with the soundtrack of our night. Two discs in (and several beverages later), someone said, “Hey, I’ve got the sountrack to ‘Undercover Brother’ with me!” Off went the hostess’s disc; in went the

Elements of an Experience

The following are the elements or levers or building blocks that you can use to generate an experience:

Advertising

  • people- you need someone to experience the experience. Right?
  • time of day- is a breakfast meeting more fun than dinner?
  • lighting- Barry White or 2001 white?
  • music- Soundtracks to experiences
  • food- if you serve pizza or jumbo shrimp skewers, what’s the difference?
  • mood- your face and tone set the stage too, right?
  • props- having a cookout? What would some inflatable palm trees do? Bring sponge gavels to the next meeting.
  • scripts- this gets hoaky, but remember, you can plan the conversations a bit, or at least seed them.
  • plants- not bushes, but people allied to the cause. Imagine a dinner party where you “hire” friends to make sure the conversation works right.

Why Bother?

Sometimes, the reason to bother is self-explanatory. When you plan a birthday party, you’re crafting an experience. Why wouldn’t you want it to be fun? Do you have pin the tail on the donkey? That’s an experience within the event. Are you planning a pirate theme? Ditto.

The plan here, or the way to think of this, is to consider the crafting of experiences in non-traditional settings. How would a team meeting feel if you took some account to some of the elements listed above? Do you need your team to be more energetic? Why bring them to a room in the building with no windows, nothing but white? Bring them to the mall. Take them somewhere that stimulates. Go out to a nature observatory.

Advertising

Mod This

Have you noticed that I write most of my hacks with the ending reading something like How would YOU change this? That’s on purpose. The best hacks are the kind you can make your own, right? Before iTunes and playlists, I had to just deal with other people’s sorting methods for my music. Before blogging software, I had to craft HTML to fake it. But my blog is different than this blog, is different than blog software pressed into service as a catalog.

Posting comments about how you’d make this hack your own is part of the process. That grows the experience. We love to read them. Most of you have received personal emails from me after a comment. That’s because the conversation is part of the hack and the offering of such.

Jump in. Tell me it’s stupid. Tell me how to take the part that works. Move it forward.

–Chris Brogan is Chief Content Officer of Grasshopper New Media. He blogs at [chrisbrogan.com], which lately has been pretty much nonstop PodCamp. That’ll change soon.

More by this author

7 Uses for a Virtual Machine When Emailing Think Press Release Mail, BrainDump, Mail, Do Stretch Goals Matter You Had me at Insane

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 2 How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You 3 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go 4 How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries 5 How to Manage Anxiety: Sound Advice from a Mental Health Expert

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

Advertising

3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Advertising

6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

Advertising

9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

Advertising

Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

Read Next