By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

Kat in Italy: The Sweetness of Doing NothingPeople are always shocked when I tell them I’m going on vacation, renting a car and have no set agenda or reservations for a hotel room.

My preference to travel this way started years ago when my sister and I arrived in Amsterdam and our rental was a disaster. We just wandered the countryside for ten days, stopping at places that looked interesting and grabbing a room. We always say it was our favorite vacation together.

This was different than when we used to travel as a family. We were up at the crack of dawn and roaring down the road in our station-wagon towards the largest ball of string… and the next hotel reservation my father had booked for us.

The Largest Ball of String

My husband and I did see the largest ball of string a few years ago, but it was part of a one week wander that we did in Western Kansas seeing wide open spaces, outsider art and strange little museums. We were even invited back to a farmer’s house who we met at the largest round barn in the world. He wanted us to see his cows and windmills.

I try to savor the moment when I travel, because it’s easy to stay present in a new restaurant or place. I also like to savor what I call time affluence—free, unscheduled time.

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

Kat in Italy: The Sweetness of Doing NothingOne of my favorite Italian sayings is “Dolce far Niente”, which means “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

It does not mean being lazy, it’s referring to the pleasure one gets from being idle. The ability to completely enjoy and savor a moment. For Italians, this concept is a part of their every day life; spending time drinking cappuccino at a café, enjoying an Aperol Spritz at sunset, talking a stroll around the moonlit piazza before bed and spending the day at a beach.

Dolce far Niente is something Italians embrace and something they do very well.

Our Trip to Italy

John and I had the luxury of spending June and July in Italy this summer. He is a teacher, so he has those months available.

We spent most of our mornings drinking cappuccino and reading on the lovely beaches. And then afternoons enjoying historical places and churches. Finally a lovely, slow dinner late into the evening. We had no agenda and booked almost every room on the day of our stay.

We found farmhouses, small funky B&B’s, an 1,100 AD Monastery, a small round house called a trulli and a Napoleonic fort on the ocean. I always added the search  filter of free breakfast, free wi-fi and free parking when using The deals were incredible because we stayed in areas that had no American tourists. For example, unlike the $400/night hotel in Positano, we stayed 30 minutes away for $80/night in a beautiful Monastery carved into the side of a cliff. And we were the only ones there.

Traveling this way is scary to some people. Part of it is that we think we’re going to miss something. But what we forget is that serendipity is what we’re really missing—it’s the things that aren’t on our itinerary that are often the most important.

Kat in Italy: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing Kat in Italy: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing Kat in Italy: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

By LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

Time is not a commodity that many of us have these days. Perhaps this is even more so the case when it comes to business. Clients demand faster turnaround times to please their own customers. And sometimes opportunities spring up out of nowhere that require materials you don’t already have. At MEDiAHEAD, we understand the need for speed. And how it can help us edge out both our own and client’s competitors.

Why Speed Matters So Much to Businesses

In this digital world, companies need adaptability and flexibility in order to function at their best. For instance, fast-moving teams that can decide on a marketing campaign based on recent events and put it into action can leave competitors scrambling to catch up.

Back in 2016, the first Chicago-based company able to capitalize on the Chicago Cub’s first World Series Win for over a century by deciding on a baseball themed customer offer will have profited the most. By getting out flyers, radio ads, and online materials quickly, they could beat the competition to the punch. This is regardless of what industry they operate in. Which is why we fully understand how important turnaround times are when a client comes to us in a pinch.

We Go Above and Beyond When It’s Crunch Time for A Client

MEDiAHEAD: Our Speed Kills the CompetitionWe don’t tend to do things slowly here at MEDiAHEAD. We have an average project turn around within 24-48 hours.

However, sometimes we have clients who come to us desperate for the fastest possible turnaround times. Whether they need books, marketing materials, or kitting, we are always prepared to go the extra mile. We make sure everything gets delivered accordingly to their rapid time frames. (If you didn’t know, kitting is a process where separate but related items are grouped, packaged, and supplied together as one unit.)

For instance, we were recently able to turn around over 40 training manuals for a local bank in less than 24 hours. Another example is completing 140 kits for Helzberg Diamonds in just 2 hours so that they wouldn’t have to pay for expedited shipping!

Why Do We Place So Much Emphasis On Speed?

Not only do our clients love us for moving things around to accommodate their urgent needs, but who do you think they are going to come back to when they know they are under time pressure? Yes, that’s right. Us. Our speed kills the competition.

How can MEDiAHEAD Help You?

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD.

We recently had the weirdest week ever. I’m not really sure if the cause was the weather change or what, but thought you might like to hear about it.

The Stolen Truck

Weird and crazy started in the morning with a truck being stolen from the business next door. In plain site during the day. Just, BAM!

We have quite a few security cameras on our building. And the neighboring business knew this so they came over to see if our video captured the truck getting stolen. And yes, in fact we did have video documenting the crime, which was helpful for the police.

The Door-To-Door Cosmetics Salespeople

On two different occasions this same week, we had women come to our front door trying to sell us cosmetics. We’re thinking it must be a racket… Two different women at two different times? Kind of weird. (People do come in our door randomly…)

The Homeless Guy Who Wanted Business Cards

Homeless Guy's Business CardA homeless man who lives in his car came into our office. He was awesome… incredibly positive. He wasn’t letting his situation keep him down. He wanted to have some business cards printed! He wanted to be different…  and he wanted a way to let people know that he collects items that are different from all the rest.

He met with Michael Johnson who helped him with the design of his cards. He wanted a squirrel on the card, especially the feet. In other words, he wanted to make sure the printing bleed marks didn’t cut into the image. “The paws are so cute!” he said.

He had his spirit dog with him at all times. He lost his dog several years back, but the spirit of his dog is always with him. I loved this about him; he actually introduced me to his spirit dog and told me his dog is what keeps him happy and uplifted.

I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in life we forget to sit back take a good look at ourselves and think about how lucky we really are to have all the greatness around us.

Whether it’s a great relationship, great kids, great friends, a great job, a superb family, a house full of pets, or just a simple spirit dog that keeps you going.

To pay for his business cards, he wanted to trade us some 80’s CDs. We suggested he should get some money for the CDs… and donated his cards to him. And we wished him well.

You never know what’s going to happen in downtown Kansas City… and it was a weird week for sure!

By LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

“Sorry, I’m busy” is an excuse that spills out of our mouths far too often these days. Not only is it a poor excuse, it’s also demonstrably false according to recent studies carried out on our work habits.

So why do so many employees continue to use this phrase on a daily basis? And how busy are we really?

We’re Not as Busy as We Think We Are

Too busyBefore we think about uttering that phrase or a close equivalent, it’s useful to take a moment to look at the facts about how busy we truly are.

Recent studies have shown that we as Americans, are productive for only a small portion of our 8-hour work day. A survey of over 2,000 full-time office workers revealed some startling statistics. On average, we’re only productive for 2 hours 53 minutes of our 8-hour day.

That’s less than 3 hours.

It also uncovered that we tend to spend over an hour per day on non-work related websites, with an almost equal amount of time spent checking social media.

When you add in having chats with coworkers, taking smoke breaks, making and eating snacks, and of course making the obligatory round of office coffees, it’s not hard to see where all the time suddenly goes.

Perhaps the most interesting statistic from this study is that we spend almost half an hour per day looking for new jobs. And yet we are often “too busy” to help colleagues carry out meaningful work at our current place of employment, or taking the meeting from the sales rep who may benefit ones organization.

“I’m Busy!” Has Become Code for “I Don’t Want to.”

Too busyWhen colleagues approach us to get help with a task and we say we’re too busy, it’s often nothing to do with our current workload. Instead, it’s become a polite way of saying we don’t want to do something.

Think about it; let’s say your coworker needs help with a report that’s due to be presented to your respective manager tomorrow. You give the usual spiel about how you’d love to help, but your totally swamped with your own work. Sadly, it would take no more than 15 minutes to run over the figures with him.

And yet people don’t think twice about leaving early on a Friday, getting to work slightly late, or taking long lunches with coworkers. That’s before even mentioning the usual 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there that people dedicate to scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media platforms we enjoy.

Today, employees are wising up to the fact that “I’m busy” signifies that you don’t want to… not that you can’t.

Why “I’m Busy” Sends The Wrong Message

If “I’m busy” becomes the go to answer, then it creates a negative perception. You’re likely to need help with something yourself one day. If you’ve always been “too busy” to help others, then don’t expect people to form a line to give you their time when you’ve gotten stuck with a task you can’t do alone.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if people think you’re busy all the time then they won’t bother presenting you with opportunities. By always thinking about yourself, you’ll miss out on the opportunities to work on collaborative projects that could be vital to both your personal and professional growth.

Change Your Mindset

If you’ve fallen into the “I’m busy” trap, it might be time to remove those words from your business vocabulary. By making time to help colleagues, or take an additional meeting, not only can one build better working relationships, we can also create a network that we can go to too when we need help.

So next time you catch yourself saying, “Sorry, I’m busy”, really think about how busy you are. If possible, replace those words with your willingness to help. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.