I've been thinking about how to get the most out of my work time lately.
Things are so busy here at the moment that the only time I really get to think about this is when I'm running. (Being busy is great - we're working on some really good work for our clients and also lots of lovely new business things are around so it's lovely to have lots of things to test me and to learn from.)
(Also, I still haven't figured out the best way to track my thoughts when running - I can't carry a Moleskine and a dictaphone just ends up with lots of wheezing on it. I think of so many things when I'm running, by the time I get back I've forgotten them all...)
Anyway - I hastily sketched this out when thinking about getting the most from my work time:
You see, in a sentence, I think Planners should be thought of more as a Creative Team, and less so an Account Team.
In order to spit good things out, you need to soak good things up. And lots of soaking up is needed to spit out a small amount of relevant stuff. (The key word there for me is 'relevant' - spitting out lots of stuff is kinda easy, but spitting out the right stuff is what sorts the wheat from the chaff in my mind.)
Of course during a recession, timescales change, plans change, and watching YouTube for inspiration doesn't really go down too well with the people at the top of the tree unless it's chargeable time. But for me, we need to remember the longer term plan when we look at things like this. It's easy to chain people to the desk and whip them 9 hours a day, but I reckon the output would suffer.
It's second nature for me to be interested in everything. When I'm not sat at the desk I'm thinking about the same stuff anyway. I could be running, in the boozer with a friend or at a talk and ideas can pop into my head. Whether I'm sat at my desk or in these other places, the natural reaction is always "I wonder if that's useful to the stuff I'm working on?"
The trick in trying to sell the above model into the people that matter, though, is to try and make them understand that the 'soaking up' part of the model is just as important as the 'spitting out' part of the model. They're integral to each other:
- Expect me to spit stuff out all the time without soaking stuff up, and I'll get predictable;
- Allow me to soak stuff up for too long without a good opportunity to spit it out and I'll burst.
I'm happy that I'm very motivated and very much a self-starter. I'm pro-active and don't wait around for people to instruct me so I'm pretty good at finding the balance. What also helps me is that if I'm spitting stuff out a bit too much at work, then I soak stuff up in my free time. If I get the chance to soak stuff up when I'm at work, then it's good to spit it out in other ways at home - that's when this blog or other side interests come in handy.
Having this time outside of work is integral to me, and if I didn't live and breathe advertising it wouldn't be possible to do this. I guess it's another part of the Planning mix: living it, breathing it.