About time management – By @mergalv

About time management

I was positive time management had no secrets for me. Easy peasy. I never missed a deadline at work in 4 years. And always managed to work in 3 to 7 projects at once. While keeping stakeholders happy. And clients and partners happy. My manager has always been happy. Myself? Relatively happy (OK, not always). I thought I knew how to organise my time for everything. And, of course, about switching off when on a break. I thought I was giving my 100% and that I was under a lot of pressure at that time.

What a fool.

Before I always was worried if people were able to understand what I said when talking in English. I haven’t got the luxury of  worrying about that anymore. The tasks and projects I have to simultaneously manage have tripled. Scabs deadlines. Gifs. Silent Movies. Replying office emails. Slack messages from the School. Slack messages from the Office. Masterclasses. Office Meetings. Deadlines. Live improv classes. Poetry. We also need to read books.Learn to do craft. And we need to be up to date with what happens in the outside world. Going to the shop to be able to feed myself. Sometimes all of this happens on the same day. It’s crazy.

So far my biggest discovery has been that adding things like “start boiling the beans soup”, or “take 15 minutes to eat” to the calendar doesn’t really work. Or at least for now. This is how it ended today:

I’m so lucky to have the “Switch camera off” option on Zoom when I started smelling my lovely “fabada asturiana” soup burning. 

Well, my calendar now says that  I’ve only one 1 hour to write a SCAB, let’s try to summarise a few points. Here’s the list of things I’ve learnt this week.

  • Hard work beats talent. No chance I (or anyone for that matter) missed that one
  • Idea comes first. The importance of spending more time working on the ideas and planning, than actually executing them
  • Set up your goal. What you stand for. Not just in advertising, but in life. What are we trying to achieve. Why is it worth all this effort. What’s that thing that will keep my spirits up once every bit of energy has run out
  • My portfolio needs to be one of the top three. And I have no doubt it will be.
  • Develop your own voice. Be critical. Question the status quo, how things are done
  • The idea is on the problem
  • Be confident in your skills. Fuck the impostor syndrome, we have reached this point because we deserve it, and I need to believe in myself, in being able to step up and overpower this challenge
  • Don’t be confident in your skills. Like Boris would say: Do it, but don’t do it… Be confident, but not too cocky.Be open minded when working in groups. Everyone has something interesting to say. At the same time, don’t get overwhelmed by that rich range of ideas. On the contrary, enjoy the diversity of skills and ideas that surround us, use them to enrich our view and get better and better
  • In breaks, switch off, focus on what you’re doing. Mindfulness class was really helpful,, it was an eye opener. I keep trying to breath through my heart!
  • Multitasking taken to a new level. I’m learning how to deal with twice as many tasks as before without feeling overwhelmed. I didn’t know it was possible to work for 12 hours and enjoy it, and feel they’ve flown
  • Hard work beats talent. Again.
  • Be a squirrel. Constantly collect thoughts and ideas. I have never used my iNote app so much as I did this weekend
  • Improv classes, how the “yes and” technique can lead a conversation to a crazy world, with lots of new concepts coming.

So keep it coming. It’s been a week but feels like a month. It’s amazing to be (virtually) around so many talented people, to keep learning new things every day. I can’t wait for the new challenges to come. To start working with real briefings. To double again the number of simultaneous tasks to focus at once. To learn how to have 100 ideas in 10 minutes like Marc mentioned the other day. I’m just warming up!

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