Distraction – By @FMickshik


“This piece of diction is the intro to Distraction Pieces

That’s all the sh*t that flies around my head and keeps me sleepless”

The first two lines I’ve borrowed from Scroobius Pip. The rest are all mine. Distraction: it’s been a theme of my first two days at SCA. I’m easily distracted, it’s in my nature. Or perhaps nurture – being a child of the smartphone generation has hardly helped. My mind wanders, I jump between stray thoughts, I find it hard to switch off at night. It’s something I’m conscious of, concentration is often a forced act for me.

Day one was a sensory overload. After 6 months of minimal social interactions, there were 35 new pals to meet. And Marc, Marcia, Amy and Max. While getting my bearings of the school campus. While getting to grips with the online campus. And Slack. And Google Drive. While trying to commit every solid gold nugget of wisdom Marc fired at us to memory. And there were, as he said himself, plenty of these. 

Day two brought a mindfulness session. During the 60 seconds we were asked to close our eyes, focus on our breathing and think with our hearts in total silence, a herd of water buffalo stampeded down the stairs as a hyped-up group B finished their improv session and darted outside for a fag. There was exasperation in the room, and laughter. How could we find zen with the thunder of a thousand hooves reverberating from every surface? 

[Cut to October 2021: a corner office in a London agency]

Freddie and his partner float along on a sea of tranquillity, as they gently caress ideas from one another. In the background, a piano concerto provides the soundtrack to their musings. In the hallway, the ECD sharply hushes the MD “Shhhh! Our junior creative team are hard at work! Don’t distract them! How are they going to grace us with their genius if everyone else is making so much noise?!”

[Back to the present day]

Perfect practice makes perfect. You can practice kicking a ball into an empty goal a thousand times, it has limited bearing on a competitive game, with defenders bearing down on you, a keeper the size of a Shetland pony and the pissing rain of British autumn. You can sit in total serenity and practice mindfulness techniques all day, it doesn’t mean that when deadlines are looming, your workload is mounting and the office is alive with noise, you’ll be able to find that inner peace to listen to yourself, find your flow and produce your best. 

Internet failure, noise pollution and technical issues perforated the day. Teething issues which I’m sure we’ll work through as a group. Distractions. What could prepare us better for the jungle ahead? This course is tailor-made to get us ready for agency life when it comes our way, it arms us with all the tools we’ll need to thrive. If it teaches me to drown out the stuff that flies around my head and keeps me sleepless: even better.

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