By Augustine Cerf
It’s Out Of My Hands
Time management. The words are oft bellowed at us as we cower self-reproachingly into our seats. Our Friday reflection theme last week was to outline our plans for the half term break. Day by day, hour by hour, methodically dividing up and distributing time between all our endeavors like an obsessive compulsive Trotskyist.
Yet, though in theory mapping out my every hour sounds constructive and empowering, making ads just doesn’t work out that way.
Don’t get me wrong, every day Lauren and I plan the forthcoming hours. We know at the beginning of the day what needs to be done by the end of it. We know at the end of the day what needs to be done the following day. Hell, we know what needs to be done by the end of the week.
But an idea doesn’t kowtow to it’s allotted hour. It insists on being fashionably late to the party, without fail. It gatecrashes the time slot clearly demarcated as ‘quick wank then sleep’ and refuses to turn up to the ‘Crack Travelodge idea’ bit. It’s like that BrainyQuotes quote (probably), a favourite on Bebo profiles (probably): “Don’t find love, let it find you. When you stop looking, it’ll come to you xoxoxo <3.” But for real.
An idea is like a wealthy businessman: you never know where it’ll go next. A razor design can uphaul itself and become a daunting crowdfunding venture within the hour. The man you’re liaising with might suddenly announce the novelty dolls you need are out of goddamn stock. The deaf school you’re trying to work with might actually be on half-term break. Shit happens. And shit changes. And that’s what makes this line of work so exhilarating. It keeps you on your toes. It ebbs and flows.
People are always surprising me with their willingness to help, but relying on other people is hard. It’s hard to plan with them and around them. And it’s hard to plan around creativity: it has a will of their own.
Ideas are fickle beasts: they work on their own terms and time frames. You can push and push them, but it’s hard to know which ones will crumble, which babies you’ll have to kill.
And when you don’t know where the day’ll take you, planning’s tough. When you don’t know what you’ll murder or what you’ll birth until it happens, it’s hard to know what the week’s backend will look like. And such is the time management quagmire.