By Poppy Cumming-Spain
Put your foot down
Back in term two, Marc gave us one of his many speeches and many analogies. This one was about cars. Effectively, he told us not to take our feet off the gas. It’s not like I hadn’t heard that before, but it meant something new when he said it to us. Because keeping your foot on the gas at SCA didn’t feel the same as it did before I joined. To be honest, I spent most of the time after I left uni (and probably during) in cruise control. SCA came as a bit of a shock, but a brilliant one. Nonetheless, I didn’t really agree with Marc at the time. Keeping your foot on the gas all the time sounded like it would end in a burnout, and it can. So I’ve moved the gas up and down this year when it felt right, and I can’t deny that I let my revs dwindle down too low when I shouldn’t have.
Yesterday, Alex Mecklenburg talked to us about resilience and grit. As she was talking, things sparks were firing in my head. She said that no one can multitask. People ‘multi-switch’ and think they’re multitasking. This blew my mind. I rate myself as being a great multitasker, mainly because I hate doing one thing at a time. I like background noise, music, TV and so I tell myself I can do both. The reality is that I switch. Noted.
She told us that we needed to learn to stand strong but not still. When you’re caught up in a hectic world, with multiples deadlines, personal commitments and people to please it can feel hard to catch your breath. Those are breakdown moments, and we all look to the future and say to ourselves, ‘when this is all over, I’ll be ok.’ Because when it’s all over, we’ll get a chance to stand still. But we need to be ok now. Later isn’t good enough. So we have to figure out a way to stand strong and keep moving when there’s no time to waste.
And I’ve realised recently that it’s not as hard as it seems. The last week or so has been one of my most productive weeks at SCA. At the beginning of this week, Marc told us to set ourselves three goals and reflect on whether we’d got them done, and why, in our usual Friday reflections session. I achieved all of my goals, and more. And it felt great. Meg and I made a whole new portfolio in a week (who knows if it’s any good but we challenged ourselves and got it done). We patched up some issues in our partnership and jumped back into gear. I carried on with Marc’s punishment to write a SCAB a day, even though he let me off it on Monday (two days in). This will be my 10th SCAB in a week. I’ve written around six thousand words without even thinking. The most I’ve ever written in that space of time. We’ve also almost completed our first paid campaign for a client, and we had a bunch of other branding tasks and school briefs to do. But I’m not stressed. I’m standing tall right now, but I’m moving. So I think I’ve figured it out (I don’t know how it took me this long). Partly because I think we’ve got back to working smart. But mainly because I’ve realised that nothing makes you do nothing more than doing nothing. I’m a creature of habit. I like routine. That’s why I hate school holidays. They make me into the sloth that I hate being. Acting like a sloth, makes me feel like a sloth and be like a sloth. Ticking boxes spurs me on, because I want to tick more. It gets me on a roll.
We’ve got one-half term left. I’m sad. I’m scared. And I’m excited too. I’ve got no idea what’s going to happen in the next couple of months. It’s anyone’s guess. But, what I do know is that it’s time to put my foot down and keep it there.
P.S Love you, Meg.