By Vlad Frolov
In SCA, time goes fast. It’s as though the school is located in its own time-warped little space, one that – not unlike a black hole – lets in no outside light and is also notable for crazy air conditioning. Briefs are thrown at you like fighter octopi but before you even start reaching to peel them off your face, they vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. What I’m trying to say is, there are a lot of deadlines and they all approach fast. Sometimes too fast. Until time slows down out of nowhere, when you least expect it to, and you find yourself on the floor in the corner, in a position that feels comfortable but doesn’t look it, hitting your head against the wall.
In this entry I am going to explore the relationship between brief, time and (head)space.
It’s strange how time seems to pass by much slower when you’re doing something, especially something you would quite like to be over sooner, as compared to when you are busy not doing it. Just this Monday, my teammates and I were hoping to finish off a brief as soon as possible (because it was Monday) but found ourselves stuck, headlock-stuck, for the answer. At first it was okay and we brainstormed and brainstormed, next thing you know we are running around the room jumping up and down because we have absolutely no idea what is happening, why is it always us, why do we deserve this. This reminded me of a brief we did a week prior, when the answer just wouldn’t come. You’re stuck. You hate everything. And if you’re anything like me and completed a “proper” degree pre-SCA, the lack of ability to just go and Google the answer in seconds is frustrating.
Then it occurred to me: just take time.
I have always been interested in meditation and mindfulness, but always viewed it as a sort of hobby, the sort of thing you do to unwind after rushing about, busy, busy, busy. Only at SCA, and only these past few days did I learn about the importance, crucial-ness of clearing your head and doing less.
Yes, doing less. Slowing down, way down, and doing nothing.
How dare I utter such words.
But doing nothing, just sitting quite mindlessly in front of the telly, can help us recharge and find inspiration somewhere we weren’t looking. Psychologists are now coming out with research that highlights the importance of boredom and procrastination in creativity. Your garden-variety productivity bloggers (see Zen Habits) and minimalists (see The Minimalists) have been writing for years about doing less to do more. I now take this advice to heart, and have honestly found it quite useful to simply write a short To-Do list instead of planning out minute by minute. Yes, you should do the thing now, but then again, hey, there’s (almost always) tomorrow.
(But you should really do the thing now.)
So make space to take time because it’s quite important to do nothing, especially if you’re trying to create something. The busier you are, the more important it is.
And don’t try to contact me after 6 PM. Call me all you want but, like I said, I’m busy doing absolutely f**king nothing.