People say we’re good at what we do. Which is always nice to hear but can be a bit of a surprise when all you thought you were really doing was your job. We have a no-fuss approach to our world and our work, and that includes getting the basics done right. So, here’s a look at how we work, and some tips for cutting through the noise and standing out from the crowd.
We get up and walk the dog
It’s surprising how much creative inspiration you can find tripping along on a dark morning staring at a dog’s arse end. Apologies if you were looking for something more wholesome here, something about the benefits of being an early riser, ticking of wellness goals, starting the day with fresh air and exercise etc. etc. Sure, all of that, too, but 30kgs of Labrador landing on you at sparrow fart makes for an even more persuasive start to the day. Truth be told, we like a lie in as much as the next person but once you’re up and about, the brain does start ticking over and before you know it the words start coming.
We’re kind to our future selves.
If you’re old enough to remember the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure this might make some sense, if not, hang in there while we try to explain… In very brief summary: classmates Bill and Ted have a history paper to finish and somehow find themselves equipped with a time machine to help them with their task. When they get themselves in trouble the time machine serves as a very handy escape plan, enabling them to travel to the future to set up what they need in the present.
Lost? OK, let’s try this: when you have a project on the go but don’t know where to start and are faced with another day staring at a blank page, wouldn’t it be amazing to wake up, fire up your laptop and find, instead of a scary blank page, that someone has already added some words to your page and your project is therefore underway? Surprise! That person was you (and you don’t even own a time machine), you were kind to your future self.
Still not quite following? Simply put: if you’re finding it hard to start writing, the best thing to do is… start writing. Some words on a page are better than no words on a page. Write down some vague thoughts, make a list of ideas, a few key words and then, go to sleep. Yup, you heard it right, you have officially earned yourself a nap. While you’re taking a break your brain is busy organising your thoughts and getting creative. (We don’t pretend to be scientists, if you want evidence you’re going to have to go elsewhere but trust us, sleep is a good thing.)
And then – refer to point one above – get up, go for a walk, give those ideas space to come together. Relax, today is already a better day because it’s not starting with the dreaded blank page. Don’t forget to thank yesterday’s you for kicking things off.
We’re big believers in getting things done early. This is why we never miss a deadline (or a flight).
We actually reply to emails
We don’t consider good manners to be a superpower but weirdly this sets us apart from the competition. We reply to emails, phone messages, texts, WhatsApp, Messenger, DMs, heck we’ll even reply to a postcard if that’s how you like to communicate. Bottom line: not replying is rude. In the comms industry, not replying also means losing control of the narrative. If you don’t tell your own story, other people will fill in the blanks for you. So, unless you actually do have superpowers and are off saving the world, thus too busy to reply to emails from mere mortals, send a response. The thumbs up emoji will suffice.
(NB: We agree, a certain amount of filtering is needed – even we don’t reply to spammers, scammers or stalkers.)
We make time and lists
Fancy-pants time management apps kind of remind us of the ever-changing study schedules you used to draw up at school instead of just getting on with the actual study. Sure, project management tools can be useful, especially when you’re collaborating as a team and/or working remotely, but when it comes to managing your own time and workload, we think simple is best. Make a list of what you have to do, open up your calendar and slot the items into your schedule. Now do the work, when you said you would. Simple.
We read. A lot.
Cue professional development lecture about how you can’t become a great writer unless you read. All. The. Time. Well, it’s true, you can’t. Reading something well written is not only a learning opportunity but it keeps you humble. Just when you think you’re on your way to becoming an accomplished wordsmith, you read someone like Trent Dalton and you have to stop, go back and re-read just about every sentence because it’s so damn clever and brilliant and you end up thinking, Yikes, I’ve got a long way to go.
Yup, we could start that lecture or, we could just admit that we mostly just read for pleasure. All. The. Time. Wait, so you’re saying that to get better at our jobs we should spend more time on our favourite hobby? Okay then.