When you’re busy, yet certain things swing sharply into focus while others blur into indiscriminate shapes?
When you’ve got pressing deadlines, and only those matter?
When you get some time to think, and you don’t spend it looking at videos of cats?
When you don’t see your family as often as you’d like, and you don’t spend (or waste) time reading 140 character missives about videos of cats (or endlessly dull tweets about the fact it’s the fourth of May)?
When people are relying on you – and paying you – to solve problems, and they expect you to be spending every minute of your day doing that?
When things start to slow down you have time to reflect? When there are the times you spend considering your achievements and pondering what they mean in the grander scheme of things?
When it’s the right time to return to the things you cast aside in favour of a project, you ask yourself if they are worth returning to? When sometimes the answer is no?
I’ll tell you: when these things happen, prioritising is necessary.
The process of prioritisation has been interesting.
I have been ignoring Twitter for some time now.
Mostly because of my busy contract work, but also because it’s become an echo chamber (again).
I have painted myself into a corner with it (again).
But more than that, I realised that where I was in my life (work, career, personal) back in 2008 when I first joined the service, that’s not where I am now.
Or where I want to go.
Things change. And it’s time I caught up with those changes across my social spectrum.
The same with a good many other services I use or have used.
I am still getting my priorities right.
Some of what I’ve been doing with work is about finding the best things to include within a new platform and what is superfluous to users.
Feedback has been eye opening. What a lot of people (myself included) thought were essential have turned out to be nice-to-haves – and occasionally unnecessary.
So, I’m going to start applying those principles a lot more stringently to my work schedule and – the big one – my inputs. I’ll be going through everything I’m connected to and asking: is this essential, nice to have, or unnecessary?
Apart from work, there have been some other things happening I’d like to share.
I’ve been invited to deliver some wisdom to an audience of advertising people. It’s called Silicon Beach and takes place in Bournemouth, on 5 & 6 September. And once I have more to share, I’ll be sharing. Let’s just say I’m looking to be provocative for the right reasons, and putting my opinions forward for further discussion.
In the meantime, I’m kicking about with some work projects (all NDAs for now) and looking at some of my other personal projects that have had to take a back seat and bringing them back to life. Or killing them dead – although putting them out of their misery would probably be more apt.
Meeting people. I’ve been doing a lot of that, too. Just meeting and talking. It’s been fascinating stuff. I’ve learned a lot over coffees and sandwiches. And judging by some of the work that’s come out (or will come out) of those conversations, it’s something I should do more of. It’s helping to shift people’s perception of what I do, helping me define what I can and want to do, and how I can work with new people in different ways; it’s been great to sit with people and just debate and discuss ideas, problems and challenges.
I’m shifting how I present myself to the job market. As I’ve been contracting, I’ve been doing a lot of things that aren’t writing words or creating advertising stuff. In fact, I’ve done very little of those two things. Instead, I’ve been running workshops, creating experiences and directing them (via UX and creative routes), as well as speaking to/working with some global clients at a high level and helping them innovate and understand the digital ecosystem now and what it may be in the future. In short, I’m less of a creative now and more of a… actually, I don’t know what I’d call myself. It’s another thing I am prioritising. I’ve been doing this through agencies, but I’m definitely looking to work directly with clients. Or better still, collaborating with clients and their agencies.
I’m going to my priorities right.