AS A NEWBIE, my first month at C&B has flown by in a colorful whirlwind of change, guided by plenty of new introductions, welcome lunches, and a crash-course in surviving the breakneck pace of agency-side life. The best part is that, as somewhat of a fossilized transplant from an extensive tenure in production media, I quickly realized that I loved every minute of the dynamic go-getter environment.
That being said, it’s essential during those first few weeks as a new employee to acclimatize as quickly as possible to the new pace, workload and turnaround time required. At a brunch over the weekend, I came to know through various conversations with influential media personalities (who I’ve always thought to be dominating their arenas #likeaboss) that they often feel out of control, like their work is swallowing them, at times feeling as if they’re barely able to keep their heads above the water. “I’ve gained 10 kilos since starting my job at this magazine,” the Editor-in-Chief of a popular print publication lamented over a plate of desserts. “I just can’t seem to find that healthy balance; I feel like all I ever do is work.”
Let’s be real for a second: How often are we allowing our days to be dictated to us by external factors instead of us being the ones to take charge? How often do we find ourselves just reacting to our circumstances instead of acting strategically and deliberately in order to manage our work in a way we feel best equipped to handle?
Time management and gaining control of my work day was priority #1 on my to-do list the minute I took my first job in media over a decade ago, but it’s become increasingly easier said than done as the needs of clients and the realignment of human resources are changing. However, my life (and my work) was made easier once I started applying one simple (Jedi?) mind-trick to help me streamline my thoughts and take back control.
Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed by handling everyone else’s priorities, I stop and take a time-out. In my mind, I count backwards from 10. When I get to zero, I find a mental focal point, usually a memory of an especially positive moment in my life, and replay the scene over in my head. It’s like a mini-holiday for my brain and it places the focus back on the people and things that are behind my drive and motivation to succeed. This makes me all the more able to increase performance and maximize my output.
Off the record, thanks to the delightful view from my new cubicle overlooking the downtown Business Bay area, a sneak-peak at life in this gorgeous city of ours could very well be the only quick-fix I need.
Up and up!