Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Do you need a time manager?

          I'm always interested in other creative people's work habits. They're usually so different from my own.

          One art director I know gets his best work done at home late at night, after his family's gone to sleep. He comes in to to office around ten the next morning with layouts that most people can't do from nine till five. He says he lives at least two lives, calls himself "the last of the speed livers".

         There are also the wee early morning geniuses. By the time most people stagger in to work, their day is about done. I'd get to my office and find the layouts or copy on my desk, with a note that says "Got in early, went home to sleep". Only thing was, they were never around when others needed to talk to them.

         Then there are the people I wrote about for Adweek. The ones who fool around all day because they're going to stay down tonight and work late at the office. I used to feel guilty for not staying and working with them, until I realized they were always too tired to come up with anything useful anyway.

         I'm your get-it-done-right-away kind of guy. As soon as I get an assignment, I tackle it. I could come back to it later and make it better, but at least it's done. Good to know that if I got hit by a bus, at least the ad for Gatorade in college football programs was written.

         We all develop our own styles of time management, and some styles must be designed to drive the boss crazy, because they do. Including the creative people who come in to meetings empty-handed, only to have a great idea four minutes after the client leaves the building.

         I knew one writer who must've been addicted to adrenalin. He could never start work till the night before the client meeting. The next day he'd be there, cool as a cucumber, with the tissues rolled up under his arm. But these things aren't fair to anybody, and why ad people get ulcers.

        I sleep better when I've got some ideas under my pillow.



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