Winter solstice

By Kim Browne

The winter solstice has come and gone and even though some say “the worst of winter is yet to come”, it’s always a turning point for me. Every day it stays lighter for longer and soon we’ll be waking up to spring. I’m not a winter person and I like to remind myself at this time of year that change doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference. It’s the compound interest of something small daily that adds up big time and before you know it, you’re back in flip flops.

I feel the same about seemingly small “dread jobs”. We all like to do the things we like to do and make excuses to not get round to the things we dread. If you leave them, they pile up and before you know it you can’t see the wood for the trees. And small things have a way of biting you in the butt. So what we’re instituting at The Toast is a “dread list”. Every week, no matter how busy we are, one of those things must be crossed off the list. It’s amazing to see the positive effect after a few weeks, when you can rid yourself of these little things that have a way of hanging around and becoming monsters.

It’s harder to stick to than one thinks and in the end it’s all about discipline. The fitness gurus always say “summer bodies are made in winter” and by spring I’m hoping that our agency dread list is seriously lean. It’s a tough mission, as it’s mostly unappreciated and unpaid for tasks that we agree to do in a moment of weakness, that someone has to dedicate time they don’t have to doing properly.

This month we’ve completed a number of print jobs and I’ve been reminded just how satisfying print can be. When a print job is printed it’s done and you can savour the moment, before moving onto the next thing. “Always in beta” can be draining and constant rework is the devil itself that needs to be managed everyday. I’m all for hard deadlines that get adhered to, with closure at the end. That way, everyone wins.

Our best work always starts with a clear brief, limited drafts, minimal rework and enough time to execute (trust me, if we could do it faster, we would). It’s how we need to roll for enhanced time and cost efficiency and better quality work.

We burnt the midnight oil a lot this month, but we also kept with our tradition of an office PJ day to celebrate the winter solstice. Hot curry and office selfies helped keep us sane.

Stay toasty!