By Rosie Colman
(Reading time - 4:00)
Is it just me, or is 2021 busy as all hell? Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But, all this work and the rain and cold can sometimes have us running on empty. Living the agency life has always been my dream. I love the all-hands-on-deck approach, the collaboration, the constant jokes, and riffing off each other’s energy. And, I love my clients. But, no matter how much we love it - and I know we all do - we are human. And humans need to mind their spoons.
No, this isn't some random English idiom. I recently learned about a metaphor called “The Spoon Theory”. It’s slightly out of context, but the spoons illustrate the amount of mental energy each person has for each day. Say a person only has 10 spoons every day. So, what happens when our morning discovery session or focus group runs longer than expected? Six spoons. Your afternoon is filled with meetings or team huddles? Another three. Why are they depleting so fast you might ask? The dreary weather isn't exactly giving us any more spoons. It's giving us the finger. So, how can we better ration our spoons to have more productive, and healthier days? Recharging.
I know how the internet loves a list.
- Give yourself a break. I know you must have a park down the road. Twice a week, I take my lunch break and I walk a 5K around McCabe park. No matter how bad I want to stay working at my computer, I pry myself away and I am ALWAYS thankful for it. It recharges me for the afternoon. Sometimes on the way home, I may even grab a cheeky afternoon coffee.
- Speaking of coffee. Work at a coffee shop a few times a week. I personally try to find one that isn’t blaring Rihanna while I’m trying to rundown with the team in the morning. You’ll see people that are out of your daily routine, and may even have a nice conversation with a stranger (terrifying). Plus, they come with spoons.
- Get a move on. The seasonal depression goblins have got me this year, and I sometimes find myself exhausted at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. When you’re at your lowest and the sky is at its darkest, don’t let it stop you.
- Step 1 - Put on your workout clothes (you’re halfway there!)
- Step 2 - Fill up your water
- Step 3 - Walk out the front door before you change your mind
Sometimes I’ll literally be cursing myself as I drive to the YMCA. But, at some point in your workout, that moment of bliss hits you. You’ve done a good thing. Some of that stress is getting relieved and you have accomplished something for yourself today.
- Chitty chats. Have water cooler talks with your roommates. My roommate works downstairs and we have about five conversations a day in the kitchen. He tells me about the stock market and I tell him about brand strategy. We know nothing of what the other speaks, but that’s not what counts. (Although, let me tell you about ETFs…)
- Vitamin D. What are those golden rays peeking through the ominous grey clouds? We haven’t seen her in a while, but that’s the sunshine. Take advantage of it. Today I had 40 minutes in-between meetings, and I literally went to the park and sat my happy butt in the grass and let the sunshine in. Vitamin D is nature’s iPhone charger.
- Vacation. If you feel safe and have the means, go travel somewhere sunny. I highly recommend it. If you can’t, give the ole’ STAY-CATION a try. Kick your feet up,f pull your kayak out, whatever your fancy. Put that OOO on and relax.
Whether it’s changing up your routine, using your lunch break to its fullest, or putting your running shoes on, you need to find a way to replace or ration your spoons. Or, you’ll be forked.
Rosie is both a Senior Account Executive and a fancy Brit. She likes her Gin and Tonics with a splash of St. Germain, but the rivers of Tennessee are no match for her kayak and dry wit.