4 March 2021 — Weeknote 6 — Bring out your deadlines

  • Didn’t get round to doing this last week because I couldn’t quite find the time/headspace. But hey this is digital publishing right, so deadlines don’t matter?
  • This is what we thought when we took Design Week from print to online-only back in the day, and realised that deadlines are far less scary when they don’t involve printers shouting at you and threatening to fine you for not sending pages in time. So we luxuriated in lengthy lunch breaks for a week or so and then woke up to the fact that our ad revenues were about to bottom out because we weren’t producing enough stories — so back to the content mill we went.
  • Conclusion: Deadlines do matter, and sometimes you have to impose them yourself.
  • The last couple of weeks can be summed in 3 words: reviews, papers, acronyms. It could also be summed up in about 20,000 acronyms but I won’t list those out here, for my sake and yours.
  • Basically: loads and loads of work. Pretty important (cross-govt reviews etc), pretty sensitive so I’ll stop writing now before I put my foot in it.
  • Also loads and loads of collaborative work, we’ve had a bunch of projects that we’ve tackled as a team and our skills complement each other pretty well.
  • In it’s most reductive sense the team is 3 ex- and current Fast-Streamers and me (Fast Stream is a civil service accelerated development scheme). So we’ve got three people who know their way round government and are very action-oriented. And then me, and my USP is to ponder for ages on the context of why we’re doing something before saying ‘this is silly’ and doing a minimum viable version. So yeah, complementary I hope.
  • Also we have THE BEST boss and I realise I don’t give her enough props (here or elsewhere) so thanks Sam — you’re great.
  • Reading: Gina Ford’s Potty Training in One Week. Not a fan TBH. Think there are better books in the potty-training genre
  • Listening: Loads of Nirvana for some reason. Probably some form of mid-life crisis, like I’m saying to myself that In Utero was the sound of my early-teens, when the reality is that it was actually a bit much for me back then but sounds amazing now.
  • Watching: Watched Assassins on our local cinema’s on-demand thing (support the Riverside!) and it’s incredible. Like something Le Carré could have written.

Writing for @gdsteam. Formerly of @design_week