Why is an enormous pencil case resting on my stack of clinicals? Got a few pitches on. Here is how I work in times like these:
- Learn about the disease area. That means patients. I read blogs, make notes, and try to speak to as many actual patients as possible. The point is to imagine the smallest change this product can bring to their lives.
- Pull up a recycling bin. I think in words, not pictures, but I eschew the laptop in favour of big pens and lots of paper. There’s a widely held belief that no idea should be thrown away in initial stages, no matter how “bad”. I can’t work that way. If it makes me cringe, it will never be right.
- Keep books around. Dip in frequently to find words that spark the imagination.
- Leave. I enjoy having people around me when I’m thinking hard. But I do so love the chocolate mousse cake at Mamas and Papas. It’s surprisingly calm and quiet in their top floor café. You can sit and write for some time. Display a buggy catalogue or similar to avoid suspicion.
- Collaborate. This is really obvious. I like to work alone first, then share ideas with everyone else.
- Nourish. I am into Cadbury’s Fingers right now. Suck for a slow release of energy into the mucosa of mouth and tongue. Place a few within reach and use with care – I almost ate a pen lid today.
- Go to bed. To get new business, you must produce really good work while managing the usual workflow. I need my brain to razor through daily tasks while it’s unconsciously creating. Getting loads of sleep keeps my cognition snappy. And proper sleep is the best substrate for those little ideas.