Being a Snail Girl in an "Everything is Urgent" World
Practicing slowness and doing things with intention
Six years ago, I worked at a communications firm that was owned by one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. One random work day, I stumbled upon a poster highlighting the conglomerate’s core values. One of those values was having a sense of urgency. To them, having a sense of urgency meant doing things quickly in order to respond to the needs of others, while sacrificing your own needs in the process.
If there’s one thing that I learned the hard way about being in the advertising and communications industry, it’s the ability to do things quickly at a high quality, in order to fulfill the needs of my teammates and clients. I already got the speed aspect. However, I still struggle immensely with putting out good work, since I tend to spend a lot of time overthinking (and procrastinating) the things that I want (and need) to do. To compensate, I have to do things fast and early in order to spend more time refining it, similar to the iterative testing approach. I do things, get feedback, and try again, based on the feedback I received. However, I’ve received feedback that the “do, do, do" mindset without thinking or processing the work that I needed to do. I observe first, model, and then come up with my own processes and thoughts after in order to fully understand something.
Oftentimes, I need to give myself extra time to be able to be good at something, especially in areas that do not come naturally to me. However, if there’s something that I’m deeply interested in or if it’s something that I have extensive experience in, I tend to understand and enjoy these things more quickly and deeply.
Case in point: Behind Your Touch immediately became a favorite because it reminded me of He is Psychometric, which is Jinyoung (aka my husband*)’s first drama. On the other hand, it took me several professional opportunities, fiascos, and victories to get a proper breakthrough as a copywriter in the advertising industry. Just like everyone else, I’m still learning the best practices necessary in this to grow and thrive as a writer, after years of being told that the industry may not be for me.
Now going back to the value of having a sense of urgency, I’ve experienced how this value (or lack thereof) has been a double-edged sword in my life. On one end, having that value is helpful in getting things done, attaining work-life balance, and developing a sense of empathy towards the people around you. Urgency also gives you a clearer idea of what you’re priorities are. Over time, I’ve learned to apply some urgency in my life, because procrastinating on certain tasks or not getting things done quickly can give me more discomfort in the long run.
However, urgency can also be used to scare people—especially with peer pressure and comparisons thrown into the mix. It’s so hard to resist /that/ pressure to be honest. When it comes to my writing, I always feel like I need to catch up with the rest of the world, or that I want others to believe that I’m a good writer. Maybe I need to believe in myself more, and write—without comparing myself and giving into peer pressure.
I have all the time in the world to be confident in my writing, right?