Eight Days a Week

Before the Fab Four were fab, they played the clubs of the notorious Reeperbahn district in Hamburg for over two years.

Their average schedule went something like this – each week night they’d play from 8pm to 2am, then on Saturday and Sunday, start at 6.30pm and finish around 3am. During this period The Beatles performed over 250 shows, playing some songs for over sixty minutes.

The Beatles may have been born in Liverpool but it was Hamburg where they became musicians. The gruelling hours transformed a bunch of average-abled kids into an incredibly tight and proficient band. A band that learnt all the necessary tools to prepare them for success.

There has been much discussion about the length of hours we work in advertising. Some agencies have even gone so far as to implement changes to tackle the problem – no emails after 6pm, early finishes on a Friday etc.

Now there’s nothing I’d like more than to finish on time and fill what’s left of the day with the things I love. But there’s a problem with this – it doesn’t always work out that way.

Whatever you’re doing in life, be it a job, sport or hobby, you begin at exactly the same place – the bottom. It’s only by doing it again and again and again that you become better. Without investing a huge amount of time, you simply won’t get the desired results to reach the top.

By working on more briefs, more problems and with more people, your brain becomes more adept at understanding how to get the job done more creatively and with more efficiency.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some extremely talented people over the years, across all departments. And pretty much without exception, they had one thing in common – they all worked their arses off. You could bet the Creatives still seated at their desks most nights would invariably be the very same people with a seat at the agency’s table come awards night.

I’m not saying people should be chained to their desks – the idea of staying just for show is complete nonsense. But on the bigger multi-platformed projects of today, it’s sometimes impossible to achieve stellar work within the hours of nine and five – particularly given the deadlines the industry has to work to.

The Beatles at the Cavern Club ‘62.

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