What 2 things help you most with your job? They could be a tip or a tool: an approach or a philosophy. You need to headline it, explain it and describe why it's useful to you.
I don't have any tools, models or frameworks I'm particularly attached to, I tend to develop and write strategies in a more narrative way (because this, then this, and ultimately this...). However there are a couple of working practices I've come to really rely on over the years.
Taking advantage of friends and family
Given planners are supposed to represent the consumer in the creative process I feel guilty if I haven't actually talked to any of them. Of course it isn't always possible to do properly funded qual, so I normally try to cheat. I identify the target market. Then I think about whether I know any of them (or whether my friends, family or colleagues do). And then I write, call or text those people and ask them if they'd be happy to chat for 15 minutes. They always say yes (people love telling you what they think) and it's always helpful. When I worked on Boots 'Here come the girls' I knew nothing about women's relationship with beauty products and we were always late on the briefs, so I took to asking my wife and her mates what they thought about BB creams, pre-Holiday shopping trips, getting glammed up for the Xmas party and so on. It got to the point where the client would joke about everything being based on 'Loz's Wife Insights'. They were good insights though.
The shower hour
I don't mean I'm in the shower for an hour. I mean the period that starts with me getting in the shower and ends with me walking through the front doors at work. I've come to realise that this is when I'm thinking clearest and have a bit of space before the madness of meetings and deck writing begins. A chance for all the strategic questions and worries from the day before to resolve into something useful. I spent years wanting to be 'A night person' because it sounded cool. But apparently I'm not. I'm a shower person.