How’s that resolution or goal that you made in January coming along? Only a few months ago most people were excited and made resolutions or goals they wanted to achieve in the next year. Most people are in two groups by this time; those goals are either well on their way to being accomplished or have been dissolved completely. Why is that? Why do the things we want the most tend not to come to fruition? It is in the how not the what. It is not enough to be determined in a goal or idea.
You need to set aside the time and steps to achieve it.
As an artist that has a day job I have learned the hard way the importance of time management and scheduling. I know all too well the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, and not knowing my next step. While there are tools and people that can help you on your way (career coaching, mentorship, etc), one of the biggest lessons I have learned is time management. For example, my daily thoughts used to consist of;
“There are never enough hours in the day.”
“How can I work full time and pursue my career aspirations?”
“How can I possibly prioritize 5 things that all need to get done today?”
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? Believe me you are not the only one
that has a hard time doing the balancing act of pursuing your dreams and paying your bills. That is why time management is so important and everyone’s saving grace.
A tool to time management is time blocking. If you are able to block out your time by what you are doing then you can see where you are wasting time and where you can add time. Sometimes you will not get everything done in one day. But those days will be fewer once you learn how to appropriately schedule tasks.
For example, if you are not able to support yourself solely on your art (acting, dancing, film making, etc) and need a day job those hours won’t move on your day or week. But, the time before and after that day job can be sectioned off in a way to make the most out of your day. Is part of your routine going to the grocery store every night after work just to pick up dinner? That’s a lot of time you spend during your week just to pick up a meal. Imagine how much time you would save if you went grocery shopping one or two nights a week. By minimizing the number of times you do that errand, your time opens up and allows you to work on your craft.
In addition to helping you achieve your goals, time blocking and proper scheduling will also improve your happiness. Take it from a fellow artist, when you aren’t doing something for your goals you aren’t yourself. Believe me, I am a beast to be around when I feel stagnant in my career, and I am sure you are no prize to be around either.
So how do you block off time and do proper scheduling? The best way is by doing it week to week. Sit down in front of your calendar on the same day every week and take15 minutes to block out your schedule. Include weekly tasks like errands, day job, personal obligations, cleaning, classes, etc. Look to see where you can bundle tasks. Maybe on the day you do your errands you can also pay your bills for the week and go through your mail. Once you have your basic tasks covered you can then see where you can add your time for your career/art-even if it’s only for 30minutes a day. Remember, there will be days that a last minute audition might come up or you even get booked on a job! Don’t be so married to your schedule that you can’t be flexible to life’s unexpected events. And, when these unexpected events do pop up you will be able to take them on with more ease knowing how to re-arrange your schedule and still get everything done.
Remember, every step forward is a victory. Every cause you make for your career will have an effect. Be confident in knowing that once you start to plan out your time you will fall into a routine where you know how much time you can give to other obligations and more importantly a timeline to your goals. Good luck!
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”
– Thomas Edison
(photo courtesy of theodysseyonline.com and beyondtheofficedoor.com)