Time management is key to developing and maintaining a solid acting career. Most busy actors are focused actors. They know how to schedule their time and get things done.
In this article, I’m going to provide for you some ways that will hep you execute on things you want to achieve. You don’t necessarily have to be a busy actor to use some of these productivity tips.
You can learn so much by observing not only the work of well established actors but also the work of people in business or any other field.
Let’s take a look at some useful tips to empower your acting career.
Productivity Tips For Incredibly Busy Actors
1. Single Purpose Focus.
When you zero in on the one thing you are concentrating on completely, chances are you will get it done. Studies have shown that multi-tasking can actually damage your brain. You can derive a great deal of power focusing in on your acting priorities, one task at one time.
2. Pay It Backward.
There’s a cool story from INC magazine that talks about when Robert Downey Jr. was deep into his drug addiction and called upon Jamie Foxx for a “place to stay”. Years later Jamie Foxx called upon Downey to ask if he can come to his daughter’s birthday party. Robert appeared in full Iron Man clothing for all the children.
This is just an example of not forgetting where you came from and giving a helping hand to those that helped you up along your own journey.
3. Wake Up Early.
When you become an early riser you get more done. You don’t feel rushed to cram as much into your day as humanly possible. You make smarter decisions because there is a little bit more time to mull something over. When you wake up earlier, you see the day before you more efficiently, giving you the confidence to conquer, rather than race around.
Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. There’s a really cool mantra you can use, “mind over mattress” that you can use to motivate yourself to achieve your goals.
4. Set A Time For Emails
You should check your emails once a day, maybe twice a day. Plan a time either in the morning or evening when you can zip line your emails and power through them in one ultimate focus. If you find yourself intermittently checking your emails throughout your day, every day, this is a time suck because you are stopping whatever it is you were originally doing and spending time to deal with emails. This can be distracting.
You may even want to check your emails off your phone while traveling (walking/public transportation) in order to save time.
5. Time Your Tasks.
Give yourself the time needed to finish your tasks. If something should take 20 minutes, then it should take 20 minutes. If you have a 4 hour rehearsal, then have it properly scheduled. By keeping on top of the time it takes to fulfill your daily activities, you will be able to get more out of your day and feel accomplished. Don’t overthink and overdo timing your tasks because you will find yourself being a neurotic. =) Just have an awareness of things as you do them and get them done in a timely manner so you can move on to the next thing you need to get done.
6. Set Up A Routine.
It’s a good idea to consider setting up a daily routine. When you have a routine, it becomes a habit and positive habits are good for you to get more accustomed to prioritizing your day, week, month and year goals. Your routine can be steps that lead to you finishing your goal. Each day can bring you closer to completing your needs. If it’s to learn a monologue for example, perhaps give yourself one hour per day over the next 7 days to get off book with it.
7. Do The Hardest Thing First.
Try to get the hardest task of your day off your list first. If you can’t make it the first thing than try to get it done as early as possible. This ensures that you have the energy to give it what it needs. Also, by getting past the hardest task, you will find your day getting easier as it unfolds. This creates a great inner momentum and makes you feel like you are in charge of your life.
8. Outsource Personal Chores.
If you are able to drop your laundry off at the cleaners. Do it. If you are able to hire a cleaning service to tidy up your house. Do it. Budget your money and make such tiny investments because they go a long way at providing you additional time in your life. Order your grocery shopping online for delivery. You get the idea.
Maybe even work out a schedule of who does what with whomever you live with if you don’t live alone. Think creatively on ways in which you can save yourself some time when it comes to personal chores. You will be surprised what you come up with and how much time you will be saving.
9. Don’t Waste Ideas.
If you are always on the go and have ideas flowing through your mind but can’t seem to get them written down, check out these tools you can use when you can’t turn the faucet off for ideas. You never know when that thought for a creative concept could be something really awesome that you shouldn’t have passed up on.
10. Study. Learn.
A great way to be a productive person is to absorb knowledge. Reading books is one of my favorite things to do. There is always a wealth of knowledge by people in multiple fields that can educate you on ways you can apply useful information to your own acting career goals and ideas.
11. Plan Ahead.
No one is a psychic but when you set goals and go after those goals with consistency, you achieve those goals. I love this video from Denzel Washington talking to a young group of theatre actors. He talks exactly about planning goals and keeping consistent.
Some people may think that experimenting with ideas is a waste of time, however, I disagree. How can you learn and improve without experimentation? Experiment with a different approach at your next audition. See if it worked. Try something new by contacting someone through social media. Keep refining, keep trying, keep learning and keep executing.