I’d like to touch upon the importance of time and prioritizing strategies for efficiently managing your day.
Actors, and when I say “actors”, I’m including every age, have to juggle family life, school, auditions, rehearsals, filming schedules and other extracurricular activities. Managing all of these responsibilities can be relentless and time consuming, so it’s essential for you to learn how to prioritize your time effectively. Depending on your age, parents may need to step in. My kids are in high school and I’m still helping them time manage. It’s overwhelming, and there’s really no way to turn it into a routine since auditions and jobs pop up on very short notice.
Seven Tips for Time Management
More often than not, roles in the entertainment industry entail many hours of performing, tight deadlines and constant travel. Having the discipline, resilience and capacity to effectively schedule your life and handle responsibilities is indispensable in this field. Finding a balance between work life and home life becomes important, as self-care and upkeep of psychological and physical well-being are essential to sustained productivity and creativity.
Prioritize and set goals: Identify your top priorities and set clear goals for what you want to achieve. This will help you focus your time and energy on the most important tasks. By determining what it is that you want to pursue in your acting career, you’ll feel more purpose in directing your steps and commitments. Setting plainly comprehensible goals will build a productive routine that will allow you to optimize your time and talents.
Create a schedule: Develop a daily or weekly schedule that includes all your commitments, such as auditions, rehearsals, classes and personal time. Use a planner or digital tools to help you stay organized.
Start by identifying all your commitments. Then, allocate specific time slots for each task, ensuring that you have enough time to complete them without feeling rushed. Consider your peak energy levels and concentration periods when assigning tasks to maximize productivity. Be realistic and allow buffer time for unexpected delays or transitions between activities. Regularly review and adjust your schedule as needed to accommodate new commitments or changes. With a well-structured schedule, you can optimize your time, minimize stress, and ensure that you stay on track towards your acting goals.
For me, early morning is when I’m at my best. So even on days when I can sleep in (ha!), I’m up being productive. I set my alarm for 10 minutes before I want to wake up so I can hit snooze two times.
Break tasks into smaller chunks: Large projects, for example, rehearsals, can seem daunting. Break them down into smaller, manageable chunks, and make progress by working on them in increments. Sidenote: You can’t always be the one in control of breaking up a rehearsal, but you can certainly make a suggestion for a five minute bathroom break.
Conducting a large task, such as memorizing a script, can be time-consuming and intimidating. Strike a balance between large and manageable by tackling them little by little.
Eliminate distractions: Minimize distractions during focused work periods. Turn off notifications on your phone or computer, find a quiet space to concentrate, and consider using productivity apps that block distracting websites or apps.
Figure out what common distractions exist in your environment, such as social media, excessive noise or your personal devices. Take proactive steps to minimize or eliminate these distractions.
Turn off all notifications on your phone or computer, enable automatic shutoff on devices or simply use dedicated apps or browser extensions to block distracting websites or apps during working periods. Find a quiet and dedicated workspace where you can minimize disruptions.
This drives me nuts because it’s so hard to do, especially in today’s times of always being connected. I came up with a little trick that works for me, in case you want to try it – instead of charging my phone overnight, I let the battery drain overnight so in the morning when I need that uninterrupted time, I don’t have access to my phone because it’s charging.
Of course, depending on what your day looks like, that may or may not be a good idea, so just in case you have to run out with a poorly charged phone, you may want to invest in a portable phone charger for the road.
Establish boundaries with colleagues, friends and family, communicating the importance of uninterrupted work time. Practice self-discipline by staying mindful and redirecting your attention whenever you notice yourself getting off track. By consciously eliminating distractions, you create a conducive environment for deep work and can fully immerse yourself in your acting craft, enhancing both productivity and creativity.
Practice self-care: Self-care is of central importance to high performance. You should prioritize sleeping, exercising, eating well and exercising for a much better sense of balance and well-being. Keep in mind, the goal is to maximize your efficiency, which means you have to be in a positive, healthy frame of mind. I realize it sounds like you’re squeezing every moment of time into that self-care hour or two, but you’ll see in the long run that you end up gaining time because you’re able to produce more effectively.
Delegate and collaborate: Having an agent or manager can help handle auditions, negotiate contracts and manage professional relationships. Collaborating with a director, fellow actors, or a production team enhances creativity, fosters a supportive environment and brings diverse perspectives to the table. Delegation and collaboration not only lighten the workload but also promote efficiency, enabling you to access resources, expertise and connections you might not have on your own.
The President of the United States has a team, why shouldn’t you?
Be adaptable: The acting industry can be unpredictable, with last-minute auditions or schedule changes. Stay flexible and develop strategies to adjust your plans when unexpected events arise. I know this sounds like an impossible task, but it’s the nature of the business.
This leads me to procrastination, but we can talk about that another time. Okay, we’ll talk about it now, so you don’t think I’m procrastinating by putting it off…
If you’re learning lines and rehearsal is in a few days, don’t wait until the day before to memorize the script, because chances are high that you’ll get an audition the day before, or your car will break down or something that never happens, happens, and then you don’t have your lines down for rehearsal. There.
Effective time management is a personal process, so feel free to adapt these tips to suit your specific needs and preferences.