By Douglas Taurel | Backstage
Controlling your calendar is controlling your time, and since time is your most precious commodity, when you manage your calendar, you stay in control of your life and your career. Managing your calendar will allow you to focus your time and energy on what it is you want and need to get done as an actor. You will squeeze the most productivity out of yourself and your day.
Once you decide on what tasks, goals, or projects you want to work on, schedule those tasks into your calendar for the day, week, and month, and be disciplined in sticking to them. Write them into your calendar as you would an appointment or audition. Break down tasks into 30-minute or one or two-hour chunks so that you can achieve them.
Focus on the tasks that are critical, and understand which ones are time sensitive and which ones you simply enjoy. Plan them into your day accordingly, making sure you are getting some time to focus on what you really enjoy and what makes you tick. Be realistic. Understand what appointments and tasks you have planned for the day and don’t over schedule.
It is a big mistake to wake up in the morning and schedule your day ahead for the first time over coffee. Plan ahead. Like any CEO or company, their days, weeks, and months are scheduled by their assistant for maximum productivity. You need to be your own assistant and be disciplined in scheduling your calendar. If you don’t, it is more likely that you will feel out of control and stressed about the things you need to get done because you are constantly reacting to what is coming at you.
Schedule less in the day so that you can have the energy to accomplish more in the week and methodically complete all of your goals. Success breeds success, so if you can complete the tasks you have planned for the day, you are more likely to be motivated to keep working on the ones you have planned for tomorrow.
Once you have set yourself up for a productive day, work through the items. And once you have finished your tasks for the day, relax and reward yourself for your work. Finishing your tasks doesn’t mean you need to find more tasks to do so that you keep working like a robot. When you don’t rest and reward yourself, you will never feel like you’re resting, and you will feel like you aways need to be working. It’s a horrible and vicious cycle to be in and it leads to feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Draw your lines clearly as to determine when you are working and when you are resting.
If something comes up that is not in your calendar, do not work on it now. Schedule it for another day in the week. Obviously if it is an audition, you have to make that a priority, but then you move what you are going to work on for that day to another day in the week. By keeping the tasks as appointments on your calendar, it is very easy to move them to another day and to block the appropriate time for them.
In order for you to have the most impact, schedule and control your calendar and make it your most critical action on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even inter-daily, basis.