Wow. What a great article this week! One of my biggest problems (seeing as how I am “in between jobs” right now) is time management. Great ideas and I can’t agree more with the life philosophy you’ve got going on concerning setting limits and boundaries to keep your soul sane!
Thanks, Christina. I got a lot of feedback on Time Management. Seems the moment was right for discussing some tactics for wrangling the to-do list and keeping ourselves focused and open at the same time. Even non-actors are passing that column around. So, cool!
Of course, wouldn’t you know after I turned the column in that I would think of one of my absolutely most favorite time management tips, which I neglected to share with y’all last week. (And it’s kind of sneaky, so maybe it’s better shared here in a Your Turn, anyway. Heh heh.)
Okay, so when I first, first moved to Los Angeles (in 1993, before boomeranging back for grad school at UGA), I met Billy DaMota at what was then known as a casting workshop (something a far cry from what CD workshops are now; we did prepared scenes with partners we’d been working with for weeks, we each chipped in ten bucks to rent the space and pay for coffee and snacks, and the casting director — who came for free — sat with each of us after the scenes to go over our resumés and talk about our choices. Note: I also met Cami Patton, Mark Teschner, Lisa Miller Katz, and Eddie Foy through this particular workshop), and we became friends.
About a week after the workshop, we were trying to set up a lunch date and he mentioned that he was heading out of town but would be back on Friday. Then he said, “Actually, I’ll be back on Thursday, but I always tell people I’ll be back a day later than I return, just so I can fully land and recover from my trip.” I remember thinking right then, “That’s brilliant.”
So, to this day, when I’m going out of town, I say I’ll be leaving on Tuesday when I’ll actually be leaving on Wednesday. I say I’ll return on Sunday when I’m actually returning on Saturday. And I do this regarding meetings too. I will have to leave for a meeting by 1pm. No excuses. Must be out the door by 1pm. But I will be dealing with producers on an issue we’re working to resolve and I’ll mention, “Okay, I’ll be reachable until noon, but then I’m out the door for a meeting. I’ll be back and available to you at 4pm.” (And, of course, the truth is that I’ll be back closer to 3pm.) That extra hour in either direction gives me the buffer to get things done without someone pulling on me. And it gives me the option to make contact if I do want to deal with the issue at hand.
See, it’s so easy for people to hear, “I’m here ’til 1pm,” and think, “Ooh, I should call her,” at exactly 12:50pm. How is that a good idea? We’re crunched for time and I’m trying to get out the door. This is why people are so often late (my biggest pet peeve) in this city. They cram everything in to the last possible minute, rather than giving themselves room to breathe in their schedule.
I love having that extra time. No one is contacting me on the day “I’m traveling,” so I can get packed without distraction and wrap up whatever issues I find pressing, rather than the issues everyone else thinks I should find pressing. Again, I am not a surgeon, so nothing is a true emergency, even though everyone in Hollywood treats everything as if it is one.
Protecting your time is the best time management tip I’ve got!
And finally, this is the last call on the advice I’m seeking for self-produced material producers. Those who are busily churning out their own content are hungry to know what the next step might be, and I’d love to hear from more of my awesome self-producing readers out there! Again, thanks for sharing your toys. Y’all rock!
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001058.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.