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Isn't It About Time You Got
A Grip On Managing Time?

By Deb Munro
Voice Actor & Coach

How well are you managing your time? 
If you are a realist and manage your time well,  you know exactly how much time it takes to get your duties done - even know how to account for your personal time in that equation, while others aren't as lucky.
Or, you might be thinking:  "Time management? What time!?" 
Sometimes I think that's the category I fit into.
There never seems to be enough time in the day for me to get done all that I set out to do. 
The difference, however, is that I am a realist as well, and I do try to account for just the right amount of time. 
I am known to never be early and never be late - but I get everything done just in the nick of time!
Breaking myself into three careers isn't easy. I am a full-time voice talent/business owner, full-time coach, and full-time mom/spouse/grandma - so I tend to spread myself pretty thin. Not to mention that I have some big goals yet to accomplish. 
It's very important for you see where you want to go and then plan exactly what is required in both time and money to accomplish it. 
In my case, I got so busy that I wasn't able to keep up. So hiring an assistant was my only hope.
I was blessed when what I needed presented itself to me, and now I'm able to manage my time much better.
How much is your time worth to you?
How are you best spending your time?
It's frustrating to watch talent have goals but do nothing with their time to achieve them.
We all have circumstances that change our time management and daily routines, but much like the dreaded workout at the gym, if you don't keep at it, you will never grow.
This is one industry where complacency can be your enemy.
Set a realistic schedule for yourself and start recording the time you spent on your craft.
If you are devoting full-time hours to this, you will start seeing full-time results.

But if you're only putting in an hour here and an hour there, that isn't commitment. That's a hobby, and most of us don't make money at our hobbies. 
It's easy to make up excuses, so, as we approach a new year, I encourage you to approach this in a productive direction - then stick to the plan you set out to achieve. 
I truly believe there is power in writing out your goals and your schedule. 

I  work best under a written schedule. 

Here's what to consider for your schedule.
How much time is spent per day doing the following?
  • Vocal and physical exercise
  • Auditioning
  • Editing
  • Educating
  • Research
  • Invoicing
  • Following up
  • Effective marketing
  • Social networking (a time sucker)
  • Family and friend time
  • Me time
As you can see, there isn't enough time in the day to do all these things, but when you run your own business, you don't have a choice. 
Also consider things that can steal time from achieving goals.

For instance, how much time is spent per day doing the following? 
  • Social networking (use this for business so that you are getting something back)
  • Watching TV
  • Listening to music
  • Drinking coffee
  • Smoking
  • Driving
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Complaining
  • Procrastinating
  • Playing games
  • Cleaning
  • Taking care of family
  • Working
Some things on this list are unavoidable, but if you  monitor your days and write out exactly how much time is spent in each area of your day, you may be able to find more time.  

If all else fails, hire someone to help achieve your goals and needs.
Of course, you might resist hiring help because:
  • You don't have the money or
  • You want to take on everything yourself to prove a point
But the only point you have to prove is to succeed, and to show that you are worth the time and investment it takes to succeed. 
I couldn't afford the time or the money to make this career happen, but I knew it wasn't going to do it itself. 
So I set out a schedule and a goal plan, and I've been following it and adapting it every since.
How much is your time worth to you? 
Yet, avoid overloading yourself.
Set realistic goals so that you don't burn out. 
While you may be gifted to be all things to all people, until you take care of you - you will only let others down. Take care of your needs first. 
Set boundaries for yourself and your support team so that you can realistically devote the time and effort you need to creating the best you that you can create. 


Deb Munro is a leading voice talent, coach, and owner of Chanti Productions, in the Vancouver, B.C., Canada area. She offers private voice over coaching by phone and Skype, and MIC 'N ME and Double Divas workshops on voice acting, business and demo prep in many Canadian cities.


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Comments (3)
Cat Smith
12/4/2011 at 2:43 AM
Thank you for the pep talk! It was just what I needed going into the new year.
Randye Kaye
12/3/2011 at 10:40 AM
Deb - this is a wonderful article! As a full-time voice talent, full-time author/speaker, full-time Mom, VO coach/teacher with Edge Studio and occasional (currently) theatre/TV actress, my life is all about the time management (and color-coding my datebook), where can I go to order more hours in the day? :)thanks for your terrific info -
Pearl Hewitt
12/2/2011 at 2:39 AM
Hi Deb, and thank you so much for your wonderful article.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said, and even though I have heard this all before (in a different way) by someone else, it's okayyyyy! I neeeeed to hear it again......and again....and again. Reinforcing this information is essential for success (to me anyway). It's so easy to begin to let things slide and as soon as you do that, you have an avalanche on your hands and everything ends up in a disorganized heap.

Bad time-management is my ARCH NEMESIS and I am an expert of procrastination. There are NEVER enough hours in the day. I definitely don't have a reputation for being early, but I definitely have a reputation for getting things done and doing them well!

However, I have found that working long 'unfocused' hours, under stress and running on adrenaline to achieve results under 'last minute' conditions is NOT conducive to effectively running a good business. Far too much time is wasted!!

I am currently working hard to change my thought processes on this and I am slowly but surely making changes for the good.

I have likened this change in 'thought process' to that of implementing a 'lifestyle change' instead of simply going on a diet to lose weight. Just cutting calories, depriving ourselves of 'goodies' and basically surviving every day in misery, with low self esteem and little motivation is not healthy and will ultimately result in little weight loss and a tendency to begrudgingly accept self-disappointment. Successful weight loss, however, and learning to maintain that weight loss is generally achieved because people changed their lifestyles. They started eating healthier foods at regular intervals instead of eating a lot less of the bad food at each meal, fewer times a day. They began exercising and started living their daily lives with structure and a routine.

Time management is exactly that. Build yourself a structure of your day. Make a list of short, medium and long-term goals that are manageable. Assign times of the day to do certain tasks and set a timer so they are at least started on. When the timer goes off, move to the next task on the list.

This 'lifestyle change' in your working day is not easy, I can tell you, because I'm used to hobbying myself through my unstructured day, not writing things down and trying to complete tasks that are flying around my scatterbrain. However, I'm now learning to write lists every day and it's surprising how much more I am achieving even just doing that.

Lifestyle change in your working environment is the answer. Set your mind to it and get a grip on it. Organize your thoughts. Write them down write them down, write them down. Put these simple rules into action and you will quickly see results.

Getting a grip is right! Take hold, don't let go and stick with it. Success will ultimately be the only possible result.
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