Copy of Starting the New Year Off on the Right Foot
Hey there guys! It's the start of a new year! A new Year with new goals and hopefully fresh ambition to get everything rolling! So fittingly, I wanted to make this months blog post about different ways, steps, and avenues you can start utilizing to help make your dreams come true this year.
Now I want to start off with a MAJOR disclaimer. I know everyone lives completely different lives with completely different priorities. I'm no where near qualified to tell you what you should do with yours or how to live it. That's NOT the point of this post. Nor is it to tell you to change up your priorities. Some of you have kids. If your kid gets sick, it will probably throw off your entire schedule for the week. Your entire focus will be on helping them. Maybe you're moving in with your partner. Then you of course will need to focus on changing your life and moving your things. I think its VERY important to keep your priorities straight and your values on family and friends. The intent and goal of this post is, if you WANT to accomplish more this year and you think your system may be holding you back from accomplishing them. Or maybe isn't utilized the best outcome, maybe some of these techniques can help you grow faster and go farther in your career.
These are all things I've start incorporating to make sure I stay on task, up todate, and nothing I want to do falls to the wayside.
Brain Dump A brain dump is just taking every single thing you want to or think you need to do and writing it ALL down. Need a new demo reel? Write that down. Need to clean out your closet and donate old clothes? Write that down. Is your New Years resolution to travel more? Write that down.
This step will take a few days. More things will pop up in your head. I actually have a dry erase board outside of my studio for this entire purpose. When something I want to accomplish shows up in my head, I write it down. This helps free up space in your brain. We spend SO much time and energy remembering what we need to do. With a place for everything to go, we no longer waste that resource. It also can help calm your nerves. If youre postivie everything you need to do is down on the list, it WILL get done. At least with the next steps. You may also come across things that end up NOT being worth your time. Some people categorize their list first.
Section 2: Categorize
Now that you have everything listed down, we can start to organize it.
Above is a good example of how you can label things on your list. I personally divide this up into 4 columns and then just put things in their columns, but its whichever layout you like best. Some things you may end up removing from your list because you may realize they don't deserve the time it will take to do them. Example, you may think updating your Linkd in account is very important, but realize after some reflection that you've never gotten a job from there nor does anyone you know check it anymore. This is time that could be better spent on other things.
Section 3. Calenders
Planning and calendars are the next step. Once you've addressed what all needs done and its urgency, we can start to plan.
I break my calendars out into 4 different sections: Year, Month, Week, Day. First, what are my MAIN goals for the year. My BIG plans. No the "I need to clean up the kitchen" or "I need to schedule this class" but things like "I want to travel out of the country somewhere new", "I want to make a new demo reel", "I want to learn a new language" These are things that take time and shouldnt be rushed. To just accomplish them for the sake of checking them off, defeats the purpose. Next we look at months. What 3 major things would you be happy if you accomplished this month? What about for February? And then weeks. What 3 things would you like to have done by this time next week? And then days, what woud you be proud you accomplished by the time you go to sleep tonight?
Now we can start to put in sections from the quadrants in section 2. Maybe this week you have 1 important & urgent thing (Fixing a cars flat tire so you can drive, Paying the rent of Electric), 1 Urgent but not important (Cleaning out your email inbox, unsubscribing from spam emails) , and 1 Non urgent but important (Auditioning for 30 minutes per work day, updating your resume on your website) Now, you will need to keep in mind what you CAN do in a day, a week, a month. Its easy to burn ourselves out trying to do too much at once. This is why I mix in a section from each list.
Once you have everything scheduled, you know that these dreams are now becoming plans. Like stated above "A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true." You know that if you stick to these schedules and plans (Roughly, life does happen and thats okay), that soon, your dreams will come true. If you just follow what youve set out, you will be fine and you dont have to worry. Again, relieving some stress.
Section 4: Time Blocking
Time blocking is something you will do normally more for your day by day calendar. This is where you section off times to work on projects. This is really helpful for projects you can take a lot of time with. Example, when left to my own schedule, cleaning the kitchen can take me 2 minutes, or 2 hours. Editing a video or blog for this site can take me 30 minutes, or 3 days. So by setting aside time, I make sure that I dont go overboard and screw up time allotted to other responsibilities. I wont get auditions sent in if I spend a week editing a video. So I give myself a time frame to work. Now with some goals, this hsa strict deadlines, others now. When Im mixing a demo, I will give myself 2 hours throughout the day to work on it. But I will keep that schedule UNTIL I am HAPPY with the demo. Vs. I may give myself 2 hours through the day to edit a video. And after 2 hours, THATS IT. Because I will continue to nit pick it until Im okay with it. That ends up wasting a lot of time and mental resources I could be using to help you guys in other avenues. So decide which tasks you can give hard time frames for and which you can continue until youre happy with it.
Another way you can break down tasks is by how much the require from you energy and mentally. The above images break these own better. I will let you guys decide which works best for you. Maybe try one week of each and see what you prefer.
SECTION 5: Time to Work
Now that you have everything down, start to focus on the steps to achieve the end goal. "One bite of the elephant at a time" This saying means when you have something that seems huge or mountainous to achieve, focus on the steps and not the whole project. It can be very easy to get caught up, overwhelmed, or intimidated when we think of all we want to get done in a year. But we have a WHOLE YEAR to do that. And with just steps every day, we can achieve it. When I first started in voice acting, I told myself I would ALWAYS take a step towards my dream ever day. Some days, those steps would seem huge, others minuscule. But each mattered. Small steps could be submitting for one audition that day, updating my resume, but those small steps all added up to me landing a role on the Disney channel or booking Borderlands 3. Everything does add up, its okay if some days we move faster than others, or some days we just did ONE thing. Its just important we always keep moving forward.
I truly hope this blog helps you with scheduling out and achieving your goals this year. I know its far more different than y normal content but I think it will help some of you in the long run. Much Love! -Rachael