Time Management and Freedom: 1 Thing I’ve Learned on My Journey so Far

There’s only 24 hours in a day and time management skills are needed.

Voiceover is fun. There’s no doubt about it. I love it. However, so far on my journey, if truth be told, I’ve spent more time out of my booth in the last 18 months, than actually in it! That’s because it’s a business first and foremost. If I want to thrive and become truly successful in this wonderful industry, I’ve learned that I have to put the time, effort and legwork into all the other things that go with running a business.

Now the thing is we’ve only got 24 hours in a day and how am I (just one person) supposed to fit it all in and get some sleep? When I was an employee there were whole departments that dealt with marketing or networking or tech and so on. Well sometimes, if I’m truly honest it feels like it’s not actually possible. How can it be? The list is endless and it just seems to get longer.

I tick things off and then something else gets added; a course to do here, new tech to explore there, marketing campaigns, networking, training, exploring new genres, etc, etc. Then I look at all the established voiceover artists I know and they are doing it! So, it is possible. I need to follow their example but accept that it’s a learning curve and there will be some pain along the way.

When you’re a sole trader and carrying out all the tasks for your own business, managing your time is key. This is what I’ve been learning. A stopwatch on my phone is a great tool. I set it and then reach out to people on LinkedIn and stop when it goes off. Doing this for chores of the day helps me keep track of my tasks and what I’m achieving each and every day. I’ve also got into the habit of doing daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks. Another important tool I use is my email calendar (I still like to use my paper one as well though!) I also try to plan my week ahead on the Sunday so I don’t wake up on a Monday morning with no idea of what I should be doing and lists are great.

In the last few months, I’ve been working really long hours which I know is all part of the journey and that there are sacrifices that have to be made if you want to run a thriving business. In my old life I worked 9-5 and then switched off. I can’t do that now. I’m always thinking about my business and what I can do to become more productive. The important thing is to remember to have laser focus and not just to be busy for the sake of it.

There needs to be a plan and there needs to be goals set in place. These goals can then be broken down into bite sized chunks that can be tackled quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily so that overwhelm doesn’t take over. A little bite sized chunk each day gets you nearer to the goal defined. When you know what the bite sized chunk of action is that you need to take it’s then much easier to plan the time that you’re going to devote to it.  Planning and setting goals gives you freedom.

In the last few days, I’ve been getting up earlier than normal between 5 and 5.30am and working for 90 minutes to 2 hours planning and working out what I should be doing. That time of the day is great to reset and re-evaluate what needs to be done from the day before. There are no other distractions and I can just focus. I’m finding that this is going to be one way that I can gather my thoughts and make sure I just focus on certain things for the rest of the day and not spread myself too thin. In fact, it’s 5.37am at the moment and I’m writing this blog post.

This is one of my plans. I’m going to write blog and social media posts at this time of the morning in advance, so I have a batch of them ready that I can post when I choose. This will save me the pain of sitting down in the day at a certain time and thinking ‘ooh what shall I write about?’ I’ve created a schedule of posts that I’m going to devote some of this early morning time to in order to write them. I’m at my most productive for writing at this time of the day and I find that the words flow much more easily.

I’ve also found which has been really great for me that I don’t even need to turn my alarm on as I’m waking naturally at 5am. Never saw that coming! I still do turn it on though, just in case! It does hit me in the afternoon sometimes though, so remembering self-care is so important as well.

I’ve realised that on this voice over journey I can’t do everything at once or in one day. I have to accept that it’s a process and that it’s going to take time.

Three tasks a day to focus on and then anything more is a bonus. And most importantly remember to take breaks. Still working on that one!

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