There’s a common thread amongst most creative types – we love the fun, imaginative part of our job, but we cringe when we think about scheduling, frameworks, or anything which is less than spontaneous.
Can you relate?
If you’re at the point in your voice-over journey where you’ve studied the foundations and recorded your first demo or two, the next major task is setting up your daily life in such a way that you stay accountable. This is the stepping stone that helps you actually find opportunities and book work.
In fact, having a strategy around how you build your day is essential to taking your work from hobby to career.
Here are some pointers for doing so:
- Set Times for Everything (and Stick to the Plan)
For a long time, I thought I could just find time for everything without a set routine. Inevitably, I would get wrapped up doing one thing, like researching prospective clients, and that would impact the amount of time I had to practice technique,or even sleep.
Creating calendar blocks, where you focus on tackling different types of projects, social interactions, email responses, et cetera, is a great way to make sure you spend time on each of the essentials. Try setting times throughout each day or week when you will:
- Warm up
- Practice technique
- Record auditions (or actual jobs, if you have the freedom to schedule them as you like)
- Research possible clients (in your network and beyond)
- Email prospects
- Reconnect with warm leads from the past
- Respond to emails and messages
- Plan out and post to social media
- Take care of tasks at home and personal errands
While planning these out as recurring blocks can seem tedious at first, stick with the plan for a few weeks. You’ll be amazed at how much more efficiently you work.
- Break Bigger Tasks into Bite-Sized Pieces
When you have a large task or goal staring you in the face, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And especially in the early days, when you may still be working in your “survival job,” these types of to-dos can make you feel flustered.
Instead, stay positive by breaking up big tasks into bite-sized pieces. If you’ve taken on an audiobook project, for example, plan out how many chapters or how much time you will work on the book each day. This way, you are able to keep your clients happy and keep yourself sane.
- Don’t Skip the “Small” Stuff
As you get going with your voice-over work, it can become tempting to skip some aspects of your work after a while. Don’t.
You may not think that exercise or warming up matters very much, for example, but if you skip them, you could end up feeling lethargic in long sessions or with a vocal injury. There’s a reason our curriculum covers what it does, because working professionals know that these aspects of your process are essential.
- Question How You Use Your Time
If you feel like you’re always busy, consider this: are you just busy, or are your actually engaging in activities which are productive?
Start to analyze how you use your time throughout the day. Can you trim down the time you spend browsing social media? Do you get caught up in junk tasks instead of staying focused on the scarier, yet more rewarding, long-term goals? When you find yourself doing so, pause and get back on track.
- Incorporate Time to Decompress
This one gets skipped the most, yet it is arguably one of the most important.
You are in a creative profession. Without taking the time to be un-busy, to do things that stimulate your mind or help you relax, your creativity suffers. And the next time you’re in the booth and a client wants to try something ridiculous, you’re a ball of nerves, instead of feeling at ease and grounded.
Being committed to launching your voice-over career doesn’t mean working yourself to death. Sure, you have to be self-disciplined, and you may still work another job or two, but you’re a human, at the end of the day. Put the brakes on to spend time with your kids or fur baby, get outside, see friends, and sleep. You’ll be a better artist for it.
Have other ideas that help you get the most out of each day? Share below!