Time Management and the Actor

how to make better use of your schedule

Do you ever feel like being an actor is a full-time job with a part-time paycheck? 

Almost every actor has multiple jobs. Even celebrities like Jessica Alba (Honest Beauty), Ryan Reynolds (Aviation Gin) and Jared Leto (Reddit... yep, you read that right) have their hands in other businesses. 

So, how are you supposed to balance your day job, auditions, rehearsals, personal life, and self-care without getting so overwhelmed that you crawl to the fetal position?

Here are some of our favorite ways to manage your time to help you manage your life.

Monday Morning Meeting

KEVIN: I've made it a habit to set a meeting with myself every Monday morning. During this session I look at my tasks for the upcoming week and make a list.  

This includes every new project, client session, rehearsal, workout and even some personal time. Once I have a clear vision of what needs to happen, I create a plan of action. Being the type-A person that I am, rather than saying "I'll get to that at some point this week," I set a specific day and time to have it completed. 

NATALIE: I don't really work in "weeks"- I'm more of a monthly/daily gal. I keep a big wall calendar up that shows me what my month looks like at a glance and I use my iCal to keep my daily appointments straight.  

Keep a calendar

KEVIN: I can plan all day long, but if it doesn't make it into my calendar, the odds of it being completed are slim to none.  I use my iCal and Reminders on my phone to keep me on track. This is perfect for me because some things need immediate attention while others are more of a long term plan.

NATALIE: Ditto! But, like I said, I use my iCal plus a big dry erase calendar on the wall. It's important that my work things are shared with Kevin, but that my personal times are kept current, too. The only way to do this is to keep everyone accountable... and color coded. ;)

I also need to remember that some weeks will be light and others will be crazy. I look at the balance of the month rather than the time spent on a project in a single day. 

Get it in front of you

KEVIN: I love post-it notes...just ask my business partner. I use these colorful little gems for everything from reminders to call Mom, to jotting down ideas or creating a new cabaret line-up. Here's the trick...make sure at the end of the day you collect all your notes in one place. Post-it actually has an app that allows you to take pics of your paper notes, and add them to a file. That's COOL, IKR!?!?

NATALIE: Kevin and his Post-It Notes. (SMH- He isn't kidding...) 

I'm not as naturally as organized as Kevin, so I need everything in a notebook. I like the cute little blank ones from places like TJ Maxx or Marshalls. I always keep one on hand to make lists of things like daily tasks & show ideas.

BONUS: For those of you who work in teams, get yourself a Google Drive so you can work in tandem. It's totally free and a total lifesaver. 

The power of NO 

KEVIN: This is a little more difficult because we want to be all things to all people. You can't- and that's OK.  Learn to be more discerning about which projects you take on. 

The first few times of telling people NO will send your guilt skyrocketing. It's ok. This little word is really the key to finding the balance you crave.

NATALIE: Hear, hear! (Once I learn how to do it, I'll let you know.)

What are your tricks for time management? Let us know in the comments!

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-Kevin Kelly & Natalie Cordone- theConnectedPerformer.com