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Effective Self-Management

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When you’re getting your start in entertainment, you will likely be representing yourself and “your brand,” which is a consistent image you will project to those you hope to work within the industry.  This means you must ensure your marketing tools are current and you manage your schedule in a way that optimizes the number of opportunities you can participate in.  It can be overwhelming, at first, trying to develop the necessary tools and finagling your schedule to ensure you’re where you need to be when you need to be there.  This is particularly true when trying to manage other personal and professional responsibilities.  However, there are a few ways in which you can make life a bit easier.

Hone Your Research Skills

First off, having solid research skills is important to discovering valid opportunities in the industry and staying in the know.  Many casting and open calls, auditions, hair shows, runway events, and the like, are posted online.  But, regardless of the breadth of potential breakthrough opportunities posted, you need to know how to find them.  Using tools that display a list of projects you are qualified to attend in your area will help.  From there, you can add those that are of interest to a pocket or online planner and reference it as needed.

Stay Organized

Organization is key, and how you organize needs to make sense to you – even if no one else gets it.  You may be the type to lay out piles of paperwork all over your office floor to line your walls with post-its.  Or, you may prefer sticking to smartphone apps and email reminders.  As long as your organizational style helps you to find balance and manage your time efficiently, that’s all that matters.

Manage Marketing Updates

Keeping your marketing tools up-to-date at all times is vital.  Maintain digital copies, and every time you land a role or participate in an event, make sure to update them accordingly.  Nowadays, you can submit to many opportunities online, but staying on top of updates at all times will ensure you can quickly print up-to-date copies as needed.

Time is Money

Beware of what Daniel Levitan, author of The Organized Mind, calls the novelty bias.  This is the natural human inclination to read an email the minute it’s received, review pop up reminders instantly, or respond to an impromptu text or phone call.  Scheduling too many reminders for ourselves, keeping our email open 24/7, or positioning our phone beside the keyboard can lead to interruptions we cannot easily recover from mentally.  Research has shown that it can take nearly half an hour to get back to the original task our attention was diverted from!  This is a huge time suck, and time is precious.  When focusing on opportunity research, schedule organization, or marketing updates, make sure you find a quiet space with minimal distractions and resist the urge to overdo it with multi-tasking.

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