Thursday, August 18, 2011

Putting out fires or growing the forest

Some days I’m fortunate to be so busy I can barely get everything done. Today, for example, included three voiceover auditions, preparation for and a call with an agent that led me to ask two friends for suggestions, some revisions for 2 VO jobs, a call with a client and an improv show. I’m putting out fires and meeting short deadlines.

Other days I have more time to grow the forest…makde headway on longer term projects such as revisions, putting final touches on the non-fiction book, researching and deciding on next steps. But those days seem to be fewer and farther between. Sometimes I feel I get less done, because I'm creating my own agenda and prioritzing tasks that may lead to income, but progress and results may not be as obvious.

Not to mention staying on top of email and social media and keeping up with those in my network, which takes more and more time, especially if I want to follow through on frequent recommendations to build my platform and grow my online community.

I'm getting better at going with the flow...setting aside one thing I was focusing on to deal with another that pops up. I try not to spend too much time on fun distractions, like talking to friends, but there are times when it's easier to catch up and/or make social arrangements during business hours.

Years ago, when I had a 9 to 5 corporate job, though there was always more work to do, when I left for the day I felt done. Fires were out, some forest growing had been acheived. I was free.

Now, though I don't have a boss expecting me to show up on time, not only do I tend to work more hours (I'm often at my desk by 7AM), I spend more of my "free" time thinking about what to do next or analyzing a sticking point. Also, emails from clients or agents can come at any time...evenings and even weekends...and many request (and expect) a response ASAP. There are always new fires to tend and an almost unlimited amount and types of new trees to grow.

The key is to be sure to find enough time and energy to nourish the trees in your forest. If you spend all of your days putting out fires, are always catching up, when can you move forward? When can you grow and expand your business, and thus your income?

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