Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making Your Task List Work for You

I am a huge fan of lists. I make lists for everything, both at work and at home. If it weren't for lists, I would probably spend more time than is healthy for someone my age trying to remember a brilliant marketing idea I came up with or the important errand I had to run, which was time-sensitive for some reason ...

It is safe to say that I'm at least 20% more productive because I make lists for everything. Not only does it keep me on track to accomplish my voice-over work, but putting my ideas on paper keeps them from bouncing around my head at night when I'd rather be sleeping.

This may seem pretty basic, and maybe you're even wondering what this has to do with voice-overs. If you're new to the voice-over industry, you might be surprised by how much organizational work voice-overs requires. As a voice-over artist, you are always juggling multiple balls at once: clients to follow up with, new contacts to make, quarterly newsletters to write up, not to mention your voice-over jobs, recording and editing, and voice-over technique to practice. And that's assuming you don't have a computer glitch or tech malfunction. The key to keeping track of everything is to make lists!

Make sure your list works for you. If you aren't a list-maker by nature, it might stress you out the first time to see exactly how much work you have yet to do. It's OK -- go ahead and label this your "Stress List".

Pull items fro your Stress List to make your actual Task List, and consider how much time you'll need to accomplish each item. Some things I know will take a few days to accomplish, so I like to throw in a few easy tasks that I know I'll be able to get done right away. At the risk of sounding anal-retentive, it sure feels nice to strike something off that list, even if it was a simple task!

In order meet all of your self-scheduled deadlines, make sure to work
backwards from your due date. If you want to complete a project by the end of the weekend, work backwards from that due date and figure out how to accomplish your goal. By doing so, you will have effectively taken a large task and broken it up into manageable chunks of time, and you're much more likely to get it done!

Do you have other methods that work for you? Let's hear 'em -- we're all about efficiency here!

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