Time bending is a huge topic I work on with my advanced actors.
Saving you time is one of my biggest goals.
Even saving you money is less important than saving time. You can always make more money, but you can never, ever get time back. It’s the only truly precious commodity.
When you start to control and master your time, then you are able to make the ultimate investments in yourself. This is time management on steroids.
The sooner you master time, even if you are still a new actor, the greater focus and clarity you will have.
And of course, clarity creates confidence.
Advanced actors require massive clarity and confidence because they tend to have a large supply of what we call Great Problems: too much to do in limited time.
When you’re operating as a professional actor, you may have to be on set, get to auditions, possibly juggle a support job, develop relationships: all to keep the business running smoothly. These are Great Problems.
Unfortunately, if you’re an un-practiced actor, you may approach them as bad problems. Then clarity flies out the window as stress steps in.
The flip side of this is when you have a lot of Big Life Circumstances (BLCs) happening, but business cannot just stop. I recently moved and I was felt like I was drowning in 192 packing boxes. So what? The boxes don’t care. Business has to carry on!
As an actor, it’s easy to get too busy, with support jobs, partners and spouses, family and friends, and money management. Even though you’re working for yourself, business cannot grind to a halt.
And never forget: everyone is busy. It’s an equal playing field.
Whether you’re working with Great Problems or BLCs, learning how to bend time has some amazing benefits.
Not only can you achieve many more things in the course of a day. You start to identify the most effective thing to move you forward. Not everything is equal.
Studies also prove that these are also stress hacks. Limit the bad stress, increase the effectiveness!
Never forget: we’re not seeking hyper-productivity. We are seeking hyper effectiveness.
I’ve talked before about the obsession with being ‘busy’ and productive, but none of it matters if it’s not effective at getting you immediately closer to achieving your goals.
Start using these TIME HACKS to bend time to your will.
Time management will never feel so effortless — it’s kind of like rehearsing or working on set; time just seems to fly because you’re so utterly engaged in the work you love to do.
FIRST: Nix News and Media
If you’ve never done this before, it’s truly life-altering.
This means: no news, no newspapers, no news radio, no news podcasts.
Focus on your own work and your own creativity with no emotional and mental media distractions.
Let other people catch you up on the big topics – rest assured, they will! You will not miss out on much that you will not be caught up on by your nearest and dearest.
SECOND: Contain Social Media
Yes,that’s right. Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and the other 80 apps you use need to stay shut. Do I hear the groaning already?!
You must contain social media like a wild beast: the King Kong of the online world, the Jurassic World of information.
The distractions of other people’s day to day life shared on social media is proving to be people’s biggest time sucks and sources of stress.
Now, if you need to access social media for business purposes – reaching out to people, commenting on posts and profiles, etc – then contain this completely to one hour, once a day. Impossible, you say?! Not really. It does require practice though.
Stick to the hour! You will be shocked how it actually is possible. Focus on finishing what you need, and then walk away.
Special Note: Do not do this at bedtime! Preferable is late morning or late afternoon.
Be awed by the emotional space you create in addition to bending time.
THIRD: Snowball Your Email
I am regularly reminded that human beings are also part of the animal kingdom.
While our consciousness might elevate us, our body and mental structure is still very animalistic, even reptilian.
Emails tend to revert us back to little Pavlovian dogs. You hear (or see) the notification on your smartphone and go running off to collect your email.
We can be so predictable.
It breaks immediate focus from whatever your doing and whomever you are with.
That’s a whole other story: Relationships are everything, so stop disregarding the people right in front of you! BE WITH THEM COMPLETELY.
Snowballing emails makes me feel like I am compacting all my email time into tight, bursting balls of info wrangling.
SET TIMES TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL.
I check mine at noon and 5pm daily. I take as much time as I need to reply to everything and make sure my business needs are taken care of.
Do this more often if you are convinced that you cannot only check email twice a day, but give it a try to see what you’re really missing.
And don’t forget: IF IT’S IMPORTANT, they will call!
Your agent will call you. Your manager will ensure that you get the audition notification!
Consider this, if you were on set or at a support job, you couldn’t check your phone 24/7, you’d need to invest your time on those activities.
Give that same gift to yourself. If you’re convinced that you must check your email once every hour or two, no problem, but be consistent about it. No fudging. Truly though, if it’s important they will call!
FOURTH: Set Your Phone to Airplane Mode
Don’t get notifications of any kind until you choose to receive them. Focus on projects completely.
Keep your computer off too. If you’re an internet addict, there are also timer programs for your computer that will allow you to not access the internet. Use this carefully, as you often cannot deactivate them, and will remain internet-free until the time is up. Priceless!
FIFTH: Set Boundaries for Personal Texts
Do not engage in personal texting – or phone calls – until you have a determined break time.
Stopping something that you are focusing on to take a personal text or phone call, means that you are giving other people permission to interrupt you at will.
Key training: you train people to treat you the way you want to be treated (remember the Pavlovian dogs we can turn into). If people know you will not respond within 5 second of receiving their text, they will not expect it. Perfect.
Start to train yourself to invest time in yourself. This is not a built in skill that happens upon birth. It takes practice and effort. Then it becomes a lovely habit.
Just as you’d invest your presence and time to a director and producer on set, give the same courtesy to yourself.
When you treat yourself and your business like the biggest investment to your future, you can start bending time to your will with confidence and clarity like never before.
Time management becomes effortless, because you know how to bend your focus at will. Other people will respect you for it. Best of all, you master the universe when you master the only thing you cannot get back: time.