When you’re a performer, you have a million and one things to keep track of: shows, classes, rehearsals, the muggle job that helps pay for your sparkly habit…the list goes on. I’d like to share with you some of my tips that I use (or at least try to use) to manage my calendar, which in turn helps me manage all aspects of my life.
I LOVE using Google applications with my Android phone. Because I have everything set to sync up, it makes it easy to plug appointments in from either my phone or computer. Since I’m not an iPhone user, I’m not sure what the syncing process entails and if it’s as easy as Android and Google, but I’ll be talking about using Android and Google since those tools haven’t failed me yet, except when I forget to use them.
The number 1 thing to remember about calendar management is to actually use your calendar. You have to develop the habit of entering items into your calendar and actually checking it. So when I get an email about a show, I block out the time from call time to when I think it will end. When I’m trying to make plans with someone, I try not to commit to anything until I know I’m available.
How do you create these habits? Well, I’m still figuring that out for myself, but here is what I do so far. When an email comes through for a show, I open my calendar, go to the date, and plug in the details. If I don’t have exact time details, I block out a couple hours in that evening and edit later. I don’t let not having the perfect amount of information stop me from entering dates into the calendar. Checking your calendar can go hand in hand with plugging dates immediately into your calendar as you will see what’s on your calendar before you plug anything in.
What kinds of things do you put in your calendar? I don’t just stick with the obvious. I will add the the following appointments onto my calendar to help me manage my time:
- Muggle Job
- Date night
- Grocery Shopping and other household activities
- Festival Dates (even if I haven’t been accepted yet
- Commute times (especially if more than a half hour)
- Personal rehearsal time
- Costuming Time
Basically, if it’s going to take time out of your day, then consider putting it on your calendar. Even if it’s something that doesn’t need a specific time, put it on your calendar to make sure you get to the task and not procrastinate.
I also start most of my appointments with a descriptor word or phrase. Some common ones I use include:
- POTENTIAL SHOW
- GO SEE (For shows I’m not in BTW want to attend)
- POTENTIAL FESTIVAL
- DATE NIGHT
And lastly, I use different colors to code burlesque commitments versus muggle job versus personal life commitments. This also allows me to share appropriate calendars with appropriate people.
I hope this discussion of calendar management helps inspire you to start organizing your calendar and time so you never double book yourself again. I would love to hear about any of your calendar hacks. Please share any other ideas or questions below.