The Organisation of an Everyday Voiceover Career

Some people are just SO organised. It’s amazing.Very. Organised. Calendar.

How do they do it?

How do you do it? Come on, you know who you are.

I am very aware of how important it is to run a freelance voiceover business as an Actual Business. It’s not a hobby, it’s not “employment”, it’s not a “lifestyle”, babycakes. #VOlyfe, am I right?

Wait, what?

Ahem. It’s a business, and I do my darnedest to run it like one. I prioritise marketing, I provide excellent customer service, I organize my work week with to-do lists and goals with action steps.

But, you guys.

Some people. Some voice actors that I know. Are, like, organisation and scheduling QUEENS. Doesn’t matter what gender they are, they’re Queens.

Seriously, I just had a look at some voiceover friends’ weekly calendars. There was time-blocking. There were sections for auditions and marketing and business research and walking the family dog. There was productivity. There was health and wellbeing. There was COLOUR CODING.

Wow, I thought, wow. These are my new favourite people and this is my new favourite thing. I shall create a calendar with blocks and colours and productivity and wellbeing sections and oh my, I will be AMAZING. I will do ALL of the marketing, I will book ALL of the voiceover jobs, I will have SO MANY useful and lead-generating conversations on social media and it will all be so gosh-darn organised.

So, I opened Google Calendar and I did it. I blocked out time, and made repeat events, and decided on how much time each activity should have allocated. I looked through my planner and added appointments and various things in. I allowed time for breaks and family and Health & Wellbeing.

And proceeded to have some of the most unproductive, frustrating days ever. It did not work.

Why, organisation, why do you hate me so? What did I ever do to you?

Like I wrote way back at the end of December – sometimes, all the planning in the world is not going to make things awesome.

Perhaps it’s an emotional thing, perhaps it’s about personality types, maybe I’m just a doofus.

Whatever it is, blocking time in the calendar and expecting myself to stick to the schedule is not my thing.

So I did what I always do when I’m questioning myself: I googled.

“Time management organisation methods”.

Because why get on with organising my day when I could be researching how to organise my day instead?

Here’s what the experts (the first article I liked the look of on google) recommend to make your day productive and organised. I chose my favourites but you can read the rest here :

Plan your day.

This doesn’t have to be “fancy calendars and personal organisers”. It can be good old to-do lists, notepads with reminders, alarms on your phone, or even post-it notes. Go retro, baby!

Limit time spent on email.

Apparently the “average worker” spends 30 hours a week checking email. That is too many hours. Just check them in the morning, reply to the important and urgent ones, and leave it alone! Like a scab. Don’t keep picking at it! You’re only going to cause pain for yourself!

Figure out your own productivity “time zone”.

Are you a morning person?  Get up and get to work, darlings! Are you more useful in the evening? Ignore those early birds, take it easy and work when you work. I keep hearing the the most successful business-people always get up at 5am. Like… as if. Do what works for you!

“Eat the frog”

Why on earth did this Mark Twain quote become such a thing? Why do we want to think about eating frogs?

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

If I were Mark Twain, I would say

“If it’s your job to dispose of the half-mouse your cat brought you, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if the cat has brought you two half-mice… the cat stays out tonight.”

Have I mentioned there’s a bit of a mouse plague where I live at the moment? (don’t click that link if you don’t like mice!)

But, whatever, get those unpleasant jobs over with first. You’ll be fine. No frogs!

Exercise and take regular breaks.

Have you seen the movie Wall-E, where the entire human race lives on a spaceship cruise-liner? Nobody actually walks around anymore, because humanity sort of evolved to spend their life in a seated position and are now about 75% body fat.

That’s us, if we sit at our desks all day. Us voice actors will probably have a microphone attached to our face like a barnacle. Barnaclephone.

And I don’t really wanna wait a few hundred years for a lil robot dude to discover some plant life on earth before I remember how to use my body again,  so I exercise every morning… okay, most mornings… and I get outside at least 3 times a day for some fresh air and sunshine. And cups of tea, of course.

Speaking of which, it’s definitely cup of tea time. That’s not on the calendar; it just is. Some things don’t need calendars.

Tell me dears, how are you doing with your daily organisation? Do you use fancy tools, or old-fashioned ones? Or are you just a natural Organisation Queen?

Images by @cogswell_creations , @Artfully79, @linesacross , and @prutiyachinson  via Twenty20.

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6 comments… add one
  • Joshua Alexander Feb 19, 2021 @ 1:29

    Great blog, Sumara! This notice of your new blog came in right during tea time for me, so I checked my color-coded calendar, typed in “Read Sumara’s Blog at precisely 6:25am Thursday morning”, and I obeyed it! I was almost halfway through when the mouse attack happened.

    • Sumara Meers Feb 19, 2021 @ 9:13

      Well I hope you used shocking-pink #f205cb to colour-code that reminder! 😁

      Sorry about the mouse! It was probably the ones I just chased out of my kitchen…. they’re fast!

  • Storm Feb 27, 2021 @ 18:09

    Gotta thank Josh for pointing me here. I’ve just transitioned out of the day job and thought for sure I had my ducks in a row. I’ve planned and trained for this moment. Turns out my ducks are in fact tiny scattered jerks. I appreciate knowing I’m not the only one who has to do things a little differently. 😀

    • Sumara Meers Mar 2, 2021 @ 10:14

      Hi Storm! So great to meet you. I LOVE your name. Thanks for visiting and subscribing. 😁

      Voiceover ducks are notoriously chaotic and disobedient. Not fans of being in rows AT ALL. 🦆🦆🦆

  • Jon Gardner Feb 28, 2021 @ 2:31

    If you are a doofus, then that makes me doofus-er, so don’t feel bad. Keep doing things the way that works for you – it sounds like you are doing great. Let me know if you get that Barnaclephone idea off the ground, I might be interested.

    • Sumara Meers Mar 2, 2021 @ 10:11

      lol, thank you Jon – you will be one of the first beta testers, I promise! 😂

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