ZEN TIP TUESDAY #10
For ZTT #10 I welcome Charlotte Atkinson. Charlotte makes films, amongst other things. What started for her as a passion for being organised, developed into a full-blown career in the film industry. Charlotte shares some stress-busting organisation methods to help bring some calm to a hectic lifestyle.
If you’re linking up for ZTT Link-Up #008, welcome and I look forward to reading your post.
Ciao from me and enjoy!
The Stress-Busting Organisation Method used by Creative Entrepreneurs to Create a Sense of Calm in a Hectic Lifestyle
Whenever I read posts about ‘stress-busting activities’ it always revolves around what you have to add to your life. An extra ten minutes of your already busy morning routine should be dedicated to meditation, with another ten minutes for yoga. Then the same in the evening (as if the day hasn’t already gotten away from you).
During all of my sales calls, chats with clients or coffee dates with creative entrepreneurs, they all tell me how much of everything there is to do. So I developed ways to reduce stress without the stress of having to factor in extra activities.
Step one: analyse everything you are currently doing
Get your notes on your phone ready or go old school with pen and paper and write down everything you have to do. It helps to break it down into separate lists, so you might have ‘Blogging’, ‘9-5 work’, ‘Home’, ‘Family’ ‘Myself’ lists for example. Then write down everything.
Step two: select everything you dislike doing
Underline it, highlight it, whatever you want to do, just mark out the things you don’t like doing in those lists.
I personally dislike reading film scripts and treatments I get sent because I noticed how much of my time was eaten away by reading scripts I didn’t enjoy and didn’t want to produce.
Step three: reduce, delegate or eliminate the things you dislike
As a film producer I have to read the scripts I get sent. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Instead, I got an assistant who reads all the scripts for me and filters them, so I don’t waste my time on anything I know I don’t want to produce.
See what you have selected that you don’t actually need to do. A lot of my clients hate having to read and reply to emails, and yet they were spending up to 3 hours a day on it. For them I introduced timed email sessions where they’d check their email, reply to anything vital in fifteen minute slots two or three times a day. You are never tied into anything, which is why stepping back to analyse what you’re dedicating your time to is so important.
Hint: if you dislike doing something and you don’t actually need to do it – eliminate it. If you’re not sure if can eliminate it, ask yourself what results you get from continuing to do it. If you dislike something that has to be done, then you can either give it to someone else to do, or make it easier by reducing the amount of time you have to dedicate to it.
Step four: reducing as much of your work as possible
Reducing your work can sound a bit like cutting down on the number of guest blog posts you write or turning down overtime. It’s actually the complete opposite. It’s all about streamlining.
When I first started this method, I hated this step. I felt that working hard meant working constantly, giving it my all and living up to the blood, sweat and tears motto I’d grown up with. But the more I committed to reducing my work, the more dedication, passion and creativity was able to feed back into my work because I wasn’t tired, annoyed or frustrated.
I reduce my social media work by scheduling my content in advance and automating it. I reduce my blog work by writing content in batches and scheduling in advance. On average, I save about 10 hours each week by reducing these.
Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and I love social media. But we all know what it’s like to scroll for hours on Instagram and not get anything out of it, as well as spending an extra hour trying to write a blog post because it needs to go up tomorrow…
Your time is valuable, so by batching your content you’re guaranteeing your time is used in the most efficient way possible.
Hint: batching content, scheduling it in advance and automating it is a life-saver for anyone balancing blogging or running their own business with a 9-5, other work or raising a family.
I once scheduled an entire month of Instagram content on the first day of the month, and only spent ten minutes a day replying to comments and messages. I was in the middle of prepping for a shoot and not only did I save a ton of time by batching Instagram content, I also let go of that nagging ‘I haven’t posted anything in four days’ weight.
And that’s everything you need to start removing stressors from your busy life.
Charlotte is a producer, blogger and coach who helps creatives simplify their businesses, diversify their income and create the careers they want. She began in film production before expanding her business to coaching after talking to so many creatives who wanted to make the leap from an unfulfilling 9-5 to having their own creative careers. She lives in London with her friends. Here’s where you can connect with Charlotte:
ZTT LINK-UP #008