I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend hours and hours in my booth, unless I am recording an audio book. Most of the time I am NOT in my booth. When you do mostly spots or short corporate pieces or eLearning, your time in the booth is probably a lot less than the time you spend catching up on Facebook.
But what should we be doing with the time we are not recording? My thoughts on that have changed over the years. And god help the person who has to unravel the mess I am leaving behind because of this change in attitude.
I used to be a lot more organized than I am now. You would think that with advances in software to make our lives easier, that I would have things a lot more together than I do. I have Outlook and Act and Quicken Home and Business (just abandoned QuickBooks after a few years of confusion).
But I am SO far behind in cleaning out my Outlook folders and adding people to my Contacts and then to Act. And now with Quicken Home and Business, I need to do a slightly different process for invoicing that isn’t quite as intuitive as QuickBooks, but at least I don’t keep getting error messages because I try to fix something. Quicken is like your check register – very forgiving. QuickBooks is for bean counters. I am an Artist, not a Bean Counter.
My priorities have shifted over the years. Since taking responsibility for my mom as she fights the desperately horrible disease called Dementia, my personal time has infringed on my work time. And guess what! Worlds did not collide. I did not lose my house. The bills are paid.
Part of this is due to years of being in the business and being reliable. Years of being at the ready. Years of nose to the grindstone. And perhaps that is the lesson I needed to learn. That at some point, all the legwork you do will carry you over when you want (or need) to do something else instead of work. You can’t abandon your networking and marketing of course, but after establishing yourself, you should be able to take some time to do something fun, or maybe not so fun, when necessary.
I still spend far too much time at my computer. But I LIKE the computer. I like to read and type. I just spent far too long looking at cool animal pictures following a link from Facebook – and do NOT send me a link to Wimp – I will be lost for hours.
So, what do I do when I am not recording? Well, most of the time I am not dilly dallying.
- Social Networking has risen to a top priority (or addiction – I’m not completely sure!)
- Watering my plants and tending the garden
- Playing with the cats
- Taking a walk and getting away from the computer
- Getting back to the computer to work for a professional association
- Checking in on my mom in her Memory Care Community
- Doing some art
- Invoicing (hmm, that seems to be a bit low on the list doesn’t it? I should move that up.)
- Going through my old email folders and trying to get people in the proper database and then actually touch base
- Reconnecting with friends
Oh gosh, the part about getting more exercise and getting a kayak – that should be on there too. I’ve never had TIME for toys. Now that I do, I need to train myself to actually get them and use them!
If you are just getting started in this business – I offer you my deepest condolences. With the way the world has changed, you are probably facing a double whammy: fewer clients to start with – who want to pay less and less money for what you do. This is NOT just a voiceover thing. It is pervasive in every industry.
So if you ARE just starting out, find your niche. Know what you do best. Dig for the people who want to buy what you have to sell. Don’t sell out to the lowest bidder.
Oh, excuse me – gotta run. I’m late for an Art Opening!