Time Management for Crazy Creatives

T-MINUS 48 DAYS until I start my new position as VFX Editor Assistant and even though that sounds like eons away, I’m actually starting to “bite too much to chew” with the amount of personal projects I’m giving myself. Starting this blog was a way to push myself towards interacting with the film community at large and a vehicle to complete my short script by sharing my process with my readers. Not to mention, I’m really interested in completing Blackmagic Design’s Certified Training for DaVinci Resolve because why wouldn’t I want to be an officially certified DaVinci Resolve operator for free? Additionally, since I’m the stay-at-home Dad while all the schools, including preschools, are out on “Sport-break Vacation Week,” I can definitely feel like time is slipping out of my hands. Prioritizing my time is going to be crucial if I’m to get anything done.

At one point I was looking at time management and scheduling apps to help me with my day planning, but after a while it occurred to me that they don’t do anything special that the built-in calendars on our phones or computers can’t do. All we really need to do is use iCal or GoogleCal, or whatever calendar app you like to use, create a schedule, and then stick to it. Normally, I work on stuff while my child is in preschool, or after everyone goes to sleep. But sometimes life throws curve balls at you, such as kids being home from school, or freelance deadlines changing, or Uncle Murphy corrupting your hard drive, really anything. Creating a schedule is key to give you focus, but one must be able to adapt to extenuating circumstances.

First things first, I’m going to create a schedule to structure the next 48 days so that I can make progress on my personal projects before starting my full-time job. In my case, I’m going to:

  1. Complete Blackmagic Design’s Certified Training for DaVinci Resolve for 2 hours every morning Monday-Friday
  2. Work on my short screenplay for 2 hours every afternoon Monday-Friday
  3. Blog every evening for 2 hours (including social media)
    1. NOTE: I’m also going to cut down on social media outside of these two hours so that I can actually get stuff done.

This daily structure will give me a routine, which is an important method for getting creative endeavours accomplished. It also gives me some flex-time on the weekends to use how I want. I’ll probably want to spend time with family, pursue some other hobby (for me it’s photography or bicycling), or I may find some extra time to continue working on my projects. In the end, it’s up to you to make a schedule that’s realistic and takes into account whatever obligations you may have – work, school, family, friends, playtime, etc. The number one thing to take out of this is to create your schedule and try to stick to it as best you can so that you can accomplish whatever creative endeavours you embark on.

But what happens on those days where you just have complete creative block? You can certainly search online for solutions to writers’ block or creative block, and there are plenty of great suggestions. One thing that I liked doing to get my creative juices flowing was to play “tourist” wherever I happened to be living. Back in San Francisco, I would ride my bike around the 49 mile scenic route; whereas, here in Stockholm I go on photowalks to free up my mind:


The whole point being is that if you end up not being able to follow your schedule exactly, just do something else to keep your creative juices flowing. Just don’t stare at the screen/keyboard and dwell on it for too long. It’s better to do something rather than nothing.

Next blog entry will focus on the character development for my short screenplay. Until then, Cheers!

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