12th June 2021
The Global Media Site for Entertainment.

Work Load Management: Are You In Control?

work load management
By Sound Girls
Olive Olin

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with how many things you need to do and there are just not enough hours in a day? Looking at next week hoping it will be an eight-day week rather than seven? Hands up, I am one of those people! Learning how to say no to things has been a bloody hard journey for me. I think learning work load management, how to say no and prioritise yourself is something that applies to both full-timers and freelancers.

Personally, I love doing different things. DJing, producing music, scoring for short films, etc. It is incredibly hard for me to manage all the things I want to do at the same time as I am working full time.

Do not get me wrong, I love my job, and I would not have anything different (except for maybe an eighth day in the week), but sometimes I just do not have the time for it all!

Not only do I want to do these other music related things, but I also want to see friends, have fun and exercise as well! Being able to cook food at home, have a day off and just do absolutely nothing. The list goes on.

The truth is, all of these things will not happen. At least not at once. And we need to learn to accept this. I have accepted that there are different things at different times and stages of life! Some weeks I will have time to exercise and time to cook proper food that will nourish me. Other weeks I will eat fast food for a week, and the thought of exercising is just not happening. And that is OK!

The only way to manage workload is to try and plan ahead.

Try and stay on top of things, prioritise what is important, what can wait and so on. At university, I was taught the traffic light model. Some of you might be familiar with it, some of you might not be.

With the traffic light model, you put things into categories:

Red is off track and urgent.

Yellow is not incredibly urgent and is relatively on track.

Green is on track and projects that can wait.

When I was taught this in university, everything felt urgent & off track in my life.

I just could not let go of the idea that I needed to do everything and everything at once. But now a couple of years later I truly understand the importance of this and the importance of saying no or “this can wait” to not burn myself out.

Another way to stay in control is to keep lists. But not just a work list. A life list. Things you want to do in your spare time, hikes you want to take, movies you want to watch. Place as much importance on these lists as you do your work. Put these things on your calendar just like you do your work schedule. Doing a life list ensures you don’t just focus on the work to-do’s, but your life to-do’s. Schedule free time if you need to. And make sure you enjoy it guilt free when you take it. (It was on your schedule after all – got to follow the schedule).

Evernote is an excellent App to keep multiple lists, and it can sync across multiple devices so when you see something on the move, or someone gives you a recommendation over lunch, you can just note it in the app and review it later.

There are things in life we need to deal with urgently, whether it is your personal life or work related.  And we should deal with these things immediately! Other things can be planned and a better balance can be made between work and play when you take some time to set a path for yourself.

I would say, look at your life as a DJ mixer. Just try to avoid going into the reds. There is nothing good happening there. Try and stay in the greens & yellows.

Evaluate your life, where are you right now? Incorporate an admin hour or two in your day/week, so you can properly sit down and have a look at where things are at. When you take control of things in your life, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed, and you will make time for the essential things in your life. And the most important thing in your life should always be your well-being.

Also by SoundGirls:

Touring: How To Find Your Work/Life Balance

Article by Sound Girl: Olive Olin

Published in cooperation with Soundgirls.org
Follow SoundGirls on Facebook
Follow SoundGirls on Instagram
Follow SoundGirls on Twitter
Join TheatreArtLife to access unlimited articles, our global career center, discussion forums, and professional development resource guide. Your investment will help us continue to ignite connections across the globe in live entertainment and build this community for industry professionals. Learn more about our subscription plans.

Love to write or have something to say? Become a contributor with TheatreArtLife. Join our community of industry leaders working in artistic, creative, and technical roles across the globe. Visit our CONTRIBUTE page to learn more or submit an article.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email