I'm Wasting My Time | 3 Effective Strategies to Manage Your Time

So far this month I've spent nearly all my time trying to finish projects I started more than a month ago. This is something I've struggled with continuously throughout this trimester and have decided enough is enough. I'm about to start another composition for a film and I'd like to start it off right. Here are three strategies I'm going to use while managing this project. There are many, ways in which you can organise your life, but when working with others it's important to know exactly where, when, what, who and why throughout all stages of the project. 

#1. Google Calendar

Google calendar is one of the most effective and cheap ways to keep dates and times as part of your schedule. You can sync everything up to all of your Google platforms and integrate them into a customised date tracker that can be shared with all of your team members. One of the coolest functions of the calendar, is the way it adds photos to your locations when selected in the event creation settings. I find this to make the process of planning your day more exciting. 

Google are always changing their platforms, but if you get organised by learning the calendar system, you can change with them. They make it easy to stay organised.

#2. Session Note Taking

So far the best way of learning within the studio environment in my opinion, has been writing everything down. Well, maybe not everything, but I generally have a list of things I didn't understand or things I could have done better. Recently, I've been a little lacking in the note taking department and I can see it effecting my learning which always bleeds into my time management. A pause in my learning usually means I will need to go back and revisit something again and again until I get it. With the correct note taking however, you can really get your memory working hard and even save yourself some time in the books, by using those notes to blog about it later. 

(Handy Tip!) You can screen record your studio sessions, meaning you won't have to type a thing.Although, memory does activate more when things are written down.

Here are some tips on effective note taking for study, which can easily be used in a studio context.

#3. Improve You're Workflow

In the post production world, how fast you work within your sessions is a true measure of your worth. Something I have been working quite extensively on is the use of shortcut keys and discovering new ones. When I went in to help Sean Astill record drums for his new born son, I learnt a shortcut that I will use all the time. The creating new playlists shortcut (Ctrl + \) is something that every recording engineer should know. This saves time when an artist is waiting for you to restart the take and create new playlists. I think I may have saved about 30 min per session just with that alone. 

Getting organised before a production with a pre-production plan is also something that I, like many producers need to improve. The great thing about a pre-production plan is that it puts you in control of the session and timing. You have a plan and you know how to use it. The more detail the better, so if you are already an organised person, you can be imaginative with what you want to plan in that document. I find adding pictures and diagrams a fun way to use the paper space. Workflow comes in many forms and it all comes down to how efficiently you use your time, so do it once and do it well.

Check out this list of pro tools shortcuts from AVID that will help you improve your speed

I'm excited to implement those time management tools into my repertoire, but remember you won't be perfect at it and you will need to make it a habit. I am certainly in the same boat as everyone else when beginning to organise myself. Boring. Once it's done though you won't need to think about it twice. It will just happen. Stay up to date with future blogs to see me implementing some of these techniques in real world scenarios.