7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Applied to Actors

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Thanks for hanging with us! We are here with blog 3 from our mini series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People! If you didn’t see the first two yet– be sure to check out those earlier posts! So let’s explore habit 3!

Most people these days have HUGE to-do lists. It can feel paralyzing, especially to creatives! Not all actions that end up on our “to-dos” actually move us closer to our success. Identifying the KEY actions that you need to focus on first is VITAL to finding success in ANY industry.

So how do you differentiate your tasks? How do you set-up your day to have success here? You need to learn the word “no” and when to use it.

There are important and non-important tasks and urgent and non-urgent tasks. You need to structure your day to include enough time working on things that aren’t urgent but ARE important. If you don’t set aside time for those tasks, it is easy to get caught in the worldwind of smaller things that keep you busy but don’t move you towards your goals. To do this, you need to be constantly thinking about what YOU need to do, what you can DELEGATE, what you can AUTOMATE and what you can say NO to. With that in mind, you need to schedule your week to get everything accomplished. Don’t expect to FIND the time. Put the time in the calendar. If you never work on the big picture, you can’t ever expect to achieve your big dreams. If that means saying no or asking someone else to do it– you need to! Otherwise, you are just coasting through reacting to things instead of taking action towards your goals.

So here are a few tips for you for point number 3!

  • Create a weekly schedule that outlines your daily activities. Block out time for submitting for auditions and doing industry research. Create your weekly schedule on Sunday night or Monday morning and adhere to it as closely as you can. The more you practice your scheduling, the easier it will be to set aside the proper amount of time to get your tasks done.
  • Do your MOST IMPORTANT WORK FIRST. Tackle the self-tapes, the audition submissions and your important relationship building tasks before you hop on the family email string, do the load of laundry or open social media. You will feel more control over your day if you can make time to do this on a regular basis.
  • Notice what you are doing that is getting you positive results in your life. Prioritize those things!
  • Ask yourself these questions when scheduling your tasks: 1) Is it important? 2) Do I need to do this now? 3) Can someone else do this? 4) Can I automate this for the future? 5) Does this move me closer to my dreams? 6) Is the outcome of this action important to my career and/or personal goals?
  • TIME BLOCKING! I’m a BIG fan of this method! Sometimes when we give ourselves mini deadlines we move faster. If you have all day to do an item, you’ll take all day. If you give yourself a timeline, you’ll work to do it within that time frame. Tighten your deadlines on individual tasks and watch how it changes your productivity.

Feel free to comment below on any action steps these principles inspire for you and we will get busy prepping habit #4!

Need a community to help you stay on the right path? Check out our ACTORS CONNECTING membership group on facebook! CLICK HERE to join the group for your free trial!


Colleen Finnegan Kahl is an accomplished Theatre Arts Educator, author of this article, and President of Actors Connection. Colleen is an expert helping aspiring actors prepare for casting calls, find an agent, and optimize their acting training for theater and television.


Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven

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