The Holiday Season. It’s unbelieveable how quickly things sneak up on us, isn’t it? And now,  just nine days of this year  left!  2015 begins in ten days. This is a time of cheer, visiting with loved ones and friends, loads of holiday parties, spirits and food.

And a time to kick back a little. Just last night, my husband and I did something out of the ordinary. We hung out near the tree in the living room, lit a fire, and talked about our lives. And we talked about long-range planning. Just a loose, free and easy sharing of ideas, dreams, and goals. Then we watched a movie. It was a great night, and I’d clocked in a full eight hour’s sleep by the time I awoke to the smell of delicious coffee. But last night was somewhat unusual for us.

Nose to the Grindstone

All our lives together, we’ve worked really hard, and we have something to show for it. Many of my fellow full-time voiceover talent friends are type A personalities, like me. And we’re thankful. I worked in radio at the beginning of my career at earning a living behind the microphone. Working full-time in radio is mostly a six-day a week job, including holidays and promotional appearances. I was a music director and a program director during a lot of that time, so plenty of additional time was spent attending concerts, hanging out with the record company reps, and doing research for my on-air gig.

I left radio behind for good by mid- 1990 as I got into full-time voice over, with some temporary stop-overs running the AFTRA-SAG office in San Diego, and helping my husband boot-strap an entrepreneuerial venture and launch and grow a digital sign and graphics business, which we sold in 2005.

Fast forward to now. I’m still doing voice over full-time and my husband is now running another digital sign business, and we both work from home. We both work long hours, and we consult each other on various business issues.

An Eye on the Future

We know we’re getting better about managing ourselves in a more productive means. Last night we talked about how unbelievable it seems that it’s the end of the year …again! It just seems like the older we get, the faster the time seems to slip by. We’ve discussed  how implementing lasting change is a challenge, whether it’s trying to avoid the holiday goodies and keep exercise and a spiritual life front and center, or mapping out a financial plan, or taking time to recover from our sometimes insanely busy schedules, and recreating. Recreate, and re-create!

Live by the List

I’ve always been a big list maker. My lists have evolved over time, and began with  yellow legal pads. I always loved scratching stuff off the list! Then there was an electronic list on my computer, which I found doesn’t have the same punch to keep me on task. So I’m back to the legal pad strategy, with a flow-chart I’ve set up. I divide each new page into three columns. On the left side I list everything that comes into my days. All the stuff to do or get, titled “Do/Get”. In the center I place things I’ll select to accomplish for the day, and longer projects that take more time. It’s the “Doing” part of the list.  Three items maximum. On the right is the “Done” category. Done is my favorite!!!!  I receive immense satisfaction and a huge sense of accomplishment by scratching things off the left and center columns and placing into DONE!!!

Holiday Season To-Do’s?

We all have so much going on this time of year, and balance is key. Yes, I’m planning on having some goof-off time. Our industry seems to take off almost the entire month of December to attend Holiday parties, business slows substantially most years. But I also take time to plan to think and work ahead on my business. It’s a great time to do this. So on my “do” list, I’ll be spiffing up some demos, reading and learning from an exciting new business book I’ve just purchased, changing up my Twitter page, ordering new business cards, planning to unveil my all new branding and website to my client base and the world, and enrolling in an improv and yoga classes.  These are a fraction of the entire task list.  I’m planning to set aside a day or two for the business stuff. Remembering all the while that, balance is key!

I hope all you type A’s create some down time to rest and recover and live to create experiences with family and friends that’ll last forever.

I hope you’ll never say during your last days on earth, “Gee I wish I would’ve worked harder”.

Happiest of hollidays, Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate to all who happen to stop by and read my words.