We are not productivity gurus. We are not life coaches. We don’t think you need to micro-schedule every hour of your day to get useful things done. We do think that calendars are an essential part of adulting, and you should use one.
For many adult performers, a standard day goes something like this.
Shortly after waking up, work occurs to you for the first time. You have the entire day ahead of you and for sure you intend to work at some point. Maybe you do it now and get it out of the way, maybe you do it later. Breakfast… Shower… Maybe you run to Starbucks. Sit idly. Pretty soon you are 3-4 hours into your day, feeling relatively alive. You could work now, or you could take care of some things you’ve been putting off, and work later, you still have the whole day. You opt to work later, it’s busier at night anyways. So you eventually start doing whatever other things you had loosely intended to do earlier, forgetting at least half of them. On good days, you manage to work a bit at night. On at least 20% of days, life gets in the way and you don’t have the time or energy to work later, so you don’t. Months go by like this.
Some version of this narrative plays out for everyone we’ve ever worked with, and for all of us personally. It’s not a porn thing. Every writer, artist, rapper, entrepreneur, vlogger, or influencer that we’ve ever met goes through this at some point, some people go through it all the time.
Maybe it’s resistance to the work, maybe it’s procrastination, maybe we weren’t raised right. We don’t know, but we do have an idea of how to fix it.
On Sunday nights, spend a few minutes making decisions about what you are going to do in the upcoming week, write it down, try to stick to it. That’s it.
This tiny intervention, once per week, is the single greatest productivity hack we’ve ever seen. Models who do it rave about it to us. It can save your sanity. So let’s dig a little deeper.
The first tip is to schedule in order of priority. What things are most important to you in your life? Schedule those things first. Schedule as much time for them as you want. You can always rush other things that are less important if you end up being busy.
Once your most important things are done, then schedule the biggest in terms of time - this is often work for most of us. If that’s simultaneously the biggest and most important, good on you! But schedule other things too, there’s more to life than work.
This exercise brings into focus things that maybe should be obvious, but for most of us aren’t. The first thing people tend to notice when they do this for the first time is how little time they actually have in a day.
Being an online performer is something that gives you a lot of freedom. Freedom from having to go to work at a regular job every day. Freedom from always being on someone else’s schedule. You can take as much time off as you want. You don’t have to answer to anyone. Sort of.
The easiest thing in the world is for that freedom to become a trap. A trap where because nothing is required, nothing is provided. A completely unstructured life is misery.
Your schedule is something you own. It’s like your bank account for time. If you take care of it, pay attention to it, treat it well, it will pay huge dividends.
2 Ways To Handle Your Work Schedule
Option A: Set an amount of hours per day that you will work and an amount of days in the week, i.e. 8 hours/5 days, 9 hours/4 days, etc.
Option B: Schedule your actual shifts, at actual times, and then work at those times. Use reminders as necessary.
There are two types of people in the world, A/B. A lot of performers fall into category A and that method works best for them. For the A-group, B feels too restrictive of their freedom and they abandon it immediately. For people in the B-group, they need the structure of set times to feel alive. Or something like that.
Both work, just find what works for you.
What Happens When You Do It
These are the upsides models have reported experiencing after using calendars for the first time.
Peace of Mind. I felt really relaxed after I’d completed the schedule. I knew that I’d put down everything I needed to do. I’d have groceries. I’d hit my sessions in the gym. I’d get enough work in to make plenty of money. And I’d still have time to hang out, party, waste time, whatever I want. Work days felt busier, but in a good way, I realized I couldn’t just sit on the couch and watch TV for 4 hours and still get everything done, so I’d save that for days off. Once it was written down, it was just a matter of executing, which was easy. I didn’t have to make any more decisions for the week about how my time would be spent. So I just sort of cruised through on autopilot. It was cool.
Way More Money. I simply missed a lot less days of work, this was the first pay period I’d gotten in 60 hours in like over a year, thus I made way more money. It didn’t feel like I worked any harder either. Couple of shifts I had to push through because I wasn’t feeling it, but by the end it was all fine. Money is cool.
You Get More Done. So like I hadn’t been having trouble with work, I always get that part done, but I’d sort of been going through a phase where I did almost nothing else. If I wasn’t working I was just sitting around doing nothing. I honestly don’t even know what I did, time just slipped away. Now I actually leave the house and do things. The time I’m online is more productive, but the offline time I actually feel like I have a life now. I actually ate food in a restaurant with a person the other day. It was crazy.
Probably a lot more too, but that was all we could extract from feedback.
The peace of mind thing is sort of everything though. Some amount of anxiety is almost a guaranteed side effect of “the work”. In this line of work, everything relies on you. If you don’t stream, you stop existing in your Fans’ CInematic Universe, quickly. You don’t make money, things get bad. Even when things are going well you still feel that pressure. It’s uncomfortable.
A lot of people just try to ignore it and push it down, distracting themselves with anything they can. It’s scary. It makes sense to do that. But life gets a lot better if you face the uncomfortable parts of being self-employed, that it all relies on you, and give yourself as many advantages as you can to win the war.
Scheduling once a week is a powerhouse of a tool. It allows you to apply your logical brain to your life and set the parameters for how you want to exist. If you don’t do it, you’ll always drift, and when you drift, you’ll suffer.
Just write stuff down.