I’m done putting my life into categories. Quadrants. Day types. Feck. Here’s how it happened: Last year I turned my life upside down. Moved. Shelved numerous obligations to meet a writing deadline. Avoided said writing deadline for a long time. Slammed that writing deadline. Put my health significantly further up on the priority list. Chose yoga over blog posts. Hung with friends instead of wooing clients. Launched stuff at light speed. Killed projects. Stopped cooking dinner mid-boil to capture an idea. Talked on the phone with friends…in the middle of the day…for hours.
I lived more, because it was time for some things to die.
I devoted myself more deeply to liberation because the longing to be free was the passion of my inner Christ. I had to arrive at thrive or I would get stuck in survival mode. In this dimension, nothing is predictable, and unbridled is the only way to go. It was not the time to “manage” my time.
Time management systems are tricky beasts. They may help us be more productive, but not necessarily less stressed, or more fulfilled, or more in touch with our true nature. We may look freer with our priorities all tidy, but too often, time remains the master and we get “given” time for obeying the system.
I’d rather be fulfilled than obedient. And it turns out that when I’m fulfilled, I’m…fulfilled — whether I’m productive or not. And that gives me plenty of energy to be more focused on what matters most, which makes me truly productive. It’s a beautiful thing. Here’s how I got there:
HOW TO PUT TIME MANAGEMENT IN ITS PLACE. (BUT ONLY IF YOU WANT TO.)
Stop keeping a detailed to-do list. If it’s truly important, you’ll remember to do it. A few post it notes and texts to yourself should be all you need.
Say no, thank you to four things a day. My coach gave me this assignment. It changed my life.
Relentlessly focus on the one or two vocational desires that turn you on so much that envisioning doing JUST those things seems so fantastical that it borders on erotic pleasure (yep, I think it’s your birthright to feel that hot about your work in the world). Everything else that is not about fulfilling your most intense vocational desires is getting in the way of making your fantasy life a reality.
Delegate the stuff that doesn’t light you up.
Have (only) 3 important things to accomplish every week. Make those three things happen and you’re closer to making your fantasy life a reality. Accomplish more than that and you’ll feel like a super hero (good esteem fuels fulfillment AND productivity.)
Batch n’ chunk. Pay all of your bills at the same time. Create a day just for errands. Make all of your calls before noon. This “while you’re at it” kind of momentum is incredibly efficient.
Ask yourself every morning what you really feel like doing. Not what’s most important. Not what’s expected of you. But what you’re most excited to do. Enthusiasm is the DNA of making things happen. Start there.
Flying without a to-do list made me worry. It was scary to let go of revenue streams and planned projects. Going to yoga when I had obligations actually took some moxie.
And… it didn’t take long for this free forming time style to reveal my most lucrative, artistically satisfying, relationship-enhancing year ever.
Easy does it.
9. Good lighting is EVERYTHING. Good lighting accentuates the right stuff. It clears up skin, makes hair shine, and hugs hips.
10. The day before, get a good night’s sleep. Puffy eyes will ruin a whole shoot. If you’re beat, tea bags on your eyes and a cold cloth help a lot.
11. Two days before, drink lots of water. Dry skin makes for messy make up.
12. 5 days before, get a seriously exfoliating facial.
13. Wear make up. I don’t care if you never so much as powder your nose in everyday life. EVERYONE (including dudes) needs some make up for a professional shoot. It’s not about glamor, it’s about off-setting the harshness of a camera.
14. Do a trial run with your make up before a shoot. Typically, you can get your make up done for free at a MAC or Chanel counter if you purchase some product. Pro coverage starts at about $100. For super fancy magazine shoots, makeup artists will get paid around $300 and up, which is often a day rate.
15. Get your eyebrows threaded or waxed.
16. EVERYTHING SHOWS ON CAMERA. EVERYTHING.
17. Clothing: Borrow, rent, invest. You might want to plan for a wardrobe change. Prop it. I did a fancy shoot in a poofy Vera Wang dress that a store let me borrow. I was spilling out of it (Vera doesn’t design for girls with big ta-ta’s.) Masking tape, safety pins and the right angle, et voila! Kinda Supermodel.
18. Bring your iPod and crank it. Music is better than wine.
19. Move your body! Ham it, sauce it, goof it up. I guarantee you the shots that comes right after you’ve laughed will be the winner.
20. If a photographer ever directs you to “rest your chin lightly on your hands and tilt your head,” high tail it out of there.
21. Tits up, back straight, chin slightly down.
22. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions to the photographer–they’re working for you. “Why don’t you get on that ladder and shoot me from above?” When you have a say, you look better.
23. Work with a photographer who makes you laugh and asks questions. Holly & Roger at UnionPhotographers are giggle-folk and, best of all, Holly laughs at my jokes. Anastasia Chomlack walks and talks with me so I get all broody and soft. It all shows up on film.
24. Do a shoot before you think you “need” to, before your site launches, before the magazine calls, well before your Christmas gifts or Valentines Day’s boudoir prezzie. Less pressure, more fun.
25. My personal feelings about Photoshop: not a huge fan of it. While I’m not above Spanx or false eyelashes, I want people to get what they see. Lighting should be all the technology you employ.
26. If you don’t love the final results, say so. You can’t blame the photographer if you think you look hefty or mopey, but a great shoot is very much about team work. The photographer is there to put you in your best light and capture that. Re-shoots are part of the biz.
27. Since you’re looking foxy, film a video on the same day.
28. It takes 100 frames to get one good shot — all you need is that one to make history. Radiate.