How to Organize Your (Dance) Life
In my last blog post we talked about how to prolong your dance career by taking care of your body. Taking care of yourself requires planning it out and making sure you have time for everything else we do in our crazy lives. Staying organized is one of the most important things for dancers so that we can keep track of everything going on in our lives. I literally time out my days to the minute so I know what exactly I can and cannot do. I plan work, hanging out with friends, auditions, rehearsals, shows, etc. This also helps me to not overbook myself. If I see that I have a free slot in my day, it is my choice whether I want to fill it or just relax. Make sure you make time to relax and take care of yourself. I plan all of that stuff out so it never gets forgotten. Here are some of the ways I keep myself organized without going crazy.
- Keep a Planner
I literally do not leave the house without my planner, ever. I have the one where it has the monthly calendar in it and then the larger boxes for each day. I put everything in it, from my hours that I am working, to how I have to get somewhere for a rehearsal in the city. Everything is there, written down, and I’m not stuck relying on technology for everything. It also helps me to see exactly what I have going on because I write everything down in timeslots. I’ll know if I have a free hour or two or if my evening is free just by looking right at my planner.
- Keep a calendar in your phone
While I always write things down, keeping things in my phone like addresses makes it much easier for when I am looking up directions to get somewhere. My iPhone sends reminders to me about an hour or two before I have to be someplace and with the new update I can see what is going on with my day right on my lock screen just by swiping my finger. It is super convenient and allows me to always know what is going on. I will always still write things down in my planner, just in case, but having it in my phone as well makes certain that I will always know where and when I am going to my destination.
- Have a To-Do List
Whether you want to write it down or have an app on your phone like I do, make a to do list every day for yourself. Wake up every morning and think about what you absolutely have to get done that day. Take out a pad of paper or open up your app and get it all down. I like the apps for making a to do list because you can pin the most important thing you have to do to the top of the list, you can code them for different days or times of the day, and you can see it right on the lock screen of your phone. The app I use is called Do! and it was free in the app store. This will also help you make sure you get everything done without having to think back and remember everything.
- Set Alarms
My final tip is to set alarms. If all of these tips do not help you and you still forget what you have to do, or to bring things with you, set alarms for yourself. Sometimes if I know I have to print a document out for a friend and I know writing it down won’t help me remember I will set an alarm for about 10 minutes before I have to leave the house with a title reading “Print resume for Joseph” and I know that as soon as it rings I will complete the task. I will also do this if I have to remember to bring certain items with me because I am going out after work, or have a rehearsal, etc.
As dancers, we have very busy lives so unless you can afford a personal assistant, it is up to us to keep track of what we are doing. I use these four tips on a daily basis and know they will help you! Happy organizing!
Follow Meagan online at www.meagankolakowski.com