It’s time to roundup your Procrasti-buddies

I am the Queen of Procrastination.

I know a lot of people may say something along these lines, but you have to believe me when I tell you that, right after sleeping, procrastination is my special skill. I have a To Do list in my diary with items that have been carried over every week since February. In the time it’s taken to write this far, I’ve checked facebook three times, price-checked and purchased a number of items off ebay to use in an upcoming instagram post, checked my emails, checked my work emails, hunted for a new blog template, watched a video of Dame Judi Dench rapping, contacted a couple of business opportunities, ranted to a colleague about the expense of attending ‘high arts’, checked my emails again, drooled over this beauty which is all my nerdy soul needs and renewed my renters insurance.

And writing blog posts is something that I actually like do to.

My procrasti-buddies range from the standard (scrolling instagram) to the ridiculous (dead-heading my indoor plants). I’ve also been known to scrub the kitchen floor, sort out my bathroom drawers or *gasp* make my bed -all in an effort to avoid doing the one thing I wanted to achieve that day. Sometimes my procrasti-buddies are great (let’s be honest, they’re the only reason anything in my house gets cleaned), but sometimes they can be the reason that I’ve had this draft open for the last six hours and I’m precisely two paragraphs deep. When the deadline is finally actually looming and I can’t put it off any more, here’s how I finally round up the procrasti-buddies

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1. Shut it down

Everything. Shut everything down. Close your tabs, hide your phone, do whatever you have to do to keep those distractions out of sight. I use a Pomodoro extension on my browser that actually blocks access to any websites I’ve flagged as a distraction, and I have a similar aid on my phone, in case I feel tempted to pull it out from it’s burial ground underneath the mattress.

2. Suck it up

I was going to have more points, but this is basically what it comes down to.

You don’t want to do the thing. I don’t want to do the thing. My cat is more than happy for me not to do the thing if it means that I’ll come and pat her. The dishes would rather I didn’t do the thing, because they’re just staring at me from the kitchen. But when the deadline is looming, it’s time to do the thing.

Pull the plug, take a deep breath, and suck it up. Just start. If you’re anything like me, in the time you’ve been putting off doing the thing, you could have done it a dozen times. In the two days I’ve spent trying to write this post, I could have written articles for the next fortnight. In the four minutes since I’ve said goodbye to my sister on Facebook and blocked the site from my browser, I’ve achieved more in the six hours I fussed around yesterday.

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You want to get sh*t done? Shut it down & suck it up. Round up those procrasti-buddies, set your timer, hit the Rocky theme song, and smash it out.

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It’s time to roundup your Procrasti-buddies

Musing on vulnerability (OR What I learned from Chris Hemsworth about Acting)

When I decided to nudge my career along a different path at the start of this year and focus more on acting than music theatre, I began to go to as many workshops as I could with Casting Directors for film & TV. As an actor, the CD can be your greatest ally or your biggest door to crack open when it comes to getting work. They’re the first step on the path to getting booked, the people in charge of collating the hundreds of people suitable for a job and culling that list down to the final few to present to the creative team. I’ve found that as a rule, they are lovely, supportive, crazily hard working people and they deserve every ounce of credit they get. 

After a few of these workshops, I started to see a trend in the feedback I was receiving-

“What a strong performance”

“You were really in control”

What I was hearing was – I was too ‘theatre’, I had planned out too much of my performance, I was too ‘in control’.

I wasn’t allowing myself to be vulnerable enough.

Vulnerability is such a great asset on screen. And I think in life, too. Vulnerability, it’s the heart of the truth of who we are. The vulnerability of you doubting something, it’s usually based around a fear of showing who you truly really are. You put on some sort of bravado or mask or something – Chris Hemsworth

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Vulnerability is hard! It’s hard as a person, and it’s hard as an actor. I don’t want to let down my guard and reveal anything. I definitely don’t want to admit that I have doubts about something, or if my mental state is less than great. And maybe that’s what makes vulnerability so powerful.

As a human, it can feel necessary to build up an armour to protect ourselves from anything that might try to derail us. As an actor, it’s easier to feel confident if I’ve planned out every second of the audition I’m about to give. But is it really better?

Is it better not to admit when something is hurting us, and we need help? Or to tuck away our laughter rather than expose crooked teeth, double chins, or the way a snort can sometimes sneak in? (or maybe that’s just me).

It has been terrifying for me as an actor to leave my performance open and vulnerable to what could happen -terrifying, and much, much more interesting. My performances are no longer described as ‘strong’ or ‘in control’. I’m ‘interesting’ and ‘very talented’ (this one still makes my stomach flip, thanks amazingly generous CD). I can listen and react like a real person, and weirdly, if something goes wrong that’s okay. I was open. I gave it my all. I was humanDon’t you want to try it?


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

Musing on vulnerability (OR What I learned from Chris Hemsworth about Acting)

What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

Alright guys, this is an honesty post

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This year I’ve been working really hard to decrease my environmental impact.

You can see some of the changes I’ve been making with my earlier posts 5 Easy Switches to Change the World and  5 MORE Easy Switches to Save the World! (give the girl a naming prize) , and these swaps have made a huge difference to the amount of waste I’m making in my daily life. As warm and fuzzy as this makes me feel, there are still a few regular suspects that I haven’t been able to quite cull from my rubbish. As much as I would like to deny their existence, in the interests of accurately recording my journey to a low-waste life, here they are.

Frozen Berries

I love berries, and possibly even more so, I love how convenient frozen berries are. I fold them through yoghurt, toss them over pancakes, and blitz them into smoothies. Not only are frozen berries crazy cheaper, I don’t have to worry about them turning into little fuzzy piles of mould by the end of the week. If I don’t eat them, they stay frozen! Frozen berries do tend to be more irregular in size, which could mean that I’m saving berries that didn’t make the cut to sell fresh. Or is that just me thinking optimististically?

How I’m dealing with the waste: Rinsing the bag & returning it to the supermarket to be recycled into park furniture

Dental Hygiene

Floss. Toothpaste. Two things I’m just not quite ready to give up -partly because I’ve tasted the Lush Toothy Tabs and they taste doggone-awful. Partly because I don’t 100% trust alternative methods, teeth are a once-on-a-lifetime thing, and dentists in Australia are expensive.

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How I’m dealing with the waste: Not well. The cardboard back of the floss packed gets separated and recycled, the rest goes to landfill

Beauty regime

I know. Trust the wannabee actress to refuse to cull her beauty regime. I do have trouble skin- I don’t experience breakouts,  but it dries easily (as a kid it used to crack & bleed in the really bad patches). I’ve tried replacing some of my products with natural alternatives, but so far nothing has been able to float my boat, either because it doesn’t do a satisfactory job, or it makes my skin unhappy.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I’ve managed to move a lot of my products to brands that are packaged in glass & sold in cardboard. I’m also starting to become a lot more conscious about where my products come from, and what nasties they contain.

Convenience food

I’m using this as a blanket cover for all of those things that I probably could make at home, but don’t. Hummous. Yoghurt. Pasta. Milk (anyone want to give me the space to house a cow?). Griffins gingernuts. (Yes, gingernuts. They’re a non-negotiable in my diet.) A lot of zero-wasters make most of these products at home, but time-poor me has struggled to have any success. While I try to keep as much plastic out of my shopping trolley as possible, it’s highly likely that one of these sneaks in every week.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I try to be as conscious as I can with any of these guys that I purchase. I go for the biggest size I can, and recycle the packaging once it’s gone. While that may sound like a lot, my little recycling bag goes into the apartment rubbish bin about once a month -if you picture a wheelie bin, I reckon I would fill one in about six months? I’m still working to bring my total recyclables down, but I’m happy with this as a starting point.

Ordering online

I love getting mail. Loooooovvveeee it.

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And at the same time, there are a lot of days when I really don’t want to be leaving the house.  Fortunately there is a magical portal that allows me to fulfill all of my needs from home, receive presents from me to me and have access to unlimited nerdery!

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The downside of this wonderful place is that most of those items come tucked into layers of wrapping and plastic. While I can try to reuse as much as I can and take all of the soft plastics to the supermarket for recycling, mailer packages definitely make up the majority of my waste. It ain’t pretty folks.

How I’m dealing with the waste: This is definitely a case of reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve managed to tamp down on the impulse nerd-purchasing that has historically been my weakness, and while I’m in the process of culling my wardrobe, clothing shopping has been cut right back down as well. If I look at my packages for the last few months, two were from brands that want to work with me on my insta, and one was a glass protein shaker that isn’t available in stores. Probably a low number for some people, but those bright yellow bags in the trash still bug me.

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What are your weaknesses? Do you have some things in your lifestyle that you’ve given yourself a ‘free pass’ on? Let me know!


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

 

What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

Falling Through Spiderwebs

A couple of months ago BrokeGIRLrich wrote a fantastic post called Falling Through Spiderwebs. Melissa was one of the first (in fact, I think she was the first) finance blogger that I discovered in the big ol’ world of the interwebs, and I’ve always enjoyed her posts because her career as a stage manager makes it feel like I’m looking into a dark little corner of the acting world that doesn’t often get the glory (now would be the time to read Let’s Hear It For The Crew! if you haven’t had the chance).

I normally read the BrokeGIRLrich updates as they land in my inbox and then delete them, but Falling Through Spiderwebs struck a chord, and it’s been left floating around in my inbox. I sometimes get questioned on my ‘obsession’ with money – holidays or unpaid jobs can get a little stressful as I work out how much paid work I will miss out on to take them, and budgeting makes me do a happy dance.

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(seriously)

Mel’s post is such an accurate summary of one of the reasons why I have a healthy interest in squirreling money away. As a starving student, and a now a not-quite-starving actor, having a cushion between me & impending doom really does make it feel like I have a few spider-webs carefully spun to catch me if something goes wrong. Well, last week…something went wrong.

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I woke up at about 6.30am with a niggly tooth. In a sleepy haze, I mentally made a note to book a dental appointment for my next day off. Within 30 minutes that had become, ‘make a dental appointment now‘, and by 7.30 I was in pain. Like, serious pain. I couldn’t sit still, couldn’t string together a sentence, could barely muster enough mental focus to google the closest dentist.

Is anyone else getting that sinking feeling? You guessed it…

…Root Canal

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I always thought the air of horror surrounding root canals was related to the amount of pain involved with completely gutting a tooth. As a functioning adult, I can finally say that I know better-  because if there’s anything that my trip to the dentist hurt, it was my savings goals.

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Me thinking about my $3,000

For someone who takes home approx. $800 a week, $3,000 could have been catastrophic – four years ago, it would have been. So as much as those three visits hurt to the very core of my being, there’s a little sense of pride that I will be able to pay them off without resorting to credit.

Would I rather see that money safe in my Acorns or home deposit fund? You betcha. BUT thanks to my Acorns, my piddly little house deposit saving, and a few other emergency funds here and there, there are enough layers of webbing to catch me, turning a dental disaster into a slightly unfortunate setback. And for me, that security is worth all of the budgeting in the world. What do you think?


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates, and if you want to see more of me, come say hello on my Instagram or Twitter, I would love to see you there!

Falling Through Spiderwebs