Balancing Life and Podcasting.
Something that I’m asked about a bit more these days, and feel like I may be able to offer some advice to those who seek it, is how do I balance all my responsibilities plus the Podcasting. If you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you’ll see a pretty steady stream of updates regarding each of the three (sometimes four) shows as well as blogs and upcoming events. Add that to having a five month old with my wife, a full time job, and a house to keep in order, it seems like having 3-4 shows a week plus all the Tweets and status’ and blogs to go with them is nearly impossible.
Key word: Nearly.
So let me break it down for you, because it may surprise you to find out that none of the fore mentioned family life things get ignored, nor does my job. It’s all about finding those little moments in time that you have to yourself and don’t usually do anything with.
Before I get to into it, I want to mention that there is one major tool that I utilize for my Pods: Smartphone.
Without my iphone, none of this would be possible. The ability to interact on social media at my every whim is crucial to the success of my outreach. There are ways around this, but nothing tops it so far (except maybe a tablet, but I don’t have on of those).
On top of that, however, you need to have rules. A little discipline goes a long way.
Rule #1: Family first.
This seems simple enough, like a no brainer. But getting a podcast out there and being heard and finally getting some kind of social traction beyond the realm of just you and your friends and your family can be really exciting. This may lead to you immediately assuming it is your ticked to “fame” and it must be concentrated on especially since you can’t stop thinking about the next episode (which is all you’ll think about constantly for a while). Be humble, and don’t forget that unless you are pulling in money from your show, it’s a hobby. It may be a hobby that you are REALLY into and perhaps may make you some coin down the road, but don’t lose sight of what’s most important.
No episode gets recorded until I’ve taken care of the basics, and it breaks down a little differently for each show:
Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast: House gets a quick clean up. Dishes done (mostly), laundry picked up, living room straightened. Feed the baby, kiss the wife, and thank her for all she does and how wonderful she is ( I always keep in mind that she’s the main support through all this).
As far as Reel Comics, and Sketchy Radio, it’s a bit easier because we are able to do it late at night. They usually get recorded around 10:30/11pm so I can take care of my daily routine, put the ladies to bed, then pop down to the “studio” to drop a fresh recording. But that’s as long as Emma is sleeping soundly, bottles are done for the next day, and things are straightened up a bit. At the first sound of need, recording stops.
Rule #2: Work first, then Pod
My job is busy, and working in a warehouse environment phones are a no go, especially when there are fork lifts buzzing around all the time. Not that I don’t trust the drivers ability to watch where they are going, but sometimes we as humans get lost in the “zone” of staring down at our phones while we walk, therefore being unawares as to the giant metal forks about to puncture your skull (we wear hardhats, but still…).
So as I said before, it’s those little moments during the day that you don’t usually do anything important with. Add a smartphone to these little moments and you’re golden:
• Standing at WaWa waiting for your breakfast/lunch to be prepared
*Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey residents only although some of you may have the inferior “Sheetz” or the sad, sad, institution that is 7-Eleven*
• On the toilet: because we all need something to occupy ourselves while “stuff” is going on down there, so why not promote your Pod? Just please, no Instagram.
• Lunch break: no better time to do it. Hit that Twitter and Facebook hard, and you can also take the time to write up a blog post for later.
• Walking to/from break or bathroom: waste not a moment.
• Elevator: If you utilize one for work. Yes its healthier for you to take the stairs, but it all depends on how proficient you are a the “typing on phone while on stairs” act.
There are some that I’ve found at home as well:
• Using the bathroom: as explained above.
• Child is sleeping: break out that phone/ laptop, because it’s now or never. You could also take this time to do up some dishes, laundry and whatnot. But taking a fifteen minutes to upload a blog post won’t hurt.
• Watching television: I’m not expecting everybody to take this one to heart, what can I say, people love tv, and getting away from it is difficult. But this time that you’ve spent sitting on your rear not doing anything except watch the Kardashian’s argue with each other or a 600lb lady isn’t making your life any better (for obvious reasons, but I won’t get into that here). Open up that laptop, and get cracking. If your Pod includes content about any of these shows….write out some commentary while you watch!
Dedicate yourself in these moments when you find yourself able to multi-task or just plain aren’t doing anything. Don’t void yourself of all the quiet down time you get, however, you’ll definitely need it from time to time.
Rule #3: Keep a Notebook
Whenever something pops into your head, write it down and revisit it later. Don’t let the idea, no matter how good it is, interfere with your responsibilities.
Rule #4: Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel
If you can, set yourself up with a schedule. It’ll help you gauge how much you need to do each day as far as PR stuffs as well as prep for the next episode.
These are all basics that you can follow if you are having trouble managing your time, or if you want to start a Pod and figure that you don’t have the time at all. The most important thing is that you have fun with it. Its all about having the outlet, and having a good time. As my Dad always used to say…….
“If your not having fun, you’re not doing it right.”