On today’s episode, I share some behind-the-scenes details on how long it takes for me to produce audio.
Time management is a topic I both love and struggle with. I love the idea of it. Who doesn’t want a perfectly-balanced schedule? Every day, I have to make a to-do list, set priorities, and make tough choices. I have more ambition and tasks on my to-do list than I have time to get it all done. Over the years, I have created to-do lists, refined my processes, improved my time-management skills, ended up with realistic expectations, and made progress.
One of my favorite books of all time is Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. It really helped me understand how I spend my time, how long it takes me to do things, and when to choose one task over another. I would recommend this book anyone looking for ways to improve their self-awareness and time-management skills.
I give myself about 3 hours per day to work on my business. My family gets the rest of the time. How did I come up with this number? I studied myself. I took notes about how long it takes me to do things, and I try not to bite off more than I can chew. Knowing how long it takes me to produce audio is essential.
When I’m recording a project, I’ll work for maybe an hour at a time. Noise cuts into my work day. I don’t record when loud noises interrupt my audio, so an hour can quickly turn into longer than an hour.
If I’m recording a podcast interview, it might take me up to 2 hours to do pre-interview stuff, record the interview, and give post-interview directions. I ignore the jets, garbage trucks, and so on during podcast interviews. It’s not a professional sample of my work that’s recorded in my professional home studio. I’m in my office with a podcasting microphone. It’s a conversation with an interesting person who uses their voice to advocate, educate, or entertain. I give myself some grace and upload podcast interviews with different standards.
I produce audio of varying lengths throughout the week. Whether I’m auditioning for something or working on a project, it takes time to get from reading the content with my eyes to having a finished audio file.
With the exception of podcast episodes, everything starts off the same way. Before I can record anything, I have to read the content with my eyes, including directions. Does the client want a conversational read? Do they want it to sound more clinical? Directions are important. Pronunciations are important too.
It takes time to set up my recording space. I have a dedicated space for recording voiceover projects and solo podcast episodes. It takes time to get myself in the space, open up my recording software, pick a template, and plug in my audio interface. Then, I have to set the script up too. If it’s something short, like 15-30 seconds, I might record two or three takes. I like to batch my recordings. If I’m going to go to the trouble of getting set up and asking everyone in the house to be quiet, I’m going to record as much stuff as I can.
In closing, I have developed my business time management skills over the past 3 years during my journey from pharmacist to voice actor. A 30-second audition might take 10 minutes to produce. Knowing how long it takes me to produce finished audio files is essential. I’m ok with only working about 3 hours per day for now. If and when I have more time, I understand how I spend my time, how long it takes me to do things, and when to choose one task over another.