We work like crazy. As a studio manager/producer/assistant/blogger life very rarely slows down to the point where I can step back and reflect on it. When it does though, I find myself mulling over aspects of this job that might seem so inconsequential, but for me hold deeper meanings. I’ve decided to start this monthly series on the blog to take a minute and stop, reflect, and write about some of the aspects of being a studio manager that really impact me. These are my studio manager meditations.
Slowing down can be hard – very hard sometimes. There’s a certain pace at which we, and I’d hazard a guess, most freelancers in this industry function on that is best described as breakneck. It’s an easy groove to fall into and function in. Work begets more work and busyness begets even more busyness; similar to the snowball effect, things keep building and building, and when we’re hitting our stride the pace of work and life can be crazy.
More times than not, when an opportunity presents itself to slow down, it can be an opportunity missed. Sure you’ll take a day or two off from the grind, but will you actually unplug? The easy answer is no. I’ll be the first to admit to checking emails on vacation and thinking work-related thoughts al all hours of the day, night, and even when I’m supposed to be tuned out.
For me at least, this is why I’ve learned not to fear slowing down – it affords just a bit of time for a nice respite. A time to work not quite as hard as we normally do, and free up some energy to think and concept the next big idea – which will naturally function to ramp up the pace and get us right back to being as busy as ever.
Of course, working as a freelance ship in the vast sea of the photo industry, sometimes that slow period can feel like you’re taking on water. To keep with the boating analogy, in the past it was very hard for me to disassociate the idea of slowing down a bit with a total sinking of the proverbial ship. Yet inn the past few years – 2014 especially, I’ve also learned to embrace slowing down, even if only for a few days or a week. It’s just as natural as being incredibly busy.
Certainly you can’t stay stuck at one extreme or the other – the consequences of either aren’t healthy or livable for any extended period of time. There’s a balance to be struck in this life, and it is okay to accept slowing down as a small part of that balance.