Join Zack Arnold for an in-depth discussion in this video Organizing editorial tasks by energy level, part of Video Post Productivity Weekly.
- [Instructor] If you haven't already grasped the power of organizing your daily editing tasks and the contexts and how it can save you time and energy, I highly recommend that you go back to previous lessons before reviewing this one, as well as reading my article about editing and contexts located at optimizeyourself.me/contexts. In this lesson we're going to dive one layer even deeper and start organizing your daily tasks by energy level. I'm going to show you two separate ways to do this using first checklists as I showed you briefly in a previous lesson, and also by creating invisible labels.
So, we're back here in the checklist that we created in the previous lesson and I briefly alluded to the idea of the fact that the busy work checklist might be something that you want to do in the afternoon when you don't have a lot of energy and you don't feel like doing a highly creative task like doing your first cut. To take this to the next level, what you can do is actually create a checklist based on your energy level, so you can say, "I want this to be low energy tasks," and I like to use the @ sign because that's the format that they use in OmniFocus for the contexts, and I also like it because in my mind contexts are the same thing as mindsets.
My mindset is that I am lazy and tired and I don't want to do anything right now, and I like the @ sign because it looks like a little brain. So, that is my mindset, my mindset is a low energy task. So, I add that and I can also create another checklist. I can say, "@HIGHCREATIVITY." So, if you choose to organize your tasks by energy level rather than by type you can do that. So, we've already assigned exporting the visual effect shots to my assistant. Cleaning up the messy dialogue edits in scene two, that's busy work, it's definitely low energy, super, super simple.
Mixing up the music, that's the same thing. I know that the first cut of the scene is going to be something I need a lot of high levels of creativity to do, so I can reorganize it that way, and once I have these cleared out I can choose to delete them if I would like by just clicking the Delete button twice. Replacing the sound effects with the door closing in scene one, that's probably a low energy task, so I'll delete that. Music, change music queue in scene four.
It's kind of in the middle because changing a music queue could mean that I have to find a new music queue and I need to edit it to the scene. So, for now we're actually going to call this a high creativity task. So, I'm kind of undoing all of the work that I did before. This one's very debatable, dailies. Is watching dailies require a lot of creativity or very little creativity? This could go both ways. You could argue that you need to be tremendously creative when you're watching dailies and you really need to pay attention. Others would argue that there's nothing more brain dead boring than watching raw dailies.
I kind of stand in the middle, but I personally do dailies watching when I'm a little bit lower energy and I save the cutting for when I have a lot of energy. So, I'm going to get rid of these. All right, so now I've basically organized this into low energy and high creativity, but here's the problem with doing it this way. The reason we built it the way that we did is so we are in the context of editing music. We have the list of editing music. If we want to work on just sound effects we have a list of sound effects.
So, now we've kind of created an either/or scenario. I'm going to show you a different way that you can organize all of these but with individual cars and individual labels. So, what we're going to do is a totally alternative way to organize the same tasks. I'm going to create a new list that's called Music. I'm going to create another one that's called Sound Effects. Another one that's called Dailies. So, if I go into my Editing Tasks I can actually copy these, so I'm just highlighting them, selecting Command C for copy.
I'm going to go over to Dailies, I do Command V to paste, I add, create three cards, and now I have all of my dailies tasks under my Dailies list. I can do the same thing again. I can say this is a sound effects task. Oh, we have a new one that says, "dialogue." So, that means I have to create another list and call it Dialogue, and I'm going to add that as a card here.
So, you can see what I'm doing is instead of checklists I'm now creating a task per card. And here we have a music task, so I copy that, put it in Music. Great, but how do I organize these by energy? Well, what we're going to do is we're going to add invisible labels. So, we're going to hover over our card and hit the L key. You can also click on the card, click on Labels, you'll get the same thing but I prefer to be efficient, so I hover over, I hit L.
Replacing the sound effects, that's a low energy task. I'm going to create a new label and I'm going to call this, "@LOWENERGY," but I don't want to give it a color and here's why. Because when I create it you can't see it. Mix up the music in C19, label, low energy. Clean up messy dialogue edits, probably low energy. Watching dailies, this is going to be high creativity levels. I'm going to make another invisible label.
I label this high creativity, I label this high creativity. So, great, what does that actually mean? What do I do with this now? I still have a board that has a bunch of tasks. That is where the power of filtering comes in. All I have to do is hit the F button, or I can also go to Show Menu, go to Filter Cards, and I can filter by invisible labels. So, I show all labels and all I want to see on the entire board are the invisible labels for low energy. So, I do that and this is what I see.
For a music task mix up the music in C19. For sound effects replace the sound effects of the door closing. I don't have anything in dailies this low energy, and then for dialogue clean up the messy dialogue edits. So, this is now a way for you to granularly go to the next level of not only working in a context as far as music or just sound effects or just dailies or just dialogue. You can say, "I only want to work on music "right now, but I'm also really tired "and lazy, so I don't want to do difficult music tasks. "I just want to do super simple, easy music "tasks because I just don't have the energy." So, this is how you can go from an OmniFocus context and task list to having checklists in Trello, to now having a way to organize it in two separate ways.
At this point, you should have all the tools that you need to start reorganizing your daily editorial tasks so you can summon laser sharp focus, and even more importantly, still be productive when you simply don't have the energy to be focused and creative. You see, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
Skill Level Appropriate for all
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