I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media posts talking about how to handle your time during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve seen posts that suggest that you must be super productive so you come out ahead when this thing is over. Other posts say that you should take a huge break from work and sit back and relax.
So, for this blog I’ll share what I’ve been doing during these unprecedented times. Here’s the bottom line: if you want to relax and watch movies and chill, enjoy the time off. If you want to stay super busy, do that. Do what feels right to you. There are no rules right now (except stay at home and wash your hands!) I’m just sharing what I’m doing lately, not what you should be doing.
I’m always saying to myself there are not enough hours in the day to practice, rehearse, review notes, write, read, workout, email business leads, phone calls, teach students online or in person, work on my website and keep up with posts and engagement on social media, organize my card room, and maintain old effects and create new effects… and maintain some sort of normal home life with my girlfriend Lauren and my pup Zadok, and keep in touch with friends and family. Now we have all the time in the world to get that stuff done.
So here’s what I’ve been doing: I’ve been digging through all my old notes that date back to 2001. There’s some amazing stuff in there. There are effects that I’ve created that I’ve completely forgotten about. (Me shaking my head and saying to myself, “Jason, you’re a goddamn genius.”) I’ve started reading some new books that I would have never had the time to start before. (Forte’s new books are keeping me very busy.) I’m writing up and updating methods for tricks I’ve invented in just the last few years. I’m also devoting more time to my third book. The book is written, but it needs lots of polish. (Don’t get too excited. It’s still a few years away from being published.) I’m back to practicing sleight of hand drills, but I’ve created more difficult drills so I can see a bigger improvement down the road. My website is about to get a lot of attention with new content and copy. I’m working on a ton of new video projects. I’m organizing things for my business so it will be much more efficient when the work starts again. There’s just so much to do. The difference now is that I have all day to get this stuff done.
Here’s the secret to being efficient during these times. Break your workload up into small portions. If you think you’re going to read the Forte books cover to cover over the next two weeks, don’t be surprised if you burn out. I make a list of manageable tasks at the beginning of each day. Those tasks change throughout the week to keep my mind fresh. When I feel myself burning out, I take the rest of the day off. My thinking is that I’d like to come out ahead after this pandemic is done. I imagine being closer to a completed third book, a more organized system for my business, new effects, new sleights, improved technique, new content for social media, etc. etc. I’d rather have all that done than proudly saying that I watched every last movie on Netflix… twice. (I still haven’t even seen Tiger King!)