Rules like….

I won’t drink at home on three school nights of the week.

Or – I won’t sleep in on a Saturday.

Or – I will exercise three times a week.

(The sleep one isn’t mine – who sleeps in with a toddler anyway! Pullleaseeeee)

If you are currently self-employed or want to be in the future, and if you want to stay in the acting game for the long game, you need to know boundaries. You need to set yourself up with some hard and fast work and acting rules that you don’t break so you can ensure you stay at your optimum – both during the ups and the downs.

I am a firm believer that some rules are made to be broken. But some aren’t.

For example, I say cross the line if you have to when you’re making a film if you can justify why you need to do it. Another example is don’t rely on anyone else to do your stuff for you. You can hang that painting and open that pickle jar. You don’t need a big strong man (or woman) to do it for you.

But, if you are like me, and a late afternoon coffee can keep you awake all night watching paint try, you might try my hard and fast coffee rule that I NEVER break – I don’t drink coffee after 3 pm. I don’t ever want to have one of those nights again where caffeine has me staring at my ceiling until dawn.

Some rules should be firmly fixed in place and not get tampered with. Because rules and boundaries are there for our own benefit and so that we don’t mess ourselves up. At some point in the early days, probably just around nursery and kindergarten time, we started to learn the rules about lunch, and play, and sleep and other relevant school rules. Then when we got to university or college we learned the rules about cheating on exams. Then when we became grownups we started to make our own rules, because we actually had the pre-thought to realize some stuff just works better with rules (I cringe when I think about my share flat toilet cleaning roster).

And that’s not a bad thing. Those rules help us survive. If anything, I don’t think that people spend nearly enough time actually dissecting their lifestyle and working out good practices to live by, or what is good for them, what’s not good for them, and what may or may not increase their productivity.

And furthermore, for the actor, or anyone who is self-employed, I think these five little rules can triple a person’s productivity and well-being