Blogs, videos, articles, tweets, podcasts – aaaagggghhhhh! We’re bombarded every single day by so much information. It’s overwhelming. How do we reduce the digital clutter? The Bosses are here to help you clean house. In today’s world of information overload, it’s important to have a plan for your digital exposure and a way to manage the mega-loads of info that leave most voice actors feeling clueless. So, let’s get digital!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Dealing with all the information outlets can be completely overwhelming.
We are often bombarded by so much info that we shut down and don’t know what to do.
Have a clear idea, vision or goal as to what you are trying to learn and how to best use digital content.
Pay close attention to the creators of digital voiceover content. Focus on those who speak to you and help you achieve your goals.
Try not to clutter your head with ‘stuff’ that isn’t applicable to what you want to do.
Limit your social media time by setting allowed hours to engage in social activities.
It takes regimented dedication to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Our capacity to learn is in blocks of time – usually 10-45 minutes. If you exceed your limit, your head will be cluttered.
Voiceover students tend to put too great an expectation on themselves. They try to know-it-all before starting their business.
Take smart phone breaks. Unplug and socialize the old-fashioned way.
Don’t feel like you have to remain connected all the time. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you don’t set limits.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
We love IpDTL!
Announcer: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with you host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.
Anne: So Gabby.
Gabby: [cute voice] Yeah?
Anne: [laughs] What is one of my favorite things to wear in the studio?
Gabby: [stutters] Hmm…umm…
Anne: [laughs] I’ll tell you what, Gabby, it’s BOSS-branded.
Gabby: Is it your BOSS undies?
Anne: [laughs] We have the most amazing BOSS undies! It is, Gabby, it is! The BOSS undies! You need to get yourself into the frame of mind that is going to heighten your performance, just make you feel confident, and a, just like a BOSS.
Gabby: Every day you have an opportunity to put on your big BOSS panties or your big BOSS boxers, and I think —
Anne: There you go.
Gabby: — that that is how you start an amazing day as an entrepreneur.
Anne: Take a look at them on voboss.com. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing, information-overloaded cohost, Gabby Nistico.
Anne: Gabby! Yay, me too, I should say.
Anne: Both of us, information overload. I am — my head right now, Gabby, it’s just too much. There’s too much. I thought it would be a great time to talk about how we deal with all of this information.
Gabby: Find me anybody in voiceover right now who’s not like “oh my God!” There’s so many avenues, there’s so many outlets, there’s so much to read on the Internet, there’s so many — it just —
Anne: Social media alone is like —
Anne: Oh my God. Social media, and websites, and casting sites, and — oh my gosh, it’s, there’s, it’s almost like it’s too much, and you don’t even know what to do. I mean even myself, a tech girl, even I am like “oh my God, I need to step back,” because it’s all just too much all the time, and my brain I think is starting to feel the same was as like all of my social media channels, which is like completely overloaded. Gabby, what do we do?
Gabby: I went down a bunny hole that is Reddit the other day.
Anne: Oh yeah. [laughs]
Gabby: Oh my God! I was like, “please, dear God, no, ot another social media. I can’t do this.”
Anne: Yeah, that is a, that is a rabbit hole.
Gabby: Yeah. Oh man. Alright [laughs] so cutting through all of it. Right? Cut through the clutter. Let’s, let’s look at it that way.
Gabby: We got clutter. We gotta clear it. How’re we going to handle this?
Anne: I think, Gabby, the first thing you’ve gotta ask yourself is “what are you using this information for,” and I think we’re pretty much talking about digital information. Right? When we sit at our computer, right? What is the, what is the purpose for us sitting in front of that computer? Are we trying to market our businesses? Are we being social? Are we advertising our businesses on social? What is it that we’re doing? I think we need to have a clear —
Gabby: Are we trying to learn something new? Right.
Anne: Right. I think we have to have a clear idea and a clear mind going into it, understanding what it is that we’re using the medium for. And I think that may be, may be a good first step in trying to declutter.
Gabby: It is, and I feel like what you’re trying to talk about is kind of like BOSS feng shui.
Anne: Oooo! [laughs]
Gabby: Because I know that you know a decent about the shui. So —
Anne: I took classes. I did, mm-hmm.
Gabby: I know, so can you kind of like overlap these two ideas a little bit? Like what are the principles?
Anne: Well first of all, clutter, any kind of clutter. Clutter in your house, right, this is feng shui, clutter in your house means clutter in your head. Um so I’m gonna say clutter on your computer, number one, and that includes not just your organization on a computer. That includes like what you’re looking at on the computer. So clutter in what you’re looking at, what you’re digesting in your life, um in your digital life absolutely means clutter in your brain. And I think that it’s, it’s something for you to at least sit down and recognize that it exists, and then really have a clear cut idea as to how you want to use that medium, because I myself, as I mentioned, have even experienced it in the past, I would say, six months where I need to maybe step back from some of those channels and only visit them certain times of the day to avoid my brain getting cluttered. And literally, Gabby, how many times have we done a Zoom where you’ve looked at the amount of tabs that I have on my Google Chrome? I want everybody out there to admit, if you have more than 10 tabs open, you’re in with me. [laughs]
Gabby: I have always prided myself on being a — something of a minimalist. I don’t like clutter. I don’t like — which is funny being a rock collector, like I’m very particular about the way I will collect, because I do not want to be a hoarder. If you’re not displaying —
Anne: [gasps] Digital hoarder!
Gabby: If you’re not aware, I think what’s happening now is we’re becoming digital hoarders. We have so much information, so many files, so many photos, like, it’s getting to be crazy. With voiceover, I think the, the fastest way for me anyway to streamline is to force myself to go, “who’s the source?” That’s my journalism background in action. Like I go literally right to that place of who’s the source of the material? I have to make a very quick judgment. If the source of the material is someone whose career I emulate, or who for, lack of a better way to put it, has what I want, then I’m going to listen to them, and that’s the pathway I’ll follow. But if that person doesn’t have what I’m looking for in a career, or is doing something else that I really don’t have a big interest in, I’m going to kind of shut that off, because it’s just stuff.
Anne: I also think though you need to allow yourself some playtime, the playtime to explore.
Anne: Because yes, I totally agree that there has to be like who you’re giving attention to, who you’re following, who you’re believing in terms of “is this information valid or not,” but I also think there needs to be a time for research, a time for play that can help you discover new people to follow, new sources, and new resources.
Gabby: Yes. It’s saying, “OK, well, I found this thing, this person, this resource,” whatever it might be. It could be another podcast. It could be a book. It could be, you know, a, a workshop somebody’s having, and you go, “let me look at them. Look at who’s offering this.” I know Scott Brick is a master when it comes to audiobooks, and he’s incredibly well-respected, and I’ll refer people to him all day every day, but me personally, I don’t do a lot of poking into Scott Brick’s work or his teachings because I don’t want to do audiobooks. So…
Anne: Good point.
Gabby: Why clutter my head with stuff that’s not really applicable to what I want to do?
Anne: Well, I think also it, it makes sense to, as I mentioned, sit down and have a plan.
Have a plan for your digital time.
Gabby: But how you do that? How do you even…?
Anne: Well, I think that there has to be various times during the day that you allow yourself on social media. I will have times where I literally have to force myself to get out of Facebook, to get out of Instagram, to get out of Twitter, right, and only have open those applications that I am working on at the time. OK, you know Scott Brick is a professional, but therefore you don’t necessarily need to be researching audiobooks, because that’s not what you do, or that’s not what you want to do. That’s not where you want to be with your business. I think that, again, if you sit down in front of your computer with a clear goal of what you need to accomplish during the day, for your business, and then set aside the time and the places that you’re going to visit for just those goals, I think it would really help to have like a day, a daily plan. “OK, from 8:00 to 9:00, I’m going to be looking at my email. From 9:00 to 11:00 I’m going to be Googling or researching new potential clients.” A lot of times you might have to check your email, like frequently, so therefore you turn your notifications on. So if somebody’s contacting you, like a client, you need to respond to that. If you get an audition in that, from your agent, that you need to, you know, hop off and do that audition, I think that’s one thing that you would say, “OK. I need to check all of my email from this time to this time but also have my notifications on, so if anything comes in from my agent, anything that comes in from a potential client, that I’m going to be able to see it in a flash, make that decision to then divide my time up, right, to pay attention to that task at hand.” But I think having a good plan in the morning when you sit down is going to benefit you.
Gabby: I like this. I’m going to suggest something because I think — I’m even guilty of it, and it would probably benefit me. If you feel like you’re going down a digital rabbit hole —
Anne: Rabbit hole.
Gabby: Yeah, and you’re following the bunny trail because let’s — we have all been there. It’s way too easy to do. I go into YouTube holes sometimes that I don’t come out of for hours — to avoid that time suck or avoid the inevitable overload that that creates, go ahead and use your phone and pull up the stopwatch app or the timer app and set yourself a limit. So that there’s like an alarm that goes off. So maybe it’s half an hour, or 45 minutes, or an hour, and you go, “that’s it. I’m going to stop at that point and move on to something else.” And Anne, as an educator, you know this. There’s literally a limit to how long we can be exposed to something to where we stop absorbing, we stop —
Anne: Oh absolutely.
Gabby: — learning.
Anne: Yeah, we were always taught never to lecture more than 45 minutes. Even then —
Anne: And that was years ago. So I think today’s — the attention span is, what are they saying, seven minutes?
Gabby: Oh God, yeah. That’s terrible.
Anne: It’s horrible. I mean —
Gabby: It used to be 22, and the reason it was 22 is because that was the length between commercial breaks on TV. And now, yeah, it’s just getting smaller and smaller. But you have to know that about yourself, because sometimes I get people who come to me, or they ask me for advice, and I can see it. Like they are so confused. They are so overwhelmed. And they’re like, “and then I was on this blog, and then I saw this thing on Facebook. And then I —
Anne: I get it. Yeah.
Gabby: Yeah. And, and I have to look at them, and I go, “there’s, you’re being too hard on yourself. You can’t possibly absorb all of this. You can’t possibly know all of this.”
Anne: I have a lot of students who will say, “yeah, and then I listened to this podcast, and then, you know, and then I attended this workshop. And then I, and then I worked out here. And then I was reading on, you know, the web here.” And it’s funny because you’re right, sometimes you can get so sucked into it all that it then becomes something that holds you back from progressing. You know, I, I really believe that. And I have had multiple students get kind of sucked down that rabbit hole, where they will spend years, and they are still not necessarily making a dent in, in progressing forward with their businesses or getting work, because they continue to umm read more information, take more classes, um do more workouts. And it’s almost like they’re afraid to start. And I, I think we’ve been through this before in our podcast where you have to start. You have to give yourself permission to start somewhere.
Gabby: They’re overloading themselves. They are, they are literally confusing themselves by, by continually doing that. And the other is the expectation that they’re putting on themselves. No one knows everything. No one knows it all. You will never be a 100% complete walking knowledge of everything there is to know about voiceover ever.
Gabby: It’s not going to happen. So if you’re — stop striving for that, because I think that’s what a lot of it stems from. People think, “I’ve got to know more. I have to know more. I have to know more.” Mmm, no.
Anne: And they perform that way with their businesses. “I have to be able to do all of the voiceovers so I can get hired, you know, make this a career.” And it really becomes, it really becomes very much in parallel to what we consider to be um great marketing, and it’s always about target marketing. I think you need to think about your business and your consumption of digital, right, of digital material resources and in that targeted market kind of a focus.
Gabby: I think that, that makes a lot of sense. And some of it too, and this I think runs into what you’re saying, the more entertaining piece, the social piece is, think about like the course of your life, how many TV shows or how many movies you’re watched or you’ve seen, purely for entertainment? You know what? We forget a lot of them. It sort of just falls out of our brain. It’s important until maybe you know it’s, it’s on, it’s rerunning on television. And you’re like, “oh yeah. I forgot all about this movie.” Not everything that you’re going to absorb or read about voiceover is dire to your career or all-important. Let some of it just kind of ebb and flow and come and go.
Anne: And I’d like to make a suggestion, and I need to take it myself is I have my phone with me everywhere. I would like to know how many people out there feel uncomfortable if they don’t have their phone with them, their smartphone. Right? I even take it to the couch when I am done with work at the end of the day, and I am the first to admit this. Right? I take it to the couch, and what do I do during the commercial breaks? I am on Instagram, I’m like reading Facebook, whatever I am doing, that is my social hour because I’ve got the smartphone there, and I am checking Facebook. I think this is just going to happen. There is going to be all of society kind of stepping back a little bit, I hope, to get back like — remember when we used to go outside to play?
Anne: And we didn’t have our phones and that kind of thing? And I know that I am as guilty as, you know, the rest of society in terms of being addicted to my phone. And I think that it has gotten to the point where, at some point, we’re going to be like, OK, we need to step back a little bit. And I’m not sure when that’s happening, but I think it’s, you know, I think we’re close to it.
Gabby: Families are starting to do it with kids more and more. I’ve heard —
Anne: I think that’s important.
Gabby: I’ve heard about some really great steps that families are now implementing, where, you know, it’s dinnertime. Everybody’s phone goes in a basket, and the basket gets put away.
Gabby: Because it’s family mealtime. That’s what we’re doing right now, and the phones can come back out later. That’s beautiful. For those of us without children, we have to kind of force ourselves to do that too.
Anne: I agree.
Gabby: It’s not just about teaching someone else these values. It’s about allowing those values to benefit us.
Anne: I’m that way when we go out to dinner, you know, when we’re out, when we’re out with company, that, that I think it’s just rude to have the phone at the table. So hopefully, I’m thinking, that there’s going to be more instances like that, where it’s going to be considered rude to be either looking at your phone, or that would be a nice, kind of refreshing — I think it would let us all off the hook. I personally feel like I’m on the hook all the time because, “oh, we’re entrepreneurs are we have to check our email the time, and therefore I need to remain connected.” And that is my, that is what I say first and foremost, but yet again, there’s a fine line between that and addiction, which —
Anne: — you know, I’m, I’m, I’m guilty of.
Gabby: We all are. I think the big thing is understanding that this, this information, there’s only going to be more and more and more of it, so we have to learn how to balance it. We’ve got to learn a way to navigate it sooner rather than later.
Anne: I’m going to say, I want to make a pact, Gabby, with you and our audience, right, that I am going to leave my phone — normally I’m with my phone just about — unless I’m sleeping, right, I’ve got my phone by my side like 24/7. I’m going to make a pact with you that I’m going to leave my phone — I’m going to start it during, I don’t know, dinner hour, how’s that? I’m going to leave my phone away from me. I’m going to keep my phone away from me for two hours, two hours a day.
Gabby: Oo, I will do that with you.
Gabby: I think that’s a great idea.
Anne: I think so too. I think it’s gonna give me a break like mentally, and I think that that’s going to be really helpful for our businesses and our creativity. It’s going to give us like a, kind of a refresh, a reboot, so that we don’t — we’re not completely, “oh my God, I’m thinking, I must answer this. Wait, do I have to post to here?” Whatever it is, we need to give ourselves a break so that we can creatively reboot ourselves and our businesses.
Gabby: Very smart. I like that.
Anne: All right, guys. So I want you to do it along with us. Who’s with us? [laughs]
Gabby: Let us know. Email us, get in touch with us through social media, ironically. [laughs] Let us know.
Anne: Let us know after our two-hour window. [laughs]
Gabby: We’ll call it, we’ll call it a BOSS Break, because that’s what it is. It’s a BOSS Break.
Anne: Oh yeah. Everybody take a BOSS Break with us. And, but listen to the BOSS episodes first, and then take a BOSS Break and let us know, let us know how you’re trying to help yourself detach a little bit and keep yourself from the digital chaos and information overload. Big shoutout to our sponsor, ipdtl.com. You too can sound amazing and have wonderful technology to record with by going to ipdtl.com.
Gabby: And even though we’re asking you to detach a little bit from social media time, from information time, digital, I do want to remind you —
Anne: When you come back.
Gabby: Yeah, when you come back to it, we’re here. We got Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, and YouTube, and of course our website, voboss.com.
Anne: [laughs] You guys have a great week and rock your business like a BOSS.
Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.
Gabby: [lip buzzing]
Anne: So, Gabby.
Gabby: [snoring sounds]
Anne: Happy Holidays, Gabby. Happy Holidays in 2018.
Gabby: No, no, it’s too soon.
Anne: We hope your holiday season is a happy one.
Gabby: Too soon, no.
Anne: Have a peaceful and prosperous new year.
Anne: Please remember to drive safely during this holiday season.
Anne: Thanks for making us a part of your holiday season. [laughs]
Gabby: Can you record my Christmas? Can you just —
Anne: Have a joyful holiday and a happy new year.
Gabby: I’m telling you, I’m going to pay you to record all of my holiday greetings this year so I don’t have to talk to anybody.
Anne: Gabby —
Gabby: I can just play them you, and you will wish them well for me and —
Anne: A bright and delightful holiday season.
Anne: I am wishing you a bright and delightful, not a — a delightful holiday season. That’s so not conversational, Gabby.
Anne: Gabby, I wish you a delightful holiday season.
Anne: My Alexa’s out there complaining. I can hear her outside the booth.
Gabby: Tell her to shut up.
Anne: Oh my God, hang on a minute. Oh, Alexa, stop!
Gabby: I’m gonna cry.
Michelle: I just wanna make you proud, Anne Ganguzza.
Anne: Aww. You have. No worries.
Gabby: I’m gonna cry. I just heard all of that.
Anne: Right? I know. [laughs]
Gabby: Imma cry, Imma cry.
Anne: I know.
Gabby: Let’s record something.
Gabby: We got to try to get some episodes done.
Anne: OK. Here we go. Welcome — uhhh — a-hwelcome, a-hwelcome to —
Gabby: A-hwelcome —
Anne: I’m like Elvis over here. [laughs]
[sighs] Here we go.