Production work is often a case of feast or famine. You either have too much work or none at all. So what do you do when you suddenly find that you have more work than you think you can handle?
Let’s talk editing. The ability to prioritize and organize your jobs is key. When you have deadlines, prioritizing is easy. The edit that’s due first gets done first, right? But when you have multiple projects, you have to be able to balance. If you have a more involved project and one that isn’t so involved, it’s important to switch between them. When one starts to give you a hard time and you’re in need of some perspective, go back to the other. This way both projects get done before driving you to frustration and a several-aspirin headache.
Organizing your projects in your edit software in the beginning will save you a lot of trouble later. Taking the time to create folders, enter keywords, or organize by whatever means your software allows will make your edit go faster and easier and help you make your deadline. Every editor organizes in his or her own way. It doesn’t really matter how you do it: just make sure it works for you.
Perspective in general is important in all forms of art–especially editing. It’s important to step back for a bit and look at what you’re doing. It also helps to get a second opinion. You can get so involved in your work that you can’t really see it for what it is. Having a second pair of eyes can help you when you get stuck and are unable to see the answers that are often obvious to an outsider.
As far as priority and deadlines go, remember they can change. Sometimes a client will change a deadline because something has changed on their end. It’s always a good idea to keep in touch to see if any aspect of the project has changed. If you find they’ve pushed the deadline back, then that may give you time to work on your other projects.
All in all, most of us are lucky to get work when we can, so we must take advantage. Say yes and bite off as much as you can chew–maybe more. If you don’t know how to do something, find someone who does, take an online course, or find a helpful YouTube video. You’ll learn and grow in your craft and get paid at the same time.