When you devote yourself to your craft, you may quickly find that you have less time to focus on other priorities in life.  This doesn’t mean you have to put everything else by the wayside, though.  You’ll just have to practice some effective time management strategies to ensure you can still do it all – or, at least, those things that matter most.

Being in entertainment means being busy.  You may have to carve out time to practice your lines or practice walking the runway, attend auditions, open calls, and events, or interview with industry experts.  You’ll spend some time on stage, in front of the camera, and behind the scenes, and you may be exhausted at the end of an especially grueling day – even more so after a few days in a row of nonstop action.

There are a few things you can do to help you keep up with life without staying up all night.  First and foremost, you’ll want to grab a notepad and pen, your tablet, laptop, or smartphone and get ready to write down your priorities.  Creating “to-do” lists not help you stay organized, but make you feel accomplished, and therefore, more motivated each time you strike an item off.

In order to create the most relevant list, you’ll first have to have a good idea of what your main goals are.  If, at the bare minimum, you want to make sure you attend an audition, eat lunch with a screenwriter friend, and work out for an hour, add these to-dos to your daily list in order of most to least important and don’t allow unimportant interruptions to keep you from accomplishing these three.

If you need to spend time on some focus-intense tasks, such as writing a script or practicing lines, eliminate the potential for distractions as much as possible.  This means, for the hour or so you plan to devote to these activities, you’ll need to find a quiet space and turn off your phone.  According to business writer Lee Polevoi, “our smartphone is extremely useful, but it’s also addictive and among the most insidious time-wasters known to mankind.”  Allow yourself to focus only on the task at hand, rather than worrying about checking your missed calls or thinking ahead to the next to-do.

Above all, make sure, no matter how busy life becomes, to get enough z’s at the end of each day.  Our mind is on high alert and we’re able to knock out our priorities most effectively when we get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.