Be it graphic design, movie editing, or creative writing, when entering creative industries, we all think that our jobs will be all about unleashing our creativity and getting paid for what we love to do. You’re led by this thought that you’re unstoppable and that there is nothing that may hold you back.
Unfortunately, when the hype dies down and the reality strikes, you realize it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, your job may be less about being authentic and more about boring paperwork.
Instead of focusing on the stuff you’re really interested in, you’re spending hours, days, weeks, and months on meaningless tasks that are slowly killing your creativity.
Worse yet, your obligations keep piling up and, no matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to have control over them.
To meet your deadlines, you focus on your work only and start ignoring your healthy habits.
It all begins with skipping the gym every once in a while. One day you will wake up and you won’t be able to remember when the last time you worked out was.
As you don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, you’re living off fast food.
Not to mention tons of coffee and energy drinks you take to keep you up at night.
Your family and social life will also suffer, as you keep pushing your dearest ones to the side.
You’re constantly feeling like a hamster on a wheel, but you feel like you cannot do anything about it.
And, the saddest thing about this is that you won’t even notice how much your life deteriorated until your brutally unhealthy habits start taking their toll on your health.
This makes us wonder if ignoring our health for the sake of our careers is really worth it.
Of course, it’s not.
Once you see that you have a problem, you need to step up, hold back tears, and tell yourself: “I can do better than this.”
That’s is exactly what Zack Arnold, famous Hollywood film and television editor and the creator of the Optimize Yourself (optimizeyourself.me) program, did.
Now, through his podcasts and courses, he wants to help you boost your productivity and creative performance.
This is his story.
To Lead the Change, You need to Be the Change: Personal Experience as an Inspiration
In today’s fierce business world, the number of employees experiencing burnout is reaching epidemic proportions. The reasons are multiple, from low compensation and unreasonable workloads to too much after-hours work. As a result, you will feel that you’re running out of gas and may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Emotional exhaustion
And, this is exactly what happened to Zack Arnold.
In one of his interviews, he revealed a darker and definitely less glamorous side of Hollywood to us. To get his job done, he spends more than 12 hours a day in a small, dark room, chained to his desk. What frustrated him the most was the fact that his job wasn’t that inspirational after all. Poor salaries, outdated equipment, sedentary life, and a bunch of paperwork started suffocating him. Consequently, he was fighting burnout, attention issues, and depression and, to maintain his sanity, he decided to completely change his life.
“When I first began my career as a film editor I believed I was a machine that could work 24/7 and nothing could stop me. Then at the early age of 25, I hit my first giant brick wall of burnout and suicidal depression. After having worked 16- hour days for several months straight, I distinctly remember one very late night sitting in the dark, holding back tears, and thinking to myself, ‘I cannot live like this anymore.’”
His own experiences inspired him to start the Optimize Yourself project, with a goal to help creative professionals achieve their goals and boost their productivity by teaching them how to manage their time, energy, and attention.
It all Starts with Optimizing Yourself
They say that “The change comes from within the individual” and that’s what Zack Arnold’s example shows us.
Unfortunately, it seems that most of us working in creative industries still don’t understand that. Today, we’re optimizing our finances, our business processes, our websites, and project management efforts.
But, no matter how important these processes are, they are cannot help us balance our lives if we don’t optimize ourselves first.
And, to optimize yourself, you first need to get to know yourself. This is what Zack Arnold encourages you to do. His educational materials don’t give you some definitive answers and tips. On the contrary, through them, he encourages you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. His primary goal is to help you to identify your own limitations, fears, and disabilities and turn them to your advantage to become a stronger version of yourself.
“I detest the word ‘expert,’ and I am not a guru. I am also not a ‘biohacker’, and I have no intention of showing you how to ‘become superhuman.’ I’m just a guy who has spent the last fifteen years chained to a computer (in the dark), and because of the stressful and sedentary nature of my career, I have battled burnout, attention issues, and depression more times than I can keep track of,” Arnold points out.
So, if you’re looking for magical advice that will solve all your problems or you aren’t taking these issues seriously, these resources are not for you. On the other hand, they can be extremely valuable to you, especially if:
- Your career eats up most of your time, leaving you with no “me” time.
- You don’t want to spend the rest of your life in front of your monitor.
- You’re experiencing the lack of engagement and productivity.
- You want to spend more quality time with the people you love.
- You’ve lost your creativity and want to “revamp” your creative focus.
Optimize Yourself: The Source of Valuable Content
We’ve been already discussing the importance of a well-optimized, user-friendly site for building a strong online presence. And, optimizeyourself.me may serve as its perfect prototype.
When you land on a site, the first thing you see is a huge, red CTA button inviting you to subscribe to a mailing list and download a free, 50-page guide.
All CTAs on the site are catchy, easily visible, and informative, telling a user how exactly they can benefit by clicking on them.
Apart from the guide, there are additional educational resources that are neatly classified into 3 sections:
- The Podcast
- The Blog
The Podcast section currently contains 45 podcast episodes, featuring productivity coaches, wellness professionals, and motivational speakers, as well as famous people from different creative sectors. And, the best thing about it is that it is free- all you have to do is sign up and all the content is available to you. Additionally, if you were a fan of Zack Arnold’s Fitness in Post podcast, you can find all episodes in the podcast section, too.
The Courses section is definitely the most extensive one and the only one you need to pay for. Here, you can access 5 different courses:
- Move Yourself– explains the importance of activity for boosting creativity and teaches you how to create a more dynamic work environment. It’s not an exercise program. On the contrary, it shows you how to take gradual steps to develop healthy habits to serve you for the years to come.
- Focus Yourself and Advance Yourself are still in their beta phase.
- Additionally, Arnold also posted the links to his two tutorials published on Lynda.com- Video Post Productivity Weekly that shows you how to minimize your busywork to have more time for your creative processes and Trello for Video Post-Production, teaching you how to optimize your workloads using Trello.
Now, what’s really great about these sections is that each piece of content published there further classified according to their main topics of conversation and categories (#moveyourself, #advanceyourself, #balanceyourself, #inspireyourself and #focusyourself) so that users can browse through the content much faster.
Over to You
Optimize Yourself reminds us that health always comes first. By helping us understand our needs, it teaches us that blending high performance with creative work is still possible. Most importantly, this is an innovative approach to the topic we’ve been reading about a lot lately.
But, this site doesn’t serve as an inspiration to creative professionals only. It is also a perfect example of how investing in the strong online presence and relevant, engaging content may help you become the no.1, even in an industry that is rapidly growing.
And, here at Domain.me, we’re proud that Zack Arnold chose .ME for his site.
.Me is probably the most authentic and memorable domain extension out there and, as such, it seems like a perfect solution for any creative professional. It gives you the opportunity to create a memorable domain name, unique CTAs and, most importantly, take your customer interactions to a whole new level.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re working on your personal brand or launching a startup, visit us and choose your .ME name today!