First of all, what is a road map? It’s quite simple, really, and it starts with a sheet of paper. It’s a document that lets you put down all of your ideas, aspirations, and artistic goals for a given time (we recommend thinking ahead for the next year in correspondence with your next artistic endeavor). Think of it as a stream of consciousness activity to write out any and all thoughts, plans, subjects and concerns regarding your choreography and future piece. It’s important to include all aspects: administrative, artistic, technical and business-oriented! Once you’ve got a firm grip on this, you will be on top of your productivity and ready to anticipate any tough choices you may have to make along the way.
1. A 360˚ Look
On paper, put down all of your thoughts that come to mind on the spot. Ranging from small details to the basics of your idea or even the stress and pressure you’re feeling on how to get it all done, write it all down without giving priority. No judgement here. The objective is to turn all of your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. This first step will help address your road map from all possible directions and will help remind you of all of your most crucial points while advancing onwards. Eventually, once written down, it will be impossible to turn back.
2. Do not panic: Sort, Classify, Arrange
Once your ideas have been noted, you might be a little overwhelmed when face-to-face with the multitude of tasks ahead of you, and it might seem harder than it looks to prioritize all of your items. Don’t worry! Take some breaths and follow these rules…
Start by defining your categories: Finance, Communication, and Administration (feel free to add more, if it applies). Then group your ideas and thoughts accordingly and place them into these categories.
Next, in one category, go through your tasks and decide how long each one will take and how important they are to you. For example let’s say one of your ideas in the communication category is “Find a performance venue for my piece” and another is “Reserve studio space”. You’ll write next to the first “This is more important because it will take several weeks and a lot of various types of communication”. The second idea can be deemed less important because it will take less time to organize.
Finally, let’s prioritize. How exactly? You can start by numbering each of your tasks from most to least important: 1,2, and 3. At this point, you will have considered all other factors so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Prioritizing will allow you to list out your due dates and stick with them in the future. For example: deciding on a Premier Date, #1 importance, due date July 2019 .
Now you’ve identified all of the most important ways to navigating your project while creating a basic structure to follow throughout the year. *victory dance*
3. Define your Checkpoints
Define each and every decimal bullet point with the goal of creating checkpoints for yourself. While you may have the bigger picture in mind, giving detail to your tasks will make you validate each one before moving on. Alright stay with us, this may seem tedious, but it will help consolidate things and prevent the chaos we all know can easily spur out of control. For example one of your first objectives is “Recruit an administrative intern” and your due date is September 2020. A good checkpoint to add would be “March 2020 – publish internship offer, June 2020 – Interview and review candidates”. Each baby step is crucial and will help you refine your road map so it is crystal clear. These sub targets will help make the larger milestones seem more approachable and doable. So a number one priority that must be completed in six months will be achieved step-by-step when the date arrives. These checkpoints ensure you honor your goals and break it down so that you can cross things off your list as they get done.
4. Take a Step Back and Share
Once you’ve thoroughly gone through your road map and you feel settled, don’t hesitate to share it with a few people in your circle (personal or professional). Another perspective is always helpful to consider and constructive criticism can help you consider problems you may have not considered otherwise. So there you have it. Your road map has officially been completed and can now be used as you move forward with your work. You’ll thank yourself later after curtain call when you can look back and see how things began. Good luck and happy mapping!