Plan the years and the weeks take care of themselves
As we get rolling with regular blogs on the new website, Robbie gives an overview of how he plans his year – and divides his time between his original projects and his duties managing the Sherman family estates.
Since my father's passing in 2012, I have had the luxury of becoming much more structured with my time, both from an annual perspective as well as on a weekly and daily basis. I like to start the year with a view of what my main projects [for the year] will be. Then I am able to work other things into my schedule as they fit. Since 2013, each December I’ve sketched out what the next year will look like, month to month.
I ask myself: "What am I going to be doing January, February and throughout the months?" To use 2015 as an example, I followed the calendar I set in December 2014, almost step by step. If there had been a crisis or emergency, everything would have been thrown into disarray, because there really wasn't much leeway in 2015.
"2015 was an exceptional year"
Fortunately though, fate was kind and things pretty much moved along like clockwork. 2015 was an exceptional year though!
2015 was anchored around two major projects - premiering Love Birds, (which was epic) and which happened in August, and my work for Disneyana which included writing, recording and premiering of the club’s official theme song, all of which culminated in July. Also for the DFC (Disneyana Fan Club) I hosted the second annual Walking With Giants tour in December. It’s the lead time that has to be thought through very carefully.
It’s critical that you don’t forget anything. For example, before I could introduce the “Disneyana!” song to the DFC (Disneyana Fan Club) I had to write it, get it approved by the DFC Board of Management (and allow enough time for this to happen), get it arranged, recorded, filmed (the video can be seen below) and all the other mini lead-ups that make each of these larger steps possible.
My creative projects are in addition to my ‘day job’ which is managing my father’s estate, which includes half of the Sherman Brothers and the Al Sherman estates as well. That’s what I do when I’m not working on my own things.
Each week, my office manager Phil works with me, out of my home office - two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays), just focusing on the estate. It’s very much the day-to-day of running a business with financial and legal responsibilities as well as bookkeeping, correspondence and other administration.
"On the Sherman Brothers and Al Sherman estates, my job is really two jobs"
My job is really two jobs, that of Trustee and that of CEO/President. For the latter, there’s the politicking and positioning of certain Intellectual Property of the Sherman Brothers and of Al Sherman. (That’s the most interesting part, I suppose.) It’s really a continuation of what I did for my father when he was alive, running his office, except now I am in charge and calling the shots too (not always my favourite part. My Dad was better at it. I always find myself asking my father, what he would want me to do).
Of course, no matter how much I plan out my year, some things will inevitably change. Last year, there were a number of smaller projects which, for one reason or another, just couldn’t get done. For instance, I wanted to see if we could produce a Christmas Single based on “Crunchy Crackers” from Love Birds in part to help promote the show. I had in mind a Tommy Steele kind of Christmas version of the song that would be called “Christmas Crackers”. There was also a terrific promotional video for Love Birds, which is more or less complete. It was directed by legendary Disney Animation Director (and good friend) Will Finn but it has yet to see the light of day.
"Deadlines come and go sometimes and you just have to wait for another opportune moment to pop up"
Deadlines come and go sometimes and you just have to wait for another opportune moment to pop up. There just wasn’t all the time I needed in 2015 to get everything done I wanted. But still it was an exceptional year and a lot DID get done! So I’m very grateful. And it doesn't mean that these things couldn't be find their way to completion in 2016 or 2017!
I’m enjoying getting stuck in to this year’s calendar. One of my early 2016 projects was launching and fine-tuning the look and feel of this website, which I’m so pleased to share with you now. I’m looking forward to using the website to tell you more about the other big projects anchoring my 2016 Calendar as they each are readied to announce.