Are you really giving 100%?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot recently.

Over the last few years working freelance, I stupidly felt if I wasn’t working a minimum of 12 hour days, then I wasn’t fully committing to my work. I only allowed myself 4 full days off last year and tried to cram in as many shoots as I possibly could, ending up working on well over 100 film projects.

I’ve seen some incredibly hard working and talented filmmakers find their breaking point. When something makes them stop in their tracks and seriously re-evaluate their working life. From close friends to leading YouTube filmmakers alike, seeing this industry all get too much sadly hasn’t been an uncommon site.

Recently I found mine.

In an effort to give 100% commitment to my work, I wasn’t giving anywhere close to 100% commitment to my friends and family and I’ve seen firsthand how for many colleagues, the filmmaking business can take a serious toll on relationships.

If you’re a young filmmaker reading this make sure this piece of advice sticks…

The work will always be there, don’t forget the important people in your life.

Looking introspectively at my working routine, it’s easy to get caught up in a false notion that you are giving 100% effort. Spending time in an edit day watching the latest YouTuber’s, looking at gear reviews of new kit or seeing what some of my favourite production companies were up to, all seemed like necessary pieces of work, when in fact giving full dedicated focus to the edit I was working on, would have been a much more productive use of time.

It’s this work ‘productive’, that I’m now working towards.

Rather than focusing on perhaps the unattainable goal of giving 100% effort,100% of the time, I’m now focusing on trying to spend 100% of my time being productive.
 What’s more, this doesn’t mean just being productive at work. Sometimes being 100% productive can mean fully focusing on resting and relaxing, and not meaninglessly scrolling through my phone. Simultaneously it can also mean making sure I’m taking enough days to see friends and give 100% focus to socialising and enjoying their company and not just catching up in between shots whilst we’re working on a new film project.

To be 100% productive at work often means you need to be well rested and ready to give your work the effort it deserves.

My intuition says that if you want to be truly successful in business you’re going to be running a marathon, not a sprint. Sure you can go off at full pace but it won’t be long before you burn out, need to stop and seriously rest before you’re properly ready to go again.

I hope you haven’t reached your breaking point and after reading this blog it will be a little thought in the back of your mind to make sure you never do.

So remember to ask yourself, are you really giving 100%?
 I wish you every success.



Jack Tompkins