As a musician, you have a lot going on at the same time. You are working on some long-term projects, your next album is about to go live, you have a gig to plan and emails to reply. Managing your time effectively can make your productivity skyrocket.
Here are our 10 ways to make the most out of your day –
- Make a To-Do List
Take 15-20 mins in the morning to plan your day and make a To-do list. It’s the first step towards being organized and managing your time. It makes you productive and lay down some ground rules on what needs to be done. Start your day by doing the less time-consuming tasks and get them out of the way. That way these tasks won’t crowd your day or stay in the back of your mind to distract you for the rest of the day.
Now that you have a list of the tasks, you have to decide in what order they need to complete. For that purpose, you can now arrange this list according to the priority of the tasks at hand. This process will bring more clarity to your plan. It will guide you through your day. More pressing tasks are supposed to get finished first. Therefore, keep the deadline-based jobs on top. Don’t let important yet mundane tasks linger on till last minute. Leaving such things for the last minute not only creates panic but also brings down the quality of your work.
- Stay Focused
That means you have to manage all the distractions around you. Some common culprits are email, social media notifications, phone calls etc. We understand, as an independent musician, you need to take out time for your social media promotions and have to reply tons of emails. To do so, we suggest you keep a specific time slot for such tasks like connecting with your fans on social media or for catching up with your buddies. Replying messages while working on the lyrics for you next single will only make it harder for you to get either of them done. According to some studies, once you lose your focus, it takes you 23 minutes to refocus on the task at hand. Completing stuff without interruption can make you so much faster and effective. Therefore, once you have identified the sources of distractions, you can set controlled place and time to deal with them.
- Time Tracking
Before starting any task, take 5 minutes and think about what you want to achieve with it. What your results should look like. If you know, you want to write a love song, thinking it through and knowing what the outcome should look like will bring transparency to the process.
Then set aside a chunk of time depending upon how much time you think you should spend on it. Now that you know what the outcome should be and how long it should take you to achieve it, make the most out of that time. A well-structured dedicated time block for your songwriting or for replying those urgent emails will help you attentively approach the task at hand without dividing your attention. A simple calendar app in your phone or laptop can help you do this. We will advise you to do the thing in bite-size pieces so that you don’t suffer the loss of concentration or interest.
- Productivity Zone
We all have our productive time zones of the day. You might be an early bird or a night owl, hopefully not both at the same time. Identify when you are most productive, to plan that time for your most important tasks. Know when you are at your creative best, set that time aside for envisioning the video for the next single or creating those drumbeats. Leave the not so creative time for the usual tasks, where your creativity is not needed.
- Take Breaks
Your mind needs a refreshing break even if your body doesn’t. Taking small breaks are good for your productivity. However, taking breaks every 10 minutes and using this as an excuse for procrastination is not. Take a pause, especially when you feel like your flow of work is being hindered. Have your caffeine fix or a KitKat. (see what we did there… break… KitKat)
- Delegate things
The DIY (Do It Yourself) mindset have made us all lone wolves. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything by yourself. You will have to choose the essentials and delegate the rest. We understand trusting people with your project is difficult at times. We all have dealt with the feeling of dread while handing off the tasks and thinking “they will mess up and we will have to do it all over again”. However, you will have to learn to trust people. Communicate with them what you exactly want, how they should approach the task or let them know you are available if they need to ask a related question.
In the world we live today, there is plenty of technology to automate some of the things. Use such tools to automate the tasks you can throughout your day.
- Stop multitasking
Doing something while thinking of the next task is a distraction as well. Multitasking may give you a sense of getting done so much more. However, the reality of it is, you are not. Juggling three things at the same time does make you feel like a pro. On the contrary, the fact is you are not doing any one of them properly. Your productivity level decreases as your attention gets divided among the things. Therefore, focus on one task at a time, get it done and move to the next.
- Strike a Balance
Having a job while pursuing a music career complicates the mix even more. You now have two careers demanding your equal attention throughout the day. How much time you feel should be devoted to what aspect of your life depends on you. However, if you are struggling to create a balance between your job and music career, HERE this might help you.
- Plan, Execute, Repeat
Managing time is an ongoing effort. You will have to struggle and reassess your plans on the daily basis. Especially with the growth on your career front, you will see the increase in the work load as well. You will have to plan things ahead of time and make the most out of the opportunities at the moment. Manage your time, stay on track and enjoy your success.