Striking a balance between home and work-life can be tricky. Things get more delicate when you add another variable to the equation. Here’s what you can do to incorporate your music career in your life without upsetting the equilibrium.
- How Important is your music?
You’ve made a choice to pursue your passion for music while having a real job. For starters, ask yourself “Why?”, “What are your reasons?” Taking such a decision and regretting, once you have invested too much time and money is not unheard-of. It’s going to require a lot of your time, efforts and sacrifices. So, if you are still in the process of making a decision, carefully weigh in your pro’s and con’s and think it through before getting in, too deep.
- Schedule your days
Write down your whole schedule, every little detail. That’s how you will come to realise how much time you can devote to different activities. 4 Hours free, after work might seem like a lot at first. However, once you will start using those 4 hours for numerous music production activities, you will realise how quickly does 4 hours pass. You will need to be very critical while making such a plan as we tend to overestimate our effectiveness and time management skills. Therefore, create a sensible plan that will include all aspects of your life.
- Set your priorities
Be prepared to make some sacrifices. You will have to be picky about your engagements. On the plus side, you have a justified excuse to not show up at all those dreaded social events you never wanted to attend. However, get into the habit of blocking the dates well in advance. For instance, if you have your anniversary coming up you should block that date as soon as you remember it. Having a live performance lined up on the same day…ahh… well let’s hope that the couch in the living room is more comfortable than it looks. Therefore, we will advise you to work smart and know your priorities.
- Let people in on your secret
Let people know about your secret identity, especially at work. We get it, you don’t want to deal with awkward questions from co-workers or their demand for free tickets to your performances. However, letting your boss know about your side hustle might come in handy someday. Specifically, when you need to come a little late to work due to a late-night concert or a few days off for your tour. Having an ally at work will only work in favour of you.
- Build strong work ethics
Don’t let work suffer because of your music or vice-versa. Don’t think about one while working on other. It will be hard to come up with a party anthem when you have an important presentation due the next morning. On the other hand, concentrating on your report while your mind is busy in figuring out the beats of your next song won’t do any good either. Hence, try to keep them separated. While at work, try to be present in that moment and work meticulously on work at hand. Likewise, while you are creating or recording music, try to stay focused on it.
- Ask for Help
Be reasonable, we did call you a superhero a few minutes ago, but let’s be real. You cannot be everywhere at the same time. You cannot do everything by yourself. Keep realistic expectations from yourself. It’s okay to ask for help. As John Kellogg of Berklee University fondly says it’s time for DIO (Do It Ourselves) rather than DIY (Do It Yourself). You will need to delegate things from time to time. Have a small team by your side that will pick up the slack when you are unable to perform some of the tasks. This team doesn’t have to be consisting of a lot of people or formally paid employees. Ask out your best friend or your wife, they would love to help you out. Take some time out for the family, they need you as much as your team or your music needs you and do not forget to have some time for yourself as well.
- Track your money
It’s easy to lose the track of money on an expensive hobby like music production. To keep a check on the expenses, come up with a plan. It can be sharing the finances between the two or keeping them completely separated. It’s your choice. Moreover, to keep a track of income and expenditure, even a simple Google spreadsheet or a free budget app on your mobile phone will do the trick. Maintaining proper accounts will help you in the long run. It will bring clarity on what are your music-related expenses and how you can plan them ahead of time or create a budget for them.
8. Define balance
Embrace the fact that keeping the balance between the two will not be possible. Accept it, deal with it, make your peace with it. Sometimes your work will demand more of you and the other days your music will become your priority. You will try your best not to be too focused on one, but it’s easier said than done. Continually struggling to pose a balance between two, won’t make your life any easier. That’s why you will have to make your creative lifestyle work for you. You will have to prioritise your tasks on daily basis. You will have to adapt and revise your strategies regularly.
Nevertheless, with the right motivation and mindset, you can make it happen.