To do lists are really helpful for getting stuff done (especially for us disorganized musicians) but it's easy to put on an endless series of tasks that may or may not be worth your time. Here are 5 things to ask yourself before putting it on your list:
One of the tricks for musicians is finding enough time and mental energy do everything. Here are 5 ways to save yourself some significant time:
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the road this summer with different bands, and as usual I can’t stand going out without messing around with some experiment or another. This summer’s theme has been getting all non-essential work (email, blogging, even some producing) done from the back of a tour bus or van on the road.
Musicians are almost always working on tight deadlines for most projects, and that’s especially true for those of us with competing time commitments outside of music that we have to balance. Here are some of strategies for beating the clock:
1. Pre plan.
Schedule out what you have to do for the entire project, then give yourself margin (note: I’m terrible at the margin part, but I’m learning). By building out a strategy that includes space for unexpected twists in the project, your odds go up of finishing on time.
2. Make a list.
Build a list of all the specific things you need to do in a particular day to get your project done, then use the list as a guide for how to group your work day. the more you can group similar activities, the more efficient you can be.
3. Set a timer.
I like to use my phone or an actual egg timer for 25 minutes. By having the timer there, I tend to stay focused on getting done what I need to get done on time.
4. Every 25 minutes get up and move.
This will “reset” your mental focus, encourage creativity, and keep you from chasing unproductive rabbit trails. I personally like to use my Apple watch to work out for 2-3 minutes, and then get water or a healthy snack in the remaining 2 minutes before I sit back down.
5. When you sit down, reevaluate.
Take under a minute to make sure that you’re on the right track with what you’re working on, and make any adjustments that you need to before proceeding. This will help you stay much more productive and on track for your original goal.
I have been cleaning out my schedule to make room for more important stuff, and I realized that I’ve been “cluttering” up my calendar with unimportant stuff again. Here are 5 things I’m cutting out right now to free up more time:
If you’re a freelancer, chances are you’ve been frustrated by trying to get your schedule to work with your clients. After years of massively failing at this, I’ve figured out a system that works for me. Here’s how I do it:
I’d done it again: a booking agent I’d been courting for months had emailed me. Only problem? It had sat unread for two weeks in my overgrown email inbox, smashed between ads for Viagra and the semi-weekly Dunkin Donuts newsletter. I’d missed out on a huge opportunity because. . . I couldn’t manage my email. Lame.
If you’re a musician struggling with email overload, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t be the 18 year old irresponsible me in the above story. Here are 5 ways I cleaned up, and have been able to keep my inbox down to a handful of important messages every week:
I’ve been rabidly listening to the podcast “Beyond The To Do List” over the last few weeks, and I want to recommend it to all of my blog readers.
Struggling with knowing how to begin managing your music career? Here are 7 ways to be more productive:
I’ve written blogs about apps in the past, but I felt like it was time for a refresh. Here are 5 apps I use every day to manage tasks, keep a schedule, get inspired, and handle all of the business stuff involved with my career: