It’s hard to get stuff done. Everyone knows that. But no one knows it as much as a part-time musician.
When it comes to getting things done as a musician, there are two factors to consider: time and energy. And we feel we lack both.
After a full day of work, possibly kids, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities, time and energy run dry. It’s amazing we get anything done at all.
So I’d like to offer up a handful of productivity tips that have helped me.
The point here is to help you get things done that move your music career forward (while still having a life).
Tips On How To Get Stuff Done As A Musician
Alright, here are some things I try to do on a regular basis that help me get crap done in a day…
Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day
Schedules. Routines. Planners.
Those words make me feel warm inside.
No, but for real, I like structure. Like, for example, waking up at the same time every day. And as it turns out, it can improve your productivity, concentration, and emotional stability.
“When we wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day, the quality of our sleep can improve, and help us to feel inspired, invigorated and alert throughout the day.”
That’s why I shoot to awake at 5:30 a.m. every weekday.
Want to be more productive with your music-making time? Give yourself a wake-up schedule and stick to it.
Do The Most Important Thing First
As a habitual procrastinator, I tend to make a to-do list ordered by priority…and then do none of the things on the list.
So what helps me is to make a short list of to-dos for the day and start with the most important thing.
I’ll write that article that’s due. I’ll invoice that one client who owes me moola. I’ll tweak the newest mixes of my album.
Whatever I’ve determined as the thing that’s king for today, I will do. And nothing else until I’ve done it.
Check Email Only Once A Day
This one might shock you (as it did me): you don’t have to check your email more than once a day.
I don’t need to check my email every hour on the hour. I don’t even need the Gmail app on my phone.
People aren’t sitting around waiting for my response as they might be with texting. If someone needs to hear from me within the next hour or the same day, they should have my phone number so they can call or text.
So you can take a breath and close the laptop or shut off the smartphone. The world will spin on.
And you’ll be able to get more done with all that extra time you have.
Say “No” More Often
“No” is hard to hear when someone says it at us, but it’s also very hard to hear ourselves say it.
But sometimes limitations help us thrive creatively. So it may be better to turn down something that might be fun but won’t move you toward your goals.
Saying “no” can sometimes be freeing. It can free up your mental and emotional space — and your time to create.
Do One Thing At A Time
When I say “one thing,” I mean one thing.
I don’t mean bouncing between your phone and your laptop and your dog when you should really just be working on your laptop.
I don’t mean noodling on your instrument when you sat down to write a song.
If you have to set a timer to help you focus on just the task in front of you, set a timer.
Just do one thing at a time. You’ll find yourself being much more productive.
Get Off Social Media
Speaking of phones, did you know social media can be detrimental to your health?
“Social media anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is similar to social anxiety disorder,” says the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America.
And if you’re anxious or depressed, you’ll be less motivated to do stuff.
You may have less energy. You’ll end up less grateful for the music career you do have. You’ll feel creatively blocked.
Less social media means more time, energy, and brainpower to get stuff done.
Want more tips?
If you’re looking for more resources to help you be a productive musician, check out The Successful Part-Time Musician Suite.
It’s just a collection of super helpful stuff, like free PDF guides, free cheat sheets, and courses.
I hope these tips help!