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productivity for musicians

Productivity Tips for Musicians

Do you hate yourself because you never get things done? Are you afraid that if you don’t change anything about your lazy-ass habits, you won’t get anywhere close to what can be considered a music career? Here are some basic productivity tips for lazy musicians:

Get out of bed. This one is too basic but it is the number one rule for productivity. And because it’s the number one rule, it’s probably the hardest to follow. If you care so much about your sleep and you spend 12 hours in dreamland each day, well good luck to you. I remember this is number two on Martin Atkins Strategies for musicians. He said that “If you’re up at 5am, you are 5 hours ahead of the guy that gets up at 10am. It may not seem like much but at the end of the week, you’re now 35 hours ahead of that guy and 1,820 hours ahead of him by the end of the year. Besides, new research suggests we do not need 8 hours of sleep everyday.

Make a Ta-da List. To-do lists are boring, ta-daaa lists are more fun. Well, it’s basically the same list- but with a positive zing. Write the things you need to accomplish and insert the rewards(mini breaks, icrecream time,15-minute nap) in between. Also, include in your ta-da list “don’t do anything” for your breaks so you’d feel like you’re actually doing something by “accomplishing” that task.;-)

Set a time for E-mails

Tim Ferris, the author of bestselling book Four-Hour Work Week, suggests that we should set a certain time for reading e-mails and let others know about it. Say something like “Hi. I read my e-mails 10 am daily. Expect replies and updates around that time. Thank you!” Then train yourself. Check your e-mails at the time you set for checking e-mails ONLY.

 Use Productivity Apps

Use your smart phone to help you become more productive. There are tons of free productivity apps that can help you organize your day and monitor your productivity.

Manage Your Social Media While on the Road

You do not have to set aside a specific time to do your status updates, tweets, and blogging. You should learn to squeeze them in your other tasks that do not require much brain work. Blog while you’re waiting for your plane, tweet while you’re lining up for the grocery counter, etc. There are plenty of apps for musicians on the road.

Hire a VA

If you’re selling CDs and merch online, you do not have to be the one sending e-mails to customers. You do not have to be the one searching for blogs and online journals that might feature your new album. Hire a virtual assistant to do the online management for you. Just make sure you get a reliable VA or else your productivity will be negative.

Reward Yourself

Make it a habit to give yourself small (read: very cheap) rewards after you have a very productive day. This will encourage you to get productive one day at a time. This will also help you to stop being too hard on yourself. The reward system basically tells you “here’s something for a job well done” and if you’re behind your daily goal, then it says “that’s fine. You’ll get your reward tomorrow”. It’s healthier that way.

What are your secrets to productivity?


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