As we get to the close of 2020, most of us are glad to see this year go! I want to pose a question: What have you accomplished this year?
I work with musicians who make much of their income doing live performances. So this year, we had to re-invent what we were doing to keep active. I am hoping many of you got creative and realized you finally had time to write more songs, learn some recording skills and started taking an active role in social media. Let’s face it…this music world is getting pretty techie, so we all have to go with the promotional flow!
You will be seeing a lot of webinars online in the next month talking about making your music plans for 2021. I am working on one myself for DIY musicians, but in the mean time, with all of us shifting and adding more activities on your plate, I just wanted to share some tips about how to actually “get things done” every day!
DID YOU KNOW? When communicating your idea, only 10 % represents the words we say, 30% of our sounds and 60% from our body language, actually get comprehended. So, our words and music (a construct song) gets only 40% of a listeners attention! That’s why YouTube is the MEGA network today. We all want to see and hear a message to hit all of our senses. (Now if we could only connect that to smell-a-vision… that would something else!)
I have been known to be able to get A LOT of work done in an 8-hour period. That comes from taking my goals, being able to prioritize what is important and scheduling my workload efficiently. Here are some tips for you to GET THINGS DONE!
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND: Often I will ask my music clients at the end of the year…What did we do musically that you enjoyed the most AND what do you want to have accomplished by this time next year? I am stunned by answers like: “More of the same OR I am not sure.” Oh Boy, that all has to do with what is your music mission and having career vision and is its own music blog all its own. So today I am keeping it simple and asking: “What result do you want?”
PRIORITIZE YOUR “To Do” LIST: By scheduling your daily work & projects you prevent having to always be putting out URGENT fires! Create a system for yourself. I create a google mail account for each of my music clients and use that calendar to put all of our deadlines, rehearsals and band appointments. You can use whichever system that works for you but you want all members to be able to see it on their phones but also to keep your communication private.
BE PROACTIVE: Focus on things you can change or influence. Be a problem solver and ask yourself, “Is there a unique or alternative way to approach what you are trying to achieve? Are you leading with EMOTION or LOGIC? Remember with creative outlets like making and recording music or putting your images or graphics to express your art is dictated by emotion and that is OK. But scheduling studio time, following a social media campaign or emailing requests are totally in the LOGIC category. It is important to know the decision factor when you are trying to stay proactive!
STILL NOT GETTING THINGS COMPLETED? Here are some more ideas to get you through your every day list.
- CUT YOUR ‘To Do’ LIST IN HALF. Most times you are trying to do too much is a short time. Get realistic and work on your first steps first…maybe you need to do a little more research OR ask a music friend how to accomplish something you are not getting to. RE-PRIORITIZE and spread out your items.
- FOCUS WORK TIMES. I have read a lot about this subject and you will hear all kinds of suggested work times. I say, “Section out your day so you can concentrate on a specific projects.” Myself, I find about 90 minutes to 2 hours is a good focused time for me and then I take a 10 to 15 minute break. Other say you should take a 5-minute break every 45 to 50 minutes. Either way…..TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS! **I think your ‘focus time’ really depends on your personality and individual ability to focus. Even if you have a lot to do, taking 10 minutes to leave your computer and check your personal emails OR water your plants OR even just refreshing your water bottle, will clear your focus so you can jump back in with new clarity.
- MAKE A DISTRACTION NOTE BOOK. I know this will be a hard one for many of you, but if you are writing or concentrating on office work, turn you phone and social media notifications off for awhile. YES OFF! As you are working if other ideas come up while you are working, just make a note in your DISTRACTION NOTE BOOK. **Even if it is a song idea, remembering to pay a bill or wanting to email a special gig contact….write it down and continue what you are doing. All the ideas that flood your mind are important, so go back to those after you have completed or are ready for a break. This can help you stay focused on your current project.
- LET AUTOMATION WORK FOR YOU. Is there a computer program that can help you organize your busy work for you? Using Hoot Suite for social media or using Google Suite(now called Google Workspace) that can manage your Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and more! Automation can really act like an assistant…so explore the new programs that can reduce your workload.
- STOP THE EMAIL BACK & FORTH. Instead of sending question back and forth trying to have a meeting or get some answers take the time to construct better emails. I am not talking about telling your entire story but pinpoint 2 subjects and then ask for a response. (EMAIL US AT MusicBizMentors.com for a sample email)
- ASKING FOR HELP. Is there something you think is important but you are not able to get to it for some reason? I think there are two reasons for not completing an important task. First, is you don’t have the skills to complete it OR second, you are afraid of completing the task. Everybody needs help at some time. So can you delegate, automate or eliminate that task? It may be time to connect with a mentor/coach, learn the skill to help you complete the subject OR even hire a virtual assistant. **Every successful musician or music business person I know, uses a personal assistant and has a mentor to run by their ideas. I like UPWORK or FIVVER but there are many services. If you need a professional mentor, contact us and I will see if I can suggest someone to you.
I hope some of these suggests help you really get things done! I leave you with this quote: “Being EFFICIENT is doing things right ….. BUT being EFFECTIVE means you are doing the right things.”Let us know if you have other tips you use to get your “TO DO” list completed! Happy New Year!