We are all busy people…but why can’t you complete your entire “To Do” list by the end of the week? Getting things done is all about organizing your time! Here are some items to explore that may make you more efficient.
IS YOUR LIST IS TOO LONG OR JUST UNREALISTIC? If you are working, going to school, writing songs, rehearsing your band, updating your social media and trying to book your own shows all in the same week, you have too much on your plate.
Here are some basic items to get you back on track:
- KNOW YOUR OWN TIMECLOCK. Some people are not morning people and that is really OK. Whenever you normally start your day, try to start an hour earlier. During that first hour take a look at your daily calendar, make some coffee & breakfast, take a shower and get yourself ready for the day.
- TODAY’s ‘TO DO LIST.’ I usually make a list the night before on what I need to accomplish. Take a look at that list and add and subtract to that! If there is no way to do everything, put some of those tasks on another day.
- STAYING FOCUSED! I like giving myself mini deadlines, no more than a 2 -hour timeline. If you can’t focus that long or have an appointment or zoom to attend, then use a 30 to 60 minutes long block of time to accomplish part of your task. You can slice up bigger projects into many mine steps.
- EMAILS: Personally, I have 7 different emails connecting to my musicians and MBM projects. Yes, 7. So, I shut the phone off…turn the social notifications off and conquer the important emails. Some can wait until the end of the day or tomorrow. I do have a 24 hour rule: If I get a phone call or email I try to return a response by the next day….even if it is to say, “Sorry my schedule is too busy today, I will get back to you by a certain date. Personally, I don’t like to see all my emails under one master. Keeping them separate allows me to really concentrate on the project I am working on.
- REACHING A HARD DEADLINE. If today is Tuesday and you have to hand something in or finish a video by Friday, move things around, even to the next week, so you can finish that project. Music deadlines can be moved once, BUT if you are moving a release date over & over, you are procrastinating or NOT prioritizing your music career!
PRIORITIZE YOUR “To Do” LIST. By scheduling your daily work & projects you prevent having to always be putting out URGENT fires! Take a look at the FBLive this week (8/6/21) and I will actually show you my own calendar and how I work my own monthly appointments & assignments.
- CREATE A CALENDAR. 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 whatever system that works for you, as long as you can access it while you are working!
- PAPER OR PHONE? I say both! Using an automated google calendar will link to your website and you can see major items on you phone. BUT I still have a physical calendar above my desk so I can look up quickly and see how my week is shaping up! Remember, if you add something to the google calendar or physical calendar…Update that daily!
- SCHEDULING EVERYTHING! Let’s start with items you can NOT change. A job, school, appointments, family; the everyday! Once you do that on a monthly calendar you can really see your open spots.
- ENTER MUSIC CAREER ITEMS! Remembering it all begins with creating music, so scheduling some songwriting time or band rehearsals is a MUST! You don’t have to only rehearse if a show is coming up. You should be rehearsing your instrument/songwriting 2 to 3 times a week for at least a 2-hour block of time!
- AUDIENCE INTERACTION. Even if you don’t have a music release plan yet, PLEASE promise me you will do some type of musical post, on ANY social media, twice a week! If you are doing music releases, go back and look at my 4-part series of blogs in June & July this year! Let’s keep this simple for now.
- MAKING DOWN TIME. Make sure you find at least a half a day to take some downtime to hang out with friends, connect with family, just do your laundry and catch up on a TV series. If you burn the candle from both ends…you body will rebel and you will get sick and then you will be down for a week or two and be really behind!
FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION: Here are some real facts that are just good to know. I hope it really makes you value your time!
- Most people spend 28% of their day on distractions.
- Most of us spend 7.4 hours in front of a computer each day.
- Many of us checking their emails/notifications 38 times a day!
- Multitasking is a myth. The human brain cannot perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once. Low-level functions like breathing and pumping blood aren’t considered in multitasking.
STILL NOT ACCOMPLISHING EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO DO? Consider these items:
- CUT YOUR ‘To Do’ LIST IN HALF. You may have too much to do within your 8 to 10 hour workday. Re-evaluate your projects and break up each project into mini steps.
- BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. What are you really trying to accomplish? Are your goals realistic? Maybe you need more training in a computer program, join a songwriters group finish your songs or even just take extra time to organizing all the papers on your desk!
- GO BACK AND FOCUS YOUR WORK TIMES. There are calendar of items you just cannot move. I bet you have blocks of time you are not using effectively. Or you might be overworking! This music thang is not easy…go back and get to know your timeclock!
- MAKE A DISTRACTION NOTE BOOK. I have a blank notebook next to me at all times. In a middle of concentrating on a project, thoughts break through like, I have to call this person or I need to email someone today! I write that on my blank page and then stop about 30 minutes earlier than usual so I can conquer those items.
- LET AUTOMATION WORK FOR YOU. You can really schedule many of your emails, newsletters and social media posts with simple automation programs. Use creator studio for Facebook & Instagram posts, Google Workspace for emails and programs like Canva and Mailchimp for newsletters.
- STOP THE EMAIL BACK & FORTH. Focus your emails. If you want a response back, ask for a meeting time or make sure you end with an open-ended questions, so the person has to get back to you.
HERE ARE 4 REASONS THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM MAKING THAT CALL OR FINISHING THAT ITEM.
- You are NOT CONFIDENT you have what you need to do a good pitch.
- You are AFRAID to make the connection.
- You know you DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS needed to complete your task.
- It takes MORE FUNDS than you have to complete the project.
If you are hitting the wall you NEED TO ASK FOR HELP! Get together with another musician and talk out what you need and maybe you can help each other. Hire somebody to help you with your newsletters, emails, social posts from Fiverr. Start hiring out your recording or editing services to make extra money. Or go to a teacher or mentors that will give you some time to help you on your way.
We all need help sometimes! Please email us at MusicBizMentors@gmail.com if you need help organizing our music projects.