As an artist, working around a flexible schedule may be difficult, especially with all the things you have to juggle at once. It’s quite easy to get distracted with so much on your plate and get nothing done. It’s important that as a creative, you find the balance which is key to a productive music career as being all over the place without a proper strategy isn’t helpful. Here are some tips to boost your productivity and keep your creative juices flowing.
1. Stay organized
So maybe drawing up lists and stuff isn’t your forte, but meticulousness isn’t a bad thing either. Organization helps you keep track of your daily activities and also helps your time management skills too. This way, you can draw up daily or weekly goals and get them accomplished within the desired time. If you’re not the sticky-notes person, you can always check out different organizational apps on your device. This will help you allot time for whatever your plans are for the day or week.
Organization also involves prep. Prepping for the things you need, the necessary tools and equipment and making sure they are available when you need them helps you stay organized. With this, nothing takes unnecessary time out of your schedule. Whatever is needed for your day can be in your workspace, just so you can focus.
Being realistic about your goals also helps your productive time. If you’re going to be on an IG live with your fans for example, you can always apportion the amount of time you think it’ll take. It’s your schedule from the start. Staying true to yourself just helps you plan better.
2. Assign priority
With so much going on in and around the world, it’s easy to jump from task to task and not get anything done eventually. Everyone has a lengthy list of things they want to get done and goals they intend to achieve, but staring at a long list of intimidating activities can be counterproductive. For this, you may want to prioritise the things you need to do. Make a priority list out of your goals and infuse it into your daily tasks. Important and urgent tasks can stay on top of your list. The important but not urgent ones can be followed by those that aren’t pressing.
You can always concentrate on a small number of tasks you want to get done with a specific date in mind. This way, it will be less overwhelming and you can dedicate attention to what you need to do. Remember to do it in bits.
3. Find your work rhythm
For any artist who wants to obtain optimum productivity, it’s important to remember that you may not always be at this point throughout the day. You need to understand the best time you can work. This puts you at the peak of creativity. You can also create your goals and plan them during this time. You also need to remember to avoid distractions so as not to waste your creative time.
Whether you’re an early riser or you love to sleep in, what matters is understanding your work rhythm so you can stick to it. Figuring whether you’re the type that can work for long hours at a stretch or you can only work for a few minutes at a time if your attention span is short is quite important. This also leaves room for you to be able to get other things done without the feeling of intrusion. You may also not necessarily wait for “inspiration” to drop before you delve into songwriting, mixing or anything else in particular. Since you’ll be most alert and active at that point, you can always practice your craft, write and just do whatever aids that creative space. Whatever you do, find your work rhythm and stick to it.
4. Give room for timeout and rest
A musician’s life could be a busy one, but so could anyone else’s. After finding your work rhythm and optimising it, you need to remember to leave room for breaks. Working for long hours with the excuse that there’s a lot to be done is a shortcut to burning out. While creating those goals and getting organized, remember to add ‘timeout’ to your schedule. This way, you can remember to take those much-needed breaks.
Your timeout gives you room to do other activities you enjoy doing. Whether it’s reaching out to loved ones, going on social media, walking your dog, going to your favourite restaurant, cooking or even reading a book, this time gives you something to look forward to, especially when you’re swamped with work. In as much as you’re an artist and you may want to say your life revolves around music, there are definitely other things you enjoy doing. So, you may call it delayed gratification, but think of it as that moment you get to do other things you love to do. It also helps you stay connected with the rest of the world because it’s easy to get lost in your own world at time. You could take a power nap, meditate, something that just puts your mind in a state of rest. Whatever puts you in that state is worth the find.
5. Discard distractions
The key to focus is doing one thing at a time. You may want to embrace your multitasking skills in your daily schedule, however, it may jeopardise your productivity. What you want to do is focus. When you do, you’re guaranteed to get a lot done, effectively. You may also want to find what it is that distracts you while working and create a special time for it. As artists, it’s easy to find stay on social media for long hours. If writing fan mail is on your schedule, for example, you may want to dedicate your attention to writing first. It may be difficult to ignore all those pop-ups but you may be going down a rabbit hole if you click that button.
Show4me music network helps you put your fans and your music together in one place so you don’t have to spend time in that rabbit hole. Sign up on our Artistclub to get started.