Sometimes it seems like we have all the time in the world. Other times, we need to focus more on time management. Especially if you have a lot of work coming up, managing your time is necessary for staying on track and getting stuff done.
Just like everyone else, I have fallen pray to procrastination, but I am able to overcome it. I can get myself back on track fairly easily, and I am going to share how I do that in this post.
Time management seems daunting at first, but it is not that hard after you find what works.
The tips I share in this post might not work for you. So, after reading this post, look for other ways that you can manage your time. You can find tons of ideas online or even come up with your own ideas.
With any change you make, experimentation is important. You have to figure out what works best for you and your life.
Be willing to change up how you mange your time, too. What works one week may not work the next. Figure out what you want out of your day or week and then decide what you need to do to manage your time.
Get started early.
This goes for all of those night owls reading this. If you stayed up late watching videos or practicing your instrument, try and wake up a little early.
You don’t have to get up before the crack of dawn. But, the earlier you start your day, the more time you will have. You won’t have to feel rushed to get everything done.
If you cannot practice your instrument right away, try and do some other tasks. Clean your room or home. Do some laundry. Listen to upcoming repertoire. There are dozens of things you can do that don’t actually involve playing music.
Make a list.
Write down everything that you want to accomplish that day. It can be anything from going grocery shopping to memorizing a section of a piece. Making a list of all your daily tasks puts everything on paper.
You can see how much you have to do that day, and then you can prioritize tasks. Writing everything down will help you see the bigger picture. It may be that you have less to do than you thought.
If that is the case, take your time with things, and don’t rush. Enjoy living, and enjoy what you are doing. Live in the moment.
Set your priorities.
If you have a lot of stuff to do, decide what matters most. If you have a concert next week, you should probably practice the music for it. When you don’t have any performances coming up, you can focus on other things.
Get your household chores out of the way or search for prospective students and gigs. Your priorities will probably change with each day, and that’ okay.
Setting your priorities will help you figure out what really needs to be done and what can wait a day or two. If you have time for some low priority tasks, get those in so you don’t have to do them later.
Use a planner or calendar.
If you want, you can use a planner or calendar to keep track of everything. You can use a paper calendar or a digital one, and you can customize what you use it for.
I have found that paper planners don’t work for me. I use them for a day or two, and then they end up in the bottom of my bag, untouched. So, I have switched to a digital calendar.
I use Apple’s iCal on my laptop and phone. The calendar is great for events and other deadlines. For to do lists and other tasks that are not scheduled, I use Reminders or Notes to keep track.
Figure out what works for you, and create a system to fit your lifestyle.
Create a routine.
In a lot of cases, your day to day life will be different. You won’t always have the same performance gigs, rehearsals, or private lessons. However, do your best to set a routine.
Wake up at the same time. Eat the same breakfast and/or lunch each day. Do something consistently so that when big changes occur, it won’t take such a toll on your body.
I try to wake up at the same time each weekday, but I do let myself sleep in on the weekends. My menu for breakfast and lunch is the same, unless I go out for a meal. Keeping a consistent waking and eating schedule allows me to prepare for the rest of the day.
Hand off what you can.
If you have too much to do in one day, find some help. You can ask a roommate or friend for help or hire someone. While you have to show up to rehearsals and performances, you don’t always need to do everything.
If your kitchen is in need of some organizing, see if someone you know could do it. If your website needs updating, hire a virtual assistant or content manager for the day. The money you spend on help will be worth it if it means you aren’t up for a full 24 hours.
I try to do what I can, but sometimes, I have other priorities that need my attention. When I can’t do something, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
As a musician myself, I know how hard it can be to do everything you need to do. There have been times where I had to let things slip, and I wish that I could have hired someone to do those tasks for me. If you ever need help, please contact me. I would be glad to help another musician out.