Whether you’re a student or you work full-time, you have a schedule. But you need to consider how to make a schedule that will help you get more done. That way, you can be more productive but also have time to relax.
Consider what you can include in your schedule and why you shouldn’t just go with the flow of time.
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What You Need to Do
When you want to make a schedule, you should focus on what you need to do. Things like go to class, take or give lessons, or go to work are all important. You can’t push those off.
Whether your classes or work has a schedule for you or not, you should include time for it in your schedule. If you work for yourself or have online classes without set times, you should give that thing time when you will focus on it.
What You Want to Do
You should also figure out what you want to do during your day or week. Perhaps you want to practice a certain amount to prepare for an audition or recital. Or maybe you want to get more sleep than you currently are.
Even though you may not “have” to do those things, you can still include them in your daily or weekly schedule. You may need to move things around to make everything fit, but it can work.
When You Wake Up
As you start to make a schedule for yourself, consider if it’s realistic. Think about when you naturally wake up and go to sleep. While I’ve had success in the past practicing at 6:30am, that doesn’t work for me right now.
Instead, I move my practicing to later in the day. That way, I can still get done what I need to, but I don’t have to force myself to get up earlier than I absolutely have to. If you go to bed at a certain time, you can also use that to make a schedule.
Your Scheduled Events
If you take or give private lessons, you probably have to do them at a specific time. You may be able to change the time each semester, or you can change times as long as your teacher or students agree.
But whether you have lessons, classes, or other appointments, you should start with those when you make a schedule. That way, you won’t double-book yourself and have to move stuff around or drop something.
If you find that you can’t do everything you want, you may need to prioritize. Being able to make a schedule can help you decide what is most important. So you can focus on the things that matter the most to you.
That could mean cutting out an extracurricular activity to getting more or less sleep. While I always advocate for getting enough sleep, there may be a day when you won’t have as much downtime. Consider if you’re okay with that, and make any adjustments necessary.
As you make a schedule, don’t sacrifice your health. Don’t practice through lunch or teach lessons through dinner. You want to still eat, drink enough water, and take breaks. And you want to get enough sleep so that you can function.
If you don’t prioritize your health, you won’t be able to stick to a schedule. You may need to cancel lessons or paid gigs, costing you money and (potentially) professional connections. Without your health, you can’t be the best musician you want to be.
So…How Will You Make a Schedule?
Being able to make a schedule that works for you is crucial to getting things done. If you don’t schedule in your practice time, study time, or work time, you won’t be able to improve in those areas.
So if you want to learn more about making a schedule that you will stick to, download The Busy Musician’s Practice Bundle, which contains everything you need to create the schedule of your dreams!