Even if you’re the most talented musician there is, you’d still need some musician productivity hacks to get your career rolling.
Aside from talent, hard work is what separates successful musicians from those who are still waddling at the bottom. Sure there are many reasons why some musicians are taking too long to achieve their goals (some of them are totally out of their control), but with hard work, talent and smart thinking, music career success will eventually be achieved. Hard work doesn’t necessarily mean staying up late every night, it simply means getting things done day in and day out.
Talent is overrated. Thousands of hours of hard work can compensate for what you think is a weakness. You can master any skill if you put your mind to it and commit to relentless practice. In Talent Is Overrated, Geoff Colvin argues that deliberate, methodical, and sustained practice is the way to achieve true mastery. “Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance,” Colvin writes.
If you’re struggling with getting things done like everybody else, here are some musician productivity hacks every musician should apply:
Focus on one task at a time
You might be proud of your multitasking skills but quality work is done with great focus. Make sure you are not just appearing to be busy by multi-tasking, make sure you are getting things done with good quality.
Finish the most important task in your to-do list
Each day, identify the tasks that could push you closer to your goal and do them first.
Take care of your body
Try to cultivate a healthy lifestyle even if you’re trying to achieve a big goal. If you don’t have good self-control and healthy choices, your health will be a hindrance sooner or later.
Set E-mail and Social Media time
E-mail, twitter, and Facebook are the greatest time suckers of the modern day. Set a time for these tasks daily and only open and update during your scheduled time. Make sure you’re setting the times when your fans are awake, of course (don’t update every midnight).
Learn to say “No”
Can you recall moments in your life when you’ve wasted hours (even days) just because you’re too shy to give a firm “NO”? We’re not getting any younger and we have things to do so if you want to save time, learn to gracefully decline invitations and requests.
Learn to Delegate Tasks
Who says you have to do everything all by yourself? Break down tasks and delegate them to your band members. When delegating tasks, make sure the tasks match the strengths of the member.
Use Travel Apps When Touring
Apps can save you a lot of time and eliminate stress. You can check in while still in the car, you don’t need to print a boarding pass, and perhaps most importantly, the app saves you from getting frustrated with those ticket machines at the airport that always promise to read your credit card but never actually can.
Hire a VA for your website
If you’re juggling two jobs and a career, hire a VA that can handle all your writing and online promotions. If you’re getting paid $40 an hour, you can certainly pay someone $10 an hour and let him/her work for four hours. Just make sure you get a good one who gets your image/brand.
Use a One-Stop-Shop to Manufacture and Handle Your CDs, Merch, Posters, etc
Let Unified help you print and deliver your posters, CDs, cards,flyers, and promotional items anywhere around the world. Unified has huge warehousing facilities in the US and UK and over hundreds of partners all over the world where you can store your bulk products. We will then send each one of them to specific clients based on your required schedule and specifications.
Put a Time Limit to Everything
Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to finish this” try thinking with a definite deadline in mind “I’m going to finish this in an hour.”
Take Quick Breaks
You might think you’ll be more productive if you practice or write nonstop for hours but the brain needs to rest and take in other information for it to function well. Take 15-minute breaks everytime you finished a huge task or every two hours.
If you apply all of these, I’m sure you’re steadily on your way to achieving your goal. Just one more tip: make sure you still take time to smell the roses (or coffee, or soap, whatever). Sometimes we’re too focused on getting more things done that we forget we’re supposed to enjoy the process.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.