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How to maximize your productivity and reframe your mindset as a musician

How to maximize your productivity and reframe your mindset as a musician

What is most essential to you? What criteria do you use to determine what is? Are you too preoccupied to think? Are you dissatisfied with your job but working extremely hard to improve it – those awful concerts with unimpressive musicians, playing tunes that don’t quite hit the mark, wanting to get somewhere, wherever that may be?

The thing is, I enjoy being busy when it’s a joyful hum, but I despise being busy just for the purpose of being busy. I’m busy because I haven’t established limits or properly managed my time or because I misjudged the effects of a decision and ended up with so many small jobs.

Sure, project or personal scope creep happens from time to time. But it can come to the point where I’m wading through quicksand to get to the end of the day. Something needs to give every now and again.

According to Dr Rachel Morris, we use the phrase “busy” as a justification or an excuse when we haven’t figured out what our true priorities are. She recommends rephrasing your words. It’s a little more complicated than simply saying no.

Telling the truth instead of lying “I’m so busy” could be the wake-up call you to need. ‘I had a particularly tight deadline and didn’t plan effectively,’ or ‘I can’t stop aimlessly browsing on my phone, so I haven’t finished,’ or even ‘I couldn’t get my act together in time,’ reframe your response.

This causes you to pause and assess your situation. Is what you’re doing now in line with what you want to be doing in the future?

Warren Buffet, the legendary investor, advised drafting a list of 25 goals, circling the top 5, and tossing the rest out the window.

Doesn’t it appear to be simple? Make a list, cross off the non-essentials, and keep the must-haves. However, there is a more serious problem to examine. What happens after you clear your calendar, turn off all distractions, and empty your inbox?

You’d suddenly have more time, but would you be able to focus on the things you truly, really want?

This becomes a more internal battle of needing to pursue your passions, desires, and objectives. Yikes! That concept can be terrifying since you might not be as good as you want to be if you try. You might even come up short. Being ‘busy for the sake of being busy’ looks a lot easier when you’re afraid of failing!

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So, when it comes to making that all-important shortlist of priorities, the challenge is to dive deep. It’s crucial to note that I stated “important” rather than “urgent.” Urgent is a post about an upcoming event. Writing an album’s worth of songs is crucial.

Getting clarity can be terrifying but do your best to sort the list honestly. You may desire something that is very difficult to acquire, or you may fail in your attempt to achieve it. However, this is your life, and you owe it to yourself to seek clarity BEFORE taking any action. Then your actions can move you in the direction you desire. You’re not moving for the sake of moving. You’re on your way to making real improvements.

The lens through which you can see is clarity. Concentrate your time, money, creativity, and energy on the items on that list.

This frees you up. Less “I have to” and more “I want to” leads to a more positive mindset and, in turn, greater results. Because you’ve cleared the way and can see where you’re going, you’ve gained clarity.

Then you can safeguard your priorities with buffers and boundaries, as well as some slack in the system to account for inevitable delays, as well as time and space to renew and regenerate. We run our bodies and live our lives as if we were inorganic. However, biology reasserts itself in the form of exhaustion, disease, and psychological distress. You’re not a machine that runs indefinitely. Remember to refill your cup after restoring.

Keep track of your progress on a regular basis, as determined by you. Some people recommend doing this on a daily basis. It aids concentration. When writing music, you run the danger of producing something that no one likes or wants.

In music, there’s always the risk of failure, whether it’s half-finished songs of failed partnerships. All of this is a natural aspect of the creative process. There’s also a lot of money there. You’ve probably learned how to manage your studio better, discovered your favourite vocal chain, and connected with a number of new players online during the writing or recording process. Maybe you’ve figured out what you need to learn next, or you’ve finally started practising your guitar once a day for the first time in a long time.

That’s your development, not what everyone else believes you should be doing. Doing reps is the metaphor.

There’s a distinction to be made between being busy and being productive. Not every decision is the same, and not every assignment is mission vital. You can discard things in the name of deliberate neglect if they aren’t a priority or on your to-do list.

Songwriters who are productive write and rework songs, learn from others, connect with them, and collaborate with them. They make mistakes and have to start over, but they let their outcomes speak (or sing!) for themselves.

Busy folks talk about their plans and how they won’t be able to do it because they’re too busy.

Any time you spend making excuses is time you’re not creating. You will improve at making excuses if you allow yourself to practise them. Busy people track their hours of activity, whereas productive people track their output. Busy people desire to be praised for their efforts rather than their results. That’s not the way it works!

Keep in mind that songwriting does not have an hourly rate. Nobody is interested in how long you practised or how far you drove to get there. They want a fantastic presentation with well-played lovely tunes. They want to be overwhelmed by your music.

Spend less time talking about what you’re going to do and more time doing it — making an honest, succinct list of priorities. And now is the time to let go of anything you can.

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