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Managing Your Time, when Music isn't Your "Day Job"

Posted on June 12, 2020 by Jonathon Bruster

You CAN do everything. What you can't do, however, is do everything at exactly the exact same time, or make a day that is more than 24 hours.

The two most important facets of time management are choice and acceptance. When you consider time concerning acceptance and choice, you are never"wrong","poor", or"lazy", you have just made certain decisions. When you think in terms of discipline and willpower, however, your inner critic can do a number on you. We have low self-esteem as artists; let's not increase the problem!!

A good example of this in my own life is that I choose to live alone rather than having a roommate; which means I also choose increased rent and the necessity to earn sufficient income to cover that lease. When sneaky thoughts of bitterness or self-pity creep into my head, I want to remember the decision that I made, and I want to accept this is the way things are for now.

Here are a few hints for using choice and approval to control your time.

Decide what you would like to have time for. What keeps getting pushed to the back burner or rushed through? How can you spend your time as soon as you've made your songwriting dreams come true and you have become the artist you are supposed to be? Nourish this vision until it is clear in your mind. It's vital to know what you are working towards. Bear in mind, you won't always be so active if you don't decide to be.

Choose to not be this active - for one week, track your time using a time log. You may create one yourselfsimply chart out (on paper or on the computer) daily in fifteen-minute intervals and record what you do in all these blocks of time. Completing a time log will illuminate how long you're spending on various things. Look carefully in the choices you are making. What do you want to do with the time you have available?

Accept your day job for what it is - a supply of the financial support you want to consume and live - and write songs! Practice feeling thankful for the job you've got, rather than feeling resentful about the time it's taking away from the songwriting. As an example, what recording gear, CD's, manuscript paper, software programs or musical instruments have you purchased from the money you got in this job? Additionally, the task is giving you life adventures, and most likely lots of chances to interact with different folks. Your passion is to communicate with people through your music - how do you take some of this fire and use it to your daily interactions? What type of stories do your own co-workers need to tell? What thoughts do those stir up for you which you can use in your own writing?

Start looking for a"day job" that is meaningful and that is taking you in the direction of your dreams. Do you want some ideas? Consider meditating to access inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. If songwriting is the primary passion, what is your second passion? What ELSE gets your juices flowing? There is no need to maintain a job that does not make you feel alive, so as to confirm what does. Some artists that I know get plenty of fulfillment from teaching adults or children about their craft. Others take jobs that involve public speaking, to give them more experience and confidence speaking to classes. Some take jobs in music shops, where they could have a great deal of time to find out about the newest equipment, meet lots of fellow artists, and receive a discount, to boot!