…while walking across a Tightrope, Suspended through Mid Air before Ten Thousand People is probably the Closest Description of Being an EntreMusician I could come up with. The others were far too graphic, nauseating and painful, so I scrapped them…
Today, Let's talk BALANCE because so many of us find it near impossible to achieve!
I also wish to Confess - Right Up Front - that BALANCE is a Discipline I Am Still Learning to Master. For just when I feel I’m Properly Managing the Myriad of Spinning Plates, I Sneeze and Require a Tissue…and a Band Aid, so…Read On Cautiously!
Chopping Your Days between Family, Day Job, Church, External Commitments, Booking, Performances, Paying Bills, Posting to Social Media, Following Up on Calls & Emails, Rehearsing the Band, Eating, Showering and Sleeping, (those last three some times optional), it’s Easy to See Why Many, Plenty Musicians have Abandoned a Full Time Professional Musical Passion for a 9 to 5 Cushion - Not to Mention the Steady Income.
Our Daily Allotment of 24 each Obfuscate our Creative Minds, because Once We have Finally Harnessed Our Time, Energy & Focus and are Fully Engrossed in Songwriting, Recording, or Mixing, it’s exasperating to be Snapped Back into Reality to Do The Next Assignment, Especially as the Ideas are Flowing and You’re Completely in The Zone.
For the past Six years, I have Utilized a Strategy I Initially Picked Up from Michael Hyatt and Tweaked to My Habits which has Absolutely helped Save My Sanity, Schedule Lifestyle. Note How This May Work for You!
Instead of Chopping Up the Day – Carve Up the Week.
I Divide Up My 7 Days in 4 Slices:
A) Choose Three of Your Best Creative Days and Do Nothing Else
B) Choose Two Days for Business Activity and Do Nothing Else
C) Choose One Day for Family and Do Nothing Else
D) Choose One Day to Rest and Do Nothing Else
Assuming You have a Family, a Job and additional Non-Musical Commitments, like Church, Community or Charity work, This Method is not Cookie Cutter, but Will Help You Advance by ‘Compartmentalizing' Your Week.
Let’s Break Them Down:
A) Feed Your Creativity!
What days are you Most Creative? Say Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
Now, Really Define ‘Creative’ – Is it Composing, Rehearsing or Recording?
Then do the ordinary things You MUST Do (take kids to school, work, cook dinner, etc.) then Block Out the Rest of that Day for Your Creativity and NOTHING ELSE – This is NOT the Day to Answer Emails, Make Calls or Post to Facebook! Do Creative Only!
B) Handle Your Business!
Mondays & Wednesdays might be Excellent Days for Placing Calls and Following Up with Promoters, Programmers or Venue Owners.
Schedule Weekly Meetings with Your Assistant and/or Band Members to Decide which Dates to Gig, what Website Updates are Needed, Amend Your Set List and Clean, Repair or Replace Your Gear – IMPORTANT – Do Not Discuss Any of This on Creative Day! Take Care of Business!!
C) There’s NOTHING Like Family!
Assigning Merely One Day per week, for our purposes, is not at all suggesting that this is the ONLY time you give them!
What is being suggested is that you Consistently Carve Out a Concentrated Day in which Your Family Receives Your Undivided Time & Attention. Especially If You Work A Day Job in Addition to being an EntreMusician!
No Phone, No Tablet, No Last Minute Meeting. No Quicky Texts in the Bathroom!
I can’t stress deeply enough how many times I’ve dropped the ball here. Talking to my wife while texting a band member, pushing my little girl on the swing while trying to set up a gig for the following Friday…sooner or later, your family realize they are not your priority and it takes a lot longer for wounds to heal. Selling Out of All Your Merch and adding 143 more names on your email list Doesn’t Add Up to the possibility of Losing Those Closest to You!
I Read Once that No One at the End of His or Her Life Wishes they Could have Spent More Time at The Office (or in our case, the studio, the stage or band practice). As each person Reviews their Life, they are More Prone to Reflect on the People they are Leaving Behind More Intently than their Material Possessions or Achievements. So Find a Day You & Your Loved Ones Can All Agree On and Make it Exclusively Yours!
D) REST Up!
Because of my High Energy Ratio, I tend to redefine “Rest” in a myriad of ways, so I won’t be as hard on you here as I was in the family section.
But it is Vital that You Create a Day where YOU Are the Center of Gravity. Whether You Choose to Remix that Funky De-tuned Bass Riff, Go for a Hike, Cuddle with Your Kids or Sleep the Day Away surrounded by a Bed Full of Jalapeno Cheese Twists, it’s a great, guilt free discipline because you scheduled it and this is what you were supposed to be doing!
I Have Read Many Well Written Articles on How Musicians can better Manage Their Time, but only a few which address the schedules of Multidimensional EntreMusicians who Must Make Every Second Count. Try implementing this Schedule I’ve suggested and let me know how it turns out.
Or if You have a Better System You’re Into, SHARE IT!! We’d Love to Read About It!
I Was Not Listening to Any Music While Posting This...But Now Feel Like I Should've Been!
Picture by Bruno Azevedo