Productivity can be challenging for an artist. You are trying to balance work, school, a social life and your career. It always seems there isn’t enough time in a day to get things done. While it can seem daunting to get things done, there are some strategies you can use to be more productive. You will find that focusing on planning, learning to unplug, using technology and building a strong team can give you a significant boost in your productivity.
Like most of you I struggled. I worked 10 hours a day, I had a 1 hour commute each way. In addition to that I needed to workout, sleep, spend time with my significant other and actually create music. I used to think people who used a planner were corny. I know what I need to do why do I need to write it down in a book. I used to look at one day at a time. When something didn’t work out, it would throw off my whole week. I learned to segment my tasks into four categories: Work, Play, Wellness & Push. Work consists of any tasks I need to complete for school or to run my business. Play are activities that I complete for entertainment and fun (balance is important). Wellness consist of things like working out, meditation and good eating habits. Push lists things that I want to complete to drive myself beyond my basic goals. These are extra things I want to do to learn a new skill or strengthen an existing one. I use a physical planner and my Reminders app to organize my tasks. I plan each week out on Sunday and mark things off as I go. If I can’t complete something one day, I have a view of the entire week, I can shift around priorities to ensure I get everything done. Trust me, it works and I don’t function well without doing this.
In your quest to find more time, have you ever considered what amount of time you are wasting? iOS has a great feature called Screen Time. I am sure Android devices have a similar feature. You might be surprised to see how much time you spend on non-productive tasks. Social Media is a great way to connect with people, brands and news. However, It can become addictive. Too much of a good thing is not so good. Streaming television is awesome but again, you may find yourself sucked down a rabbit hole. You look up from your device and suddenly you have watched three seasons of a show. When I looked at my Screen Time, I noticed a significant amount of time I was losing as a slave to my Instagram and Netflix apps. Using a planning system helps curve this behavior. Plan out your Play activities. Take time to unwind but focus on your important tasks at hand.
We all carry a powerful computer in our pockets. There are thousands of apps to help you stay on task. If you are struggling to get things done and you don’t like the idea of using a physical planner there are apps for scheduling, planning and reminders. Use apps like Asana, IFTTT to automate things you do often. Apps like Hootsuite can help you stay consistent and schedule social media post without having to do it yourself daily. Making use of technology to stay ahead is a great way to get more time to get back to the music. Give yourself more time to create!
There are so many tasks that need to be done to run your business and build your brand. It can be a lot to juggle the things you have to do. I always find the things that I don’t enjoy as much take the longest to complete. Even worse, I find that I procrastinate and do other things besides the what I am supposed to be doing. I waste even more time than I had to. People all have things they like to do and things they don’t like to do. There is so much power in having a strong team. My team has been a great asset in my quest to be more productive. First off, having a strong support system is priceless. In this group we understand each other’s needs and we act as a unit to satisfy our joint goals as well as our individual passions. Each person has a strength in the team, and we divide tasks that are in alignment with what they are good at and like to do. This affords everyone more time to get to what they want to do.
When you take a deep dive, you will find that you have more time to be productive than you think. Remove unnecessary distractions, plan out your activities, make use of technology to support your efforts and work with a team to get work done.