It’s no secret that many people who work in the music industry - whether you’re an artist/songwriter or an industry professional - are low on time. Many of us are often working multiple jobs while trying to fulfill our passions and creative pursuits. So how the heck do we stay sane, get what we need to do done, and still have time to enjoy life, all while avoiding burnout? That’s where time (and energy) management come in!
TIP #1: Reset your priorities
I’m going to start out with the cold hard truth: chances are, you DO have enough time. You may just need to reset your priorities. Of course there are always exceptions, but chances are it’s not the hours in the day that are the problem, it’s how your spending those hours, and if you’re energized enough to get stuff done during that time. So the first step? Reset those priorities.
Do you ever find yourself scrolling on Instagram, watching hours upon hours of TV every night, staying up late for no reason other than you got lost in the internet? Are you going out multiple days a week and waking up with no energy to get things done? While we are all allowed (and encouraged) to have fun, notice how some of your habits or regular routines are impacting your life and productivity.
What are your priorities right now? If you’re just trying to enjoy life and relax, cool! Keep doing it. If you’re trying to build your music career, there may be some things you sacrifice for now to make that happen if you need more time. Make a list of the goals you are trying to accomplish, then acknowledge what may be getting in the way of it. While I’m of the mindset that just because you’re building an empire or trying to become the next Beyonce, it doesn’t mean you can’t wait TV like some may suggest, you still have to put a time limit on the things that might be wasting your time away. Likewise, if you’re doing things that are draining your energy, you’ll get less done in the time you do have to be productive. So pick your priorities, and put your time to what will help you accomplish them!
TIP #2: Write out your Big 3
Each day, write the 3 things you want to get done for the day. Avoid making to-do lists that run miles long, where each task just rolls over to the next day, then the next, then the next….wait, what was I saying again? Oh yeah - set realistic short-term goals. What three things can you get today that will move your career forward? By listing these out and checking them off each day, you’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and not be overwhelmed by the long list reminding you everything you have to get done. If you DO sit down to make your list of three and come up with 10 things you feel the urge to do, see if you can simple spread those tasks over the week. I particularly love to write out my whole week on Sunday so I know I mind myself of all I need to do and when I’ll get it done.
TIP #3: Batchwork
Make the most of your time by batchworking! Batchworking is, according to marketing mastermind and entrepreneur Jenna Kutcher, “dividing your workflow into different days/hours of ONE TOPIC instead of jumping around from task to task.” So for instance, if you aim to post on Instagram 5 days a week, instead of spending 30-60 minutes a day picking a photo, topic, and writing a caption, take a few hours on Monday’s to plan out all your content for the week (there are plenty of apps to help with this, I love Planoly and Plann). You’ll most likely save time by doing it all at once, and more importantly, save your mental energy.
TIP #4: SAY NO!
This tip is truly one of my favorites. Say NO when you need to say NO! There will always be more shows, networking events, and opportunities to hangout with friends. While it might seem like you’ll be missing out, even in some cases, “not working hard enough” (if you’re skipping a networking event, for instance), if you’re saying yes to every event, every opportunity, and every favor anyone asks you, you can guarantee you’ll be on the road headed straight to burnout. Take the time that you need to rest and only say yes when the opportunity truly serves you and when you have the energy to make the most of it. Otherwise, don’t feel bad saying know.
And PS - You don't owe anyone an explanation for saying know. Do what’s best for you and don’t explain yourself!!
TIP #5: Leave room for self-care/you time
When we’re really busy, taking time for ourselves is often the first thing to go. This can be working out, doing yoga, getting a full night’s sleep, taking an hour alone to read or relax before bed without distractions from the digital world. But the truth is, when we are feeling busy and stressed, these are the things we need the most. Even taking 5 minutes to meditate or do a quick yoga session can make a difference. Schedule this down time in your calendar so you know you don’t miss it, and make sure to regularly do things that rejuvenate you when you need it the most.
Try out one (or more) of these tips and see how your productivity and energy increases. Then, shoot me a DM on Instagram (@katiezaccardi) once you’ve tried it and let me know how it goes!
Katie Zaccardi is the Head of Marketing at #WomenCrush Music and a wellness coach for women in music. She just launched her 1:1 Coaching Program and The Out to Be Podcast, a podcast that discusses all things mental health & wellness in the music industry. Give it a listen here!
WANT TO WRITE FOR US?