Time, money, work, family obligations; when do I have time to play? Let’s see, well, ah… I don’t know!!!
Have you ever gone through this routine? Unless playing or practicing music is the major priority in life, finding time to fit in this personal enjoyment can be a challenge.
If you’re in this category, the following steps might help:
1. Work out exactly what you want to do: what you want to play and what you want to get out of it. Shoot for your dreams, but be honest with yourself and keep it realistic. If you haven’t already put enough (or any) music into your life, if you start to broad or too big you could crash. Choose something that’s concise and looks doable.
2. Look over your life activities, plans and schedules. Create a concise overview of everything you do. Write this out on one or two pages. If you already have a clear life plan use it as a guide.
3. Decide on about how many hours a week you think you could spend on music. Keep in mind that playing for ten minutes a day can be more workable then playing for five hours on a day off. Keep in mind that you don’t want to start off too small or too big. It needs to be a “realistic” amount.
4. Have a blank weekly calendar to write on as a schedule template.
5. Write in ONE, set-stone-activity as a aligning factor. Use what ever is the most stable and predictable activity such as work hours, going to school or driving your kids to school.
6. Create some regular times to play music. Choose what might be the most workable times, while keeping in mind your other activities. (I practice the best first thing in the morning.)
7. Write in your other regular activities. You might need to adjust some priorities if you have hobbies, read a lot or watch TV.
8. Work over your basic schedule template and adjust activities as needed.
Now, at the beginning of each week create a weekly schedule including your personal music time and any thing else you need. Each week can be a little different so this should be done at the beginning of each week.
As you proceed through your new schedule, work out the kinks. If music is going to work it has to be made a priority to a certain degree—even if it’s ten minutes a night four days a week. The idea is to be at your instrument at the scheduled time and DO SOMETHING ! If you don’t get in all your time right away don’t worry about it. Just get some motion occurring and have fun.
There are many productivity concepts around. Find or develop the ones that work best for you. Playing music adds some sparkle to life. It’s an opportunity to create your own universe.
Now go play something!