It’s not a secret that increasing your productivity by managing your time and workload will help you achieve your career goals.
And that’s why we’re here to tell you everything you need to know to improve your time management as an artist, so you can focus on your music and stop wasting time!
Below, you will find ten actionable tips that will resonate with all artists, so you can kick-start or optimize your music career without being burdened by distractions and non-creative tasks.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Determine Your Professional Goals
Every artist is unique and operates with a creative license. And while you probably don’t have your whole career mapped out, you need to determine what you’re hoping to achieve as an artist and how you will get there.
Professional goal setting is such a crucial aspect of time management for artists, and it will ensure you spend your time working on projects that matter to you. To determine your professional goals, ask yourself the following:
- Where do I want to be in 3-5 years, and how will I get there?
- What daily/weekly/monthly tasks do I need to complete to achieve my long-term goal?
- Are my goals SMART?
- What do I need that I don’t currently have to work towards my goals?
Once you have asked yourself the right questions and have articulated your goals, you can start allocating your time accordingly to work towards them.
Optimize Your Home Workstation
Most artists spend a considerable amount of time working from home. But in order to get the creative juices flowing, it’s vital to set up and optimize a home workstation. After all, your productivity will suffer if you work from your bed or your kids’ playroom!
While you don’t need to build a home recording studio, you should set up an area within your home that is specifically for work. To contribute to your productivity, your home workstation should be:
- Free from distractions
- Equipped with all the tools and resources you need to do your work
- Used exclusively for work
Working from a defined location every day means you can manage your time much more easily and without distraction. You can set up in your home studio and get to work without being encumbered by the various other distractions that might eat away at your time.
Make a Daily Agenda
Another key aspect of time management for artists is to make a daily agenda. After all, if you don’t articulate what you want to achieve on any given day, it’s impossible to hold yourself to account and consider whether or not you’ve been successful.
There’s a wonderful quote from Mark Twain that inspired a time management truism, and it goes like this, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
In time management, eating a frog is all about doing your most difficult task first thing in the morning. Instead of having something difficult looming over you all day long, you should tackle it straight away so you can proceed with everything else throughout the rest of the day.
In addition to eating your frog in the morning, you should also spend 10-15 minutes planning your day. Write down the tasks that you need to complete each day and specify how much time you can spend on each. This will ensure you make the most out of your time on a daily basis.
Prioritize Your Tasks
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Task prioritization is an important part of time management for artists, as you are likely to have a thousand different things to do at any given time! There are lots of different ways to prioritize your tasks, but you will need to plan ahead to ensure you have time to meet your deadlines.
Whether your deadlines are internal or external, you need to set them to hold yourself to account and to provide yourself with the best possible chance of completing the tasks in your diary.
Another thing to note is that if you have several tasks competing for your time and attention; it will confuse you and cause you to procrastinate. Prioritizing your tasks in order of importance enables you to work through them methodically, thus using your time more productively.
Stop Wasting Time Online!
How many times have you logged on to your PC to complete your work, only to be distracted by the likes of YouTube, Instagram, or other forms of media? We’ve all been there! And as much as you might try and limit your social media usage during working hours, it’s easier said than done.
An excellent time management tool for artists is an application called Rescue Time, which you can download directly onto your PC. It allows you to take back control of your time by tracking what you do while you’re logged into your browser.
Once you’ve uploaded your tasks to Rescue Time, the app keeps you on task and presents how much time you’ve been spending on various sites. It’s the perfect way to track your daily progress online and to reduce the amount of time you waste on various websites and social media platforms.
Some people think that multitasking is a good thing, but in reality, it eats away at productivity. If you run multiple tasks simultaneously, you will end up completing bits and pieces of each project without completing them. As a result, you won’t actually complete the work that you set out to do!
While you might need to split your artistic projects down into more manageable segments, you should try and work through each individual task until its completion, rather than jumping backward and forwards between different tasks.
So, when you’re putting together your daily agenda, focus on your most important tasks first and work through them until completion. Then, when you have submitted it and are waiting for feedback, you can press ahead and start another task.
You will find that your work life is so much more productive when you isolate tasks and work on them one-by-one. People who are doing 20+ things at any given time really struggle to do what they need to, and their productivity suffers greatly as a result.
Identify and Eliminate Distractions
It’s impossible to write an article about time management for artists without providing a dedicated section on distractions!
But here’s the thing – we all get distracted once in a while! And if you don’t do anything about the distractions that you’re faced with each day, they will eventually consume you and severely affect your creative productivity as an artist.
And while we all get distracted by different things, the following tips will help you manage your time as an artist much more productively:
Five Tips for Eliminating Distractions as an Artist
- Buy a phone that is exclusively for work, and keep your personal smartphone separate. On your work phone, avoid social media apps, games, and other distractions. During the workday, leave your personal phone elsewhere.
- Set up a place in your home that is exclusively for work and have somewhere to go in public when you get distracted, whether it’s a public library or shared workspace.
- Avoid TV, YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services during the workday.
- Set office hours that you follow each day to ensure your productivity.
- Check your emails and other correspondence at specific intervals during the day (i.e., once in the morning and once in the evening). Emails can kill your productivity if you spend all day checking and replying to them.
The above tips will resonate with most artists, but you should set yourself as many specific rules as you can when it comes to eliminating distractions from your work life. After all, the more distractions that creep into your daily schedule, the less time you have to focus on your goals.
Outsource Non-Creative Tasks
As an artist, you have so many different tasks to manage and complete. In addition to your creative endeavors, you have to think about things like admin, website and social media content, tax and accounts, marketing, and various other aspects of promoting your work.
But to truly optimize time management as an artist, you have to outsource non-creative tasks to enable you to focus on what’s important – the music! If half of your day is spent answering emails or compiling spreadsheets to monitor tax payments, it’s impossible to express your creativity to the best of your ability.
The good news for you is that you can easily outsource many of the cumbersome tasks that demand a disproportionate amount of your time. Consider visiting a freelancing platform like Fiverr to look for talented individuals who can help you manage your professional workload.
For instance, you can work with a freelance accountant, social media manager, blog post writer, and virtual assistance to take care of a bulk of your work on your behalf. And while you have to pay for their services, freelancers free up your time as an artist to allow you to pursue your creativity.
Begin by outsourcing one task that commands a significant proportion of your time, and reflect on how much better you feel. It will amaze you how much more productive you are when it comes to creative tasks.
Learn the Power of Saying ‘No’
Steve Jobs famously said, “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” The lesson from this is clear – you need to turn down some things to get others done.
As an artist, you have the creative freedom to pick and choose the projects that you work on. And while it can be difficult to turn down work at first, you need to learn the power of saying no if you want to achieve your goals.
If you said yes to every single task or project that came your way, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. This is one of the most important learnings when it comes to time management for artists, so be sure to prioritize saying yes to the tasks that make sense to you.
Utilize Tools That Will Help You
Our tenth and final tip for time management for artists is just as important as those that have gone before! In the digital world that we live in, we have a wonderful array of tools that we can use to enhance our productivity and manage our time efficiently. Here are some of our top picks for artists:
Three Time Management Tools for Artists
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any artist’s career. At Musicvertising, we help you promote your music to a broad audience, thanks to our specialist promotional services and playlist placement options.
Our targeted marketing campaigns will help you earn royalties for your music and increase your exposure, ensuring your music is heard far and wide. For more information about our music marketing services, click here.
While there are lots of platforms on which to manage your work, google workspace is arguably the best. You can set yourself up with a professional email and make use of the likes of docs, sheets, and meets, providing you with an all-in-one solution for managing your workload.
As far as project management tools are concerned, Monday.com is one of the best. You can create boards and allocate your long- and short-term tasks effortlessly. As a musician with lots of creative projects ongoing at the same time, you will find a platform like Monday.com incredibly helpful when it comes to managing your time accordingly.
So, there you have it! Our top ten tips for time management for artists should help you optimize your workload and ensure you can focus on what’s important.
Now that you’re all set to re-define your work schedule, visit our website to learn all about our unique and trusted marketing service for musicians and artists.
Our marketing experts will ensure your music is heard by the broadest audience possible, which will help you earn royalties and progress as a musician.
If you have any questions about our service or would like to get started, read our FAQs or contact us directly. We can’t wait to hear from you!