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Trying to figure out how to make the most of 2020?
Looking for productivity advice to help you maximize your efforts as a musician or music entrepreneur?
Good – because it’s something you should be thinking about.
And, I’ve got plenty of great resources lined up for you.
You might even want to bookmark this page if you don’t have a lot of time to spare right now.
So let’s get to it – here’s all the productivity advice you need for 2020 and beyond.
Tip #1: Discover the Power of Batch Processing
Batch processing is a great way to get more out of your day.
By taking similar tasks and “batching” them all together in your schedule, you can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to mentally transition from one task to the next.
For example, if you need to process your email, go through your physical mail, and return phone calls, you could schedule a specific time in your day to handle all of these things at once.
These tasks are all relatively similar in nature.
This post describes some of the downsides of batch processing as well, but if you can get into the habit of batching and apply it consistently, you’ll find that it is very effective indeed.
In the early part of 2015, I was doing quite a bit of batching, and I was finding it to be incredibly beneficial.
Again, the tricky part is in maintaining that pace, because I haven’t exactly kept up with it.
It’ll probably do me some good to review this post too.
But if you have clear boundaries in your schedule for when you’ll be working on what, it makes it easy to stay focused on whatever tasks you might be trying to complete.
Tip #2: Plan Each Week & Leave Nothing to Chance
Although I do use a slightly different process for planning my week now (I wrote this post about two years ago), I still make up to-do lists weekly, and I also like to use a desk calendar so I have a bird’s eye view of any given month (more on desk calendars later).
You don’t necessarily have to subscribe to a weekly or monthly model of planning.
But you should figure out what makes sense for you and plan accordingly.
Tip #3: Set Goals That Inspire & Motivate You
How do you set goals as a musician?
How important is it?
Why should you do it?
This post answers all these questions and more.
After completing my first solo album in 2006, I decided to challenge myself to write one song every single day for a year.
I wasn’t always inspired to write – I just sat down and did it no matter what.
There’s a lot you can learn from going through the motions of this exercise, and if you want to increase your personal productivity, there’s nothing quite as valuable as developing consistency through habit.
For me, going through this process taught me where some of my weaknesses and shortcomings were.
I learned that I relied on several musical devices pretty heavily, and if I wanted to bring more variety to my songwriting, I had to learn to take different approaches.
Tip #4: Don’t Just Work Hard – Work Smart
What’s more important than productivity? Your values, your self-confidence, and your goals.
If you don’t have these things figured out, you’ll just do things without thinking about what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
True productivity comes from doing the things you need to do to achieve your end goals.True productivity comes from doing the things you need to do to achieve your end goals. Click To Tweet
If you don’t want to fall into the trap of being productive for the sake of productivity, and you want to learn how to work smart, I would encourage your to check out this post.
Tip #5: Increase Your Productivity
Some thoughts on productivity from my forthcoming book, Flashes of Elation: Navigating the World as a Sensitive, Creative Soul.
For better or for worse, the book has become my Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy but I promise I will be finishing it in 2020.
In this episode of the podcast, I discuss a concept I call “defaults” and how they can help you organize your schedule.
Setting your defaults is easier than mapping out each day, hour by hour.
In this post, you’ll learn several tactics for reducing distractions.
Distractions are productivity killers and will keep you from achieving your goals.
Learn how to eliminate them.
Athletes are trained to run through the finish line. They don’t slow down as they approach it, because they can still be taken over by one of their peers.
So, if you don’t want to lose productivity during the holiday season, here are seven suggestions you’ll find useful.
By the way, if you just want to take it easy during the holiday season, that’s important too. There’s no need to burn out.
Here are some additional insights into keeping productivity up during the holiday season.
Best of all, it’s summed up in a fun and easy to scan infographic.
Boosting your productivity need not take tons of time and effort.
Check out this infographic for some useful suggestions.
If you didn’t already know this about me, I’m a big fan of desk calendars.
Honestly, I might be lost without them.
This infographic offers some great tips on using a desk calendar to manage your schedule.
Tip #6: Manage Your Time Like a Ninja Wizard
Here are some specific tips you can use to better manage your time.
I target areas where we all tend to waste time.
Robin Sharma suggests keeping your focus for longer stretches of time. He says all successful people are able to hold their concentration for longer periods.
Sharma recommends working in 90 minute cycles and then taking a break or a quick breather. Rinse, repeat. This trains you to stay on-task and to shut out unnecessary distractions.
How was I able to do more in four days than four months?
By following Sharma’s advice.
Click on the link to find out more.
Tip #7: Get the Right Tools
Organizing yourself need not be complicated.
But you still need the right tools to do it.
I offer some helpful tips and suggestions in this podcast/video.
Bonus Productivity Advice: Get Off Your Phone
Today, focus is a commodity. It shouldn’t be that way. Our work suffers, our health suffers, and our relationships suffer.
Phubbing shouldn’t even be a thing. Seriously. Get off the phone if you’re with someone you care about – a friend, a colleague or a family member.
I guarantee they’re way more important than the text or Facebook message you just got. Turn off those smartphone notifications, or just turn your phone off when you don’t need it.
Make this a year in which you cultivate more focus. Don’t be a goldfish, because you aren’t one. You are a human being with enormous potential, and you are engineered for success.
For More Productivity Advice, Pick Up a Copy of My Book, Start Your Year the Right Way
At times, we all lose motivation.
This is not your fault.
If you could zoom out on your life and see everything from a bird’s eye view, you’d be able to pinpoint the specific hurdle you need to overcome to find your passion again.
Going for counseling or finding a coach can be incredibly useful. It can also be expensive.
There’s something else you can do on your own to achieve more clarity in your life. It’s called journaling.
Start Your Year the Right Way is full of great prompts to help you start poking around in specific areas of your life where there could be roadblocks you’re not even aware of.
Are you ready to uncover the obstacles you need to handle so you can begin your transformation?
Will you be picking up a copy?