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February 19, 2013

Step 4: Work hardest on creating the best art you can

10,000 Hours!

(Photo credit: A.Davey)

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.

Successful people are very good time managers who maintain a healthy work/play balance. Of course, that's much easier when you regard your work as fun, but everyone has to slog through the same un-fun issues to build their creative career to the point that it becomes their life.

Your GMF follows the quality of your music and performances and it's too easy to get sidetracked into spending your time in the social media swamp trying to promote music that's already reached its maximum potential audience. Don't cut corners in the name of conformity or take the easy writing or producing option just to meet a deadline. Make something better.

Revisit "What's remarkable ..." above. That's what you need to work hardest on. To manage that and everything else, you need to plan your time carefully. Work on a 70/30 rule:

70% of your work time should be spent on your music. 

If you get that right, only 30% of time needs to be spent on 
telling people about it.

So, if you practice your art for an hour each day, spend 20 minutes telling people where you're at and what you're doing that they can help with. Remember that when you write a blog post about your new song, that's also a piece of your art.

Don't tell people what you're going to do. 

Either tell them what you've done or ask for their help.

Telling people what you're gonna do has 2 side-effects: it lets you think you're making progress when you've really only told people about your plans; and it sets you up as a try-hard, gunna-be, wanna-be. Successful people just DO STUFF. They don't tell anyone else what they're going to do unless they want those people involved.

Step 4 Exercises

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. If you spend one hour a day mastering your playing/singing/writing, that's more than 27 years. 10 hours a week means 19 years. For every new skill you need to learn: recording, social media, making videos ... you have to start your 10,000 hours over.

Think back over your last month.

  • List all of the skills you have to use to reach your goals
  • Write down how much time you devoted to each skill over the past month.
  • Write down how much time you spent practicing your art each day.

Tip: you probably can't possibly "master" all of the skills necessary to reach your GMF. You need to understand the requirements of these other jobs and then pass the work off to someone who already has those skills (see Steps 6 and 7). In the meantime, focus your time and effort on your core skills - creating your ART.

Exercise to take home

For the next week, every morning, as you go about your routine, write down what you do and how long it takes. If you find that the first thing you do is open your email and jump into Facebook, STOP IT! Seriously, that is the biggest waste of your energy right there.

Revisit your next goal and plan your time like this. Plan your time working toward that goal like this - most time on the art the rest on telling people about it.

Develop some healthier routines that give you time to be grateful for where you are and what you have. Build time into your day to work on your art and to spend time with the people around you who inspire it. You will feel happier and more productive and the people around you will seem even more inspiring.

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Posted by DrHuge at February 19, 2013 10:38 AM

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