Do you make to-do lists? Why or why not? How do you ensure the tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis are completed?
Many artists keep to-do items in their minds, hoping they will remember the appropriate tasks when the time comes to address them.
But imagine being twice as busy, three times as busy, 10 times as busy as you are now. Imagine being twice, three times, 10 times as tired as you are now. Would you still be able to keep everything straight in your mind?
As your music career advances, you will likely become increasingly busier. You will have team members to manage, shows to play, and media requests to fulfill. How will you ensure you’re in the right place at the right time doing the right things without letting things slip through the cracks and double-booking yourself?
Granted, you will need more than a to-do list to manage it all. But a to-do list sets the foundation for your daily activity. It reminds you of things that need to be completed and by when. And that’s incredibly important in times when you’re more prone to forgetting, or don’t necessarily feel like doing one more thing when you need to.
Your brain is a supercomputer. And at the same time, a poor storage device. It’s not like Google Drive where you can search for any document and recall it at a moment’s notice. The brain is constantly absorbing new information while sorting and consolidating the old, making space for what matters to you today. Instant recall is tough. Think of how easy it was to forget the name of the person you just met at the open mic last night.
Things need to be written down. Anything not written down is not in existence. It lives only in your mind, something no one else has access to. That can have some advantages at times, but your brain isn’t good enough to remember all the details of your week – when you need to be at that meeting. When you need to make a phone call. When you need to pay that bill. And so on.
You also need a way to manage your priorities. Realistically, you cannot manage time. It will pass whether you want it to or not. You can timebox your calendar and decide when you’ll be doing what, but you must follow through on your schedule for there to be any congruence. Making a schedule is of little use if you don’t follow through.
What you can manage is your priorities. Writing down everything you need to do and putting it in order of importance is a great way to ensure you aren’t just spending your days putting out fires, but you’re also getting to the deep creative work you find so enjoyable and fulfilling.
There are specific ways of setting up your to-do list – and that’s another subject for another time – but just having one will make you aware of all the things you need to do and by when. And that can help you stay on top of everything, so you aren’t breaking promises, delivering assignments late, or disappointing others that matter to you.
Will you be creating a to-do list? What items will you be prioritizing? How will you manage your to-do items moving forward?
We can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
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