Robert J. Lawrence (Jimmy)
This week I have a quick solution for you. I've heard this message in so many different ways:
I don't have time to add another piece to my repertoire.
I don't have time to take up another instrument.
I don't have time to practice.
I don't have time to take music lessons. (Teachers & Parents, I'll have a blog for you on this. Email us.)
I don't have time to blog! (Oops! That's me.)
Time management could be its own blog. To keep things short and sweet, here's the deal:
Track, in some sort of time log, how much time you spend on every activity you do for an entire week. Eating, sleeping, playing video games, practicing, watching T.V., cooking, cleaning, utilizing the facility (yes, that facility), socializing, driving... I mean everything. Really, do this - because the answer to increasing your time for practicing that extra piece, or taking those music lessons is very simple:
When you've done your time-logging, you are going to find out how much time you really waste in a day. It will shock you. Take a look at all of those nonessential time-fillers (what game are you playing on your phone, right now?) and get rid of them right away - You've got a life to live!
Ok - I know, it's easier said than done. After all, throwing away habits takes some hard work, motivation, planning, and continuous tracking.
I wanted to share a new discovery with you.
This little app is changing the way I look at how I use my time. It's like an electronic, cloud-based time card that I can use to track anything I want, and organize them into categories and projects. Now I know when I've spent more time improvising than learning new chord changes, and I know when my practicing time is eating into my homework time - I also know when I haven't spent enough time the last couple of days writing or arranging music. The possibilities are endless, but now your excuses aren't.
Toggl has a highly useful free option (it's what I use): you can use it on Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS, or even in your browser, and it all syncs without trouble no matter where you use it. My advice: get Toggl!
(NOT a paid advertisement. Toggl, you're totally welcome to pay me, though!)
Jimmy here! My desire is to help others grow musically - especially those who don't have access to resources. I'm a husband, father of three, graduate student, and music educator.