“Success demands singleness of purpose. – Gary Keller (The One Thing)
Last week, I talked about the importance of Defining Your Why as a musician. If you haven’t checked that article out, no worries! You can read it here: Define Your Why As A Musician.
Now that you’ve taken the time to define your “why” and you’ve clearly communicated your compelling higher purpose behind your musical pursuits to your audience, it’s now time to find your focus and stay focused.
What is focus? Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:
- A center of activity, attraction or attention; a point of concentration.
The synonyms “center” “attention” and “concentration” drive the point home.
What is the center of your attention and concentration from day to day?
This answer may vary because there are so many things that independent musicians have to worry about in today’s independent-driven music culture. Just to name a few things there are:
- Social media pages to manage
- Unique content to create
- Fans to engage with
- Videos to make and post…and that doesn’t even include the aspects of making music which if you’re a recording artist involves:
- Writing lyrics
- Finding beats
- Mixing and Mastering
- Album or single artwork
- Professional photos for branding
- Arranging shows (live or livestream)…and so on and so forth!!
Although all of the things listed above are necessary, most artists or producers would love to concentrate on just being artistic and creative. If the difficulty in focusing for most musicians revolves around having your hands in too many activities, there’s a few ways to address this.
In the book “The One Thing” author Gary Keller goes on to say:
You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.
So let’s get back to our friend Aaron, a rapper and singer who has defined the why behind his artistry as centering around his ability to overcome hardships and using that purpose to be more relatable to his fans.
Now that he’s motivated about his “why” Aaron wants to focus on putting out more music in 2021, however his time is constantly divided between doing all of the tasks mentioned a few paragraphs up.
Here’s what Aaron can do to overcome this obstacle:
- Identify – The first thing that Aaron should do is identify. He should identify the things that he ought to be doing and then also identify the things that he ought not be doing.
- The easiest way to figure this out is to test the importance of each activity by how much it aligns with helping him with releasing more songs, the time it takes him to complete each activity and how much time each activity is taking away from him reaching his goal. Remember, each moment that we spend doing one thing, we’re taking time away from doing something else, no matter how big or small!
- Delegate – Any activities that aren’t directly related to his focus area of releasing more music should be delegated or outsourced to a trusted third party. This could be an online collaborator or a gig-worker/freelancer website. For Ex:
- The website Fiverr is a great inexpensive resource that he could leverage to get most creative tasks done. This includes album artwork, mixing and mastering services, video editing, social media graphic design work for posts, etc.
- Also the Beatstars Marketplace has a “Services” search option where he can have certain tasks completed by his favorite music producer.
- The bottom line is when he outsources these activities, he instantly frees up more time for focusing on the activities that are most aligned with helping him reach his goal (writing, finding beats, recording music).
- Prioritize – If delegation isn’t an option, prioritizing is a must. He should make a list of what tasks need to be accomplished each day.
- He should put the most important and even the most difficult tasks at the top of the list. Completing these tasks first will give him a sense of accomplishment and an endorphin boost as well which will give his brain the power needed to knock out the remainder of his to-do list (for more on this get the book: “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy). Most of all, completing these tasks means that he never goes a day without accomplishing what’s MOST important!!
I know we were talking about Aaron, but you can do this too!! These same principles can be applied to all musicians, artists and music producers who are seeking to be more productive this year.
So remember when you are having trouble finding your focus, don’t give up or become overwhelmed! Instead take a moment to pause and then: Identify, delegate and prioritize!!
Identify what’s causing you to lose focus, delegate activities that are not directly aligned with you reaching your stated goal(s) and prioritize what can’t be delegated so that the most important tasks never go undone.
If you have any questions, I’m only an email away.
Until next time, keep making your best music and take care!
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Music Producer & Songwriter