Being a freelancer can be tough, not just because you have to rely on yourself to find work but also because no one is forcing you to work. If you also have a mindset of "I'll do it later", you might get nothing done.
In other words, you like to procrastinate.
By being your own boss you can decide your own hours and you don't have to go up as early or even take part of the rush hour, it's a great life. However, if you want to be able to keep living that life you also need to do great work and not waste time.
Procrastination is something we all love and hate at the same time. It's great to just relax and not do the painful task of dealing with work. However, at the same time, it's also painful not to do the tasks we actually need to do, ending up being stressed because we have piled up too much work and now it feels like we have a mountain in front of us.
Life would have been easier if we just did it straight away, right?
How can you beat procrastination and become more productive?
Let's say you want to make 4 EP's this year, or you want to pitch your music to publishers, or go out and see more local bands to build your network. Or you might want to do all of these different things.
How can you achieve all your goals and not be beaten by your own laziness? To be honest, if you want to achieve your goals you need to put in the work. Not saying you have to do 14 hour days (like many people in this business do), but you need to be organised.
By being organised you are on a great path of beating procrastination.
Let's say you have a goal of being more consistent with putting out more music. It can sound like a huge task, maybe even overwhelming to some.
However, if you start with your end goal in mind and break it down into smaller parts, it might seem less overwhelming. Furthermore, take these smaller parts and write down in your calendar which days you will complete each small task. All of a sudden, your end goals starts to feel achievable and not too hard to accomplish.
This allows you to be calm because you can see simple, small but achievable tasks rather than a huge mountain of your end goal/s.
I do this every Sunday before the new week start. I write down what I need to do to accomplish all my work and in the end my goal/s. It's small but consistent work you need to do to accomplish your goals.
And you know what the great thing about this is, you will have time to relax, watch Netflix or play video games (my favourite game at the moment is Metal Gear Solid 5. Which is yours?). It's a win-win situation.
There's a quote from Ramit Sethi, a leading figure in finance and business, he said this in one of his emails and I think he is making a very good point about not doing anything and just procrastinating:
“Did I actually get anything meaningful done? Did I do anything I'll remember in 10 years? Will I even remember this stuff next week? I think most of us have the haunting suspicion that we're wasting a lot of time playing games that are engineered to claw our attention, only to look back and realize...we haven't actually been living life.”
Think about that.
Below you can see an example of how a week can look in my world. This is designed so that I can be as organised as I can and progress towards my goals. What this does is that it allows me to see all the different parts I need to do, and when to do them, to accomplish my end goal/s. Which is, making 4 EP's, continue to interview great people, do live sound, find publishers et cetera.
10 am - 6 pm: Writing session
A session focused on writing new material. Get it down to tape (Pro Tools). No need to be critical on what's good or bad
7 pm - 8 pm: Find producers/engineer/artists and their contact details to contact them about doing an interview. Send out reminder emails to previous contacts
10 am - 6 pm: Writing session
Same as previous day
7 pm - 8 pm: Prepare stage plot for this summers tour
10 am - 6 pm: Mixing previous recordings
7 pm - 8 pm: Research interviewee, write down questions.
10 am - 12 am: Research publishing companies to pitch to
6 pm - 11 pm: Live gig
10 am - 22 am: Live gig
Relax (Play Metal Gear, Netflix etc)
Let me know in the comments if you will be implementing this or if you are using another technique that allows you to be as productive as you can.