Focus, focus, focus! As an indie artist, that’s not always an easy task. You’ve got a lot on your plate and it can be overwhelming at times – especially with so many potential distractions like the internet (the Facebook timesuck!), a constantly buzzing phone, and various people pulling you in different directions.
When you’re ready to get down to business, here are ten ways to help you eliminate distractions and become more productive:
- Pick two major goals: Think about what your two most important goals are for your career. Perhaps you want to release a new album by the end of the year or you want to book a Fall tour. Once you set two major goals, make sure you work toward them each day.
- Narrow your tasks: Now that you have your two priorities, pick one task for each goal that will help move it forward. This way, you will have two things that you must do each day to get you closer to your goal.
- 3. Set Expectations: Don’t overwhelm yourself. Set realistic expectations and understand that some projects will take time.
- 4. Clear the Clutter: Don’t be distracted by a cluttered office or workspace. Keep your area clean and clutter free!
- 5. Computer desktop: Organize the miscellaneous files on your desktop. Put them in folders. Shut down any unnecessary programs and turn off notifications. No beeping or buzzing allowed.
- 6. Turn off the Internet: If the project you’re working on can be done offline, do it. Turn off your computer’s WiFi signal or unplug the chord. The harder it is to obsessively check Facebook (or Pinterest or Twitter), the better.
- 7. Turn off email/text notifications: As mentioned above, turn off notifications – both online and on your phone, if possible.
- 8. DND sign: Do you work out of a busy workspace? Maybe it’s best to tell the others that you need some quiet time – get yourself a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
- 9. Headphones: If the chatter of other voices keeps you from concentrating, consider listening to music on headphones to drown out the noise.
- Be Prepared: Even if you do all of the above, you can still face interruptions. If you do, learn how to handle them quickly and get right back on task.
Now, get to work!
Tell us what you think! Do you have any tips to help increase productivity?
The SongCast Crew
You’re right about narrowing your focus. When there’s too much to do, there’s this habit of sitting on our laurels, just trying to choose what to get up and do first, so your number point is definitely a great way of getting closer to our goals.
I read a post by QWITR and at the time, I was like, how could I simplify my list without setting goals. I didn’t scrap the goal-setting mentality, because I like to know if I can meet the goals I set, but I did drastically simplify my list, and the number of goals I wanted to attain. Not that there aren’t other things going on at the same time, but by having on major goal, one thing I work towards every day, things get done, and stuff just happens. In fact now, everything leads up to the same point, the same goal. So it all works together, and it’s amazing. I now spend time wisely.
So I start with a goal, and then put a date on it and a quantity. I work backwards, and say, well, what action would it take for that goal to become a reality. Then I work backwards from there until I have simple actionable steps that I can focus on.
For an example, an indie band looking to do a gig as act number one for opening night may still have to be responsible for bringing in people, and it bringing in folks, even though they’re not the opener or the headliner would make them look good anyway.
So it would be like this – hypothetically mind –
– “We’d love to bring in 40 people”
– How? “Well, 40 would buy tickets ahead of time?”
– Where’d they buy their tickets ahead of time? – “On a ticket site, right”
– How’d they get to the ticket site? – “Through our website, on a page about the concert.”
– How’d they find out about the concert in the first place? – “Through messages on facebook”
– How many messages would you have to send for all folks to know about it? – “3 or 4 a day, two weeks prior all linking to the concert. That would be……..no less than 27 messages. But it may be overkill, right?”
– It maybe overkill. So how would you mix up these messages and keep them interesting? – “We’d learn from the Bourne facebook campaign, or the Lady Gaga facebook campaigns. We’d use photos, pro-looking ones that make folk think, and then home ones like on instagram. We’d have video messages announcing the date, videos of rehearsals, videos of behind the scenes playful stuff, word pictures with messages about our philosophies, fun facts about the venue, drawings and images of the other bands. All this, like we said, linking to the concert page on the website”
– How many facebook fans would you want from the area to hear your about your concert? – “1 out of every 10 folks may decide to come see us? So, 40 folks multiplied by 10 would be, 400! We’d have to have 400 folks from such-and-such-a-place to hear about our concert!”
– Do they have 400 fans who live in such-and-such-a-place? – “No”
– So how would they end up liking the facebook page? – “We’d reach out to some mags and blogs from the area.”
And it would go on and on from there. – A second goal might be to grow an audience from a certain area by a certain number of folk. Just like how major artists never play towns or cities where they don’t have a following. Indie bands should build even a small following where ever they want to go if they can do so, before they first play there. Especially if they want to make a great impression on the venue.
So you’re right, with so much to do, turning off the internet when you need to get organized, not being sidetracked by emails and text messages help us to get a whole lot more done.
I loved this article.
Thanks a lot!!