The quest for productivity and a work-life balance (especially as a freelance musician or music industry worker) is never-ending and sneaking a peak at what’s working for others can be useful.
In this article, Turkish music professional Isil Kilkis talks about her journey to focused work…
As someone who is over-analysing and overthinking everything, I have a bad (or good?) habit of considering all possible outcomes of my actions.
This gives me the right amount of anxiety that puts my wheels in motion and makes me act on and plan everything ahead. That way, I don’t have to deal with the dread that comes with leaving everything to the last minute, which I know either leads to bad results, or good results which take a toll on my well-being.
Here’s the thing, though: I also consider myself as a lazy & disorganised person, so I need to optimise my life in a perfect way so I have lots of free time to myself.
Time is my greatest currency nowadays!
Sometimes I want to stop and take care of myself, or I know it will consume my energy. And I need that energy for proper brain function.
Definition: a rigorous approach to managing your email with the goal of keeping an inbox empty all the time
As a part of a coping mechanism for my anxiety, I dabbled a little bit in Zen Buddhism in my 20s, which also eventually led me to start yoga and meditation.
Zen teachings were so simple and really changed how I think. And as a person that suffers from ADHD, this new perspective made me take everything ‘one by one’.
I was concentrating on one task and literally taking out every other item on my to do list until it was done.
It was working well! I was fast and was completing all the tasks without any problems, whilst mastering my time-management skills!
Through a good friend, I was introduced to the Getting Things Done system, the famous productivity book by Tim Allen. It saw me really up my game to where I was really mastering my emails & and folders, establishing a good framework for work and (literally!) getting things done.
That really helped me to streamline my everyday chores and all types of email that needs to be answered, at the end of the day my inbox was really zero.
But as times have changed, things have become more complocated.
We now have all kinds of apps, social media messages, likes, comments, work apps and assignments, all with their notifications popping up. It really left me in a daze.
Email was losing its functionality for me, amongst other similar systems that are somehow integrated into our lives.
And as an addition, I was going through a phase in my life where I pushed away the notion of steady income and decided to create my own projects from scratch.
Not long ago, I was working part-time as a content creator & booking agent, and at the same time working on my startup, and also trying to open up my own music agency as well, and getting DJing gigs at night.
I didn’t and still don’t want to leave some of these projects out and focus on just one thing, totally contradicting my previous methods. So I’ve decided to do it all!
I needed a different method for me, before it overwhelmed me…
30 Minutes for 30 Days
I knew it would be tricky, but fortunately somewhere on Linkedin I stumbled upon some life-hacking tips from Sahil Bloom.
He was proposing the method of doing one thing (or ‘working on one thing’) everyday, even if it’s only 30 min long.
I decided to give it a try, modified it according to my needs and kind of divided my weekdays into my part time job, one full day for my music agency and also one day for working my startup and creating its business plan, and of course half of the day for digging out some fresh tunes for my DJ gigs.
In my case, even though I managed to spare even less than one hour each day, I can say that these hours really add up.
I opened my agency and got my first 2 clients. I still have lots of work to do there in terms of branding, but I’m taking it slow.
I’ve created a pitch deck for my idea, found myself a co-founder and also meeting up with some incubators.
So if you’re consistent, really in no time, you see the progress; it’s inevitable.
But the trick for me was just concentrating on one task and being consistent.
So I dare you…
Try this 30 minutes everyday method for the ‘business’ side of your music career.
Even though progress seems slow, it really makes a big difference.
Do something for your career everyday.
Create some tasks like.
- social media audit for your channels
- send out some cold emails for gigs
- create that beautiful captivating content for your followers
- work on that new material
- take some meetings
You choose what it is, but do something everyday and focus on the task while doing it.
No multitasking allowed.
You’ll see the difference.
So this is my new method and we’ll see how it goes…