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Discipline and organization as a musician | Simple thoughts and tips

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Perfect timing!

As soon as I decided to write a weekly entry for the blog of course life decided to help my cause.

I want to go straight to the point and let you know how discipline and organization helped me in this week where not expected events, let's say, tested them.

Long story short: a water pipe burst and flooded the house. This translated in long hours at the phone with insurance company and contractors to fix the issue and make the needed repairs.

This event made me realize that without commitment discipline and organization I wouldn't be able to take care of the issue and still keep doing what I love to do.

I'm just sharing my experience of course but I can tell that it's applicable to any discipline, artistic or not.

Later I will tell you what helped me tremendously, but be little patient...

Let's dive in...

Without a strong commitment to your goals, it can be difficult to develop the discipline and organization needed to achieve them. When you are committed to something, you are more likely to face the sacrifices needed in terms of time and effort.

Once commitment is established, discipline and organization become crucial in order to turn that commitment into action.

But what do we consider discipline and organization?

Discipline is the practice of training yourself to do something in a consistent and controlled way, while organization is the act of planning and arranging your resources in order to achieve your goals. They work hand in hand as they help you to manage time, track progress and take efficient decisions moving forward. All of them are important and interlinked. Without commitment, it's almost impossible to maintain discipline and organization, and with discipline and organization, the chances of commitment to be successful increases.

So, commitment, discipline, and organization are all closely related and important for achieving success in any field, including being a musician or having a good personal development.

Are they a guarantee for success? Of course not because there are lots of things ( that we discuss in another post) that are out of your control.

As we already know from millions of words spent on this topic, being a musician requires not just talent ( and nowadays that's a debatable point as well!) but guess what are the most important qualities?

Yes: commitment, discipline and organization. Usually the people that succeed are the one that have less talent but are persistent in reaching their goals. And we all appreciate those who have the complete package!

Keep in mind that any business moved by masses as fast as it can make someone famous at the same speed the person can be obliterated in zero time.

Don't forget that I'm going to tell you what changed my routine big time in a great way.

Here are a few tips to help you develop and maintain these key traits in your music practice and career:

1. Set clear and doable goals.

You can daydream about the impossible but having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve will help you stay focused and motivated. Set specific, measurable goals for yourself, both in the short and long term. Start small and go big later: Rome wasn't build in a day! Maybe one day right a good line of music is enough and another day you do an entire piece. Think always about the big picture.

2. Create a schedule and follow it.

A consistent practice schedule is key to maintaining discipline and commitment as a musician. Set the time to practice/composing and stick to it.

Set a certain amount of time to spend on social media for promotion, research and networking and stick to it.

Literally set the alarm to stop doin this part after a certain amount and move on the next thing on the list.

3. Break down tasks into smaller chunks and tackle them one at a time. This will make the task more manageable and help you stay focused and motivated.

4.Take breaks!!!!

Being a workaholic myself I could easily stay all day at the desk or at the piano without realizing the entire day has gone but even if you think it's a great thing and very productive, it's not healthy because you have no time to reset your brain and see things with a fresh eye.

5.Once you set your goals don't be distracted by what everybody else is doing. They have their own believes and path you have your own!

Here is a list of some things that are usually considered tips but didn't work for me.

1. Surround yourself with other musicians and collaborate.

Maybe I haven't been lucky or my genre doesn't appeal others but so far I only found people that look for collaboration for their own gain or help you only waiting for you to help them giving nothing in return. Again maybe it's just my experience and I didn't look in the right places but I prefer to stay focus on what I want to do and embrace the " one man band" situation and if my music will be successful I"ll have only that thank myself and my commitment. This imply tons of more work on stuff that probably you don't enjoy or are less artistic, but it's part of the deal and with discipline and organization you can make it a less painful process.

2. Be super present on social media to promote your music.

I tried to be super active and for weeks I spent hours on social media promoting my music spending less time on my music and that was the lowest engagements I have had in every platform. It was discouraging and put me in a not great place, affecting my inspiration to create. Not good! So I took a decision based on one consideration: what if tomorrow all social media disappeared? We'll all be, let's say to be polite, in big trouble. ( just following Youtube guidelines here!)

So the decision switched to focus on direct contact with audience, blogging weekly. This is something I can control and manage without the anxiety to use a certain trending song or format that most of the times doesn't take you anywhere. Of course it can be a source of frustration but if you look at it like a therapy session to write down what you are doing it's not a waste of time at all. Actually it can inspire new ideas for new music.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment.

And now it's time to share what literally helped my motivation to set a schedule, to be organized, to take breaks and to stay healthy with lots of exercise.....

YES!!!! GET A DOG ( if you can!) AND COMMIT TO IT ( RESCUE ONES PLEASE!!!!)....

Here are some benefits I found:

1. It teaches you to wake up at the same time and go to sleep at the same time. And for a free lance it's something to not underestimate because technically you make your own schedule sometimes not very regular and difficult to follow.

2. It helps you, actually force you, to take breaks because they need to exercise and/or go for a walk so it's a positive thing for everybody.

3. It's good company and helps you to not overthink when things don't turn the way you wish ( a good distraction and lost of laughs)

4. Help you socialize with other owners avoiding to be in your own bubble.

5. It puts you in a good mood because always something unpredictable happens ( and not a bursting pipe in the house) and their reaction is usually priceless.

If you're interested I'll introduce him to you. Let me know.

That's all for now....

See you next week....

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