Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy?  As Eleven’s Steve Banik discusses today, staying organized is a big part of that. 

How to Stay Productive and Organized

If you’re like me, you might sometimes have trouble getting organized to keep your music business productive and profitable. We’re creatives, so we prefer to create rather than enter receipts, depreciate assets and plan for tax season.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways for us creatives to get our house in order in this area and learn how to stay productive and organized. Here are a few:

TRASH THE APPS

If something on your phone or tablet is sucking up your time and is not providing measurable value, delete it.  In doing so, you have immediately created time to take on other tasks. Not all apps are meant to benefit you, so take inventory of what you actually use to be productive, stay organized, and manage your music business. The rest should go (or save the games for a designated downtime).

WRITE IT DOWN

You don’t need an app to stay organized.  Grab a notebook, the kind you had in high school, start thinking about what needs to be done and jot down high level notes about it.  You don’t need to get specific yet – just record what you need to do. You can adjust & prioritize this list later.

USE MICRO-TIME TO CONQUER QUICK TASKS

Got 10 minutes?  Login to your bank account and verify the last 5 transactions.  That might remind you to purchase something you’ve been putting off.  Plan or execute that purchase.  Examine your bank balances.  Think about future revenue and expenses.  Before you know it, those 10 minutes are gone, and you’ve mentally refreshed yourself about your current financial position in the business.

This is just one example of something you could do in a 10 minute window of free time. If it helps use these micro-time windows more wisely, remember to write down these quick items in a to do list so when a micro-time slot opens up, you’ll be ready to pick off the first one on the list each time.

SET YOUR ALARM

Actually, set two alarms – one every 2 hours to remind you to drink a pint of water, the other to remind you to go to bed early tonight.  You’ll thank yourself for it tomorrow when your mind and body is refreshed.

EXERCISE

There’s not much else to say here.  Just do it.  At the very least, it gives you the energy to stay focused, which will help you get organized. If you are an early bird, start your day with a run or yoga. If you are a night owl, recharge your evening with a run or other workout after dinner so you’ll have some extra energy to burn the midnight oil.

DON’T MULTITASK

Constant context switching is a productivity killer.  It makes you feel like you’re getting a lot done, but you’re not.  You’re losing time when your brain spends so much time switching gears.  Focus on one thing at a time and keep those distractions to a minimum wherever possible. In fact, the very concept of “multitasking” is a myth because the human brain cannot perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should help you get and stay organized. Keep up the good work!

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