During my radio days, I’ve interviewed many artists. Some of these creatives stood out because they showed levels of self-discipline that were super impressive.
If you ever wondered how successful musicians get their shit together, here’s some advice on how you can improve your daily life in order to become the artist you want to be.
I personally think that having all of these things implemented in your life will help you in a massive way to become more profitable.
(And maybe move from part-time to full-time someday.)
However, please don’t see this as a list that has to be checked before anything happens. It’s just an advice buffet. And it’s up to you to implement them into your life. All this advice can be applied by everyone.
#1 – Stay focused:
Whenever you’re doing something for your music career, resist all urges to do anything else than what you’ve planned to do. Do not eat or drink snacks, grab a treat, buy something, check your social media, or run around mindlessly. Set a goal for your session, set a timer, and start doing tasks (e.g. reaching out to journalists for write-ups).
#2 – Confront yourself with the bad ending
Do you want to achieve something with your music? Silly question, yeah. Visualize what happens if you don’t do the important tasks. Explore this feeling. And then get your ass kicked by your own mind.
#3 – Fire up your brain
Work out each morning to get your creative systems running. You do not have to have a full workout plan. Just do a few push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, or whatever gets you into your stride. I’d recommend 10 minutes or more though. This gives your body the energy and strength to perform at a way higher level right from the beginning. No need to warm up your fingers with heat pads before playing your instrument.
#4 – Eat healthily
Okay, this one is tough. And I know too many artists who aren’t living this way… 🙂 But, that shouldn’t stop you. Try to eat healthy food whenever you can. Especially when you’re singing, and in particular if you have a recording session or show, soon.
#5 – Rest for a while before you work
Again, this isn’t for everybody. But this can help spark your creativity by far. I usually do this every morning before I start creating content or music. Some call it meditating, I don’t. Just relax for at least five minutes, close your eyes, and try to get all your thoughts out of your head so you have a fresh mind for your creative work.
#6 – Rest a little longer
Sleep is my medicine for everything (alternatively, dancing at a night club in what felt like 50°C/122°F seemed to have a similar healing effect). If your daily schedule allows it, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your creative career can benefit from this because with the right amount of sleep (mine is 6 hours per night), you can perform at your peak level every day.
#7 – Keep it clean
Yep, I know. Creative minds aren’t known for their organizational talent. You can change that. Keep your studio, room, car, desktop, email, devices, and everything else in your life clean and organized. This eases your mind to focus on being creative.
#8 – But don’t waste time…
If you make cleaning your stuff a daily habit, you even have more productive time to spend on making music, growing your network, or building your systems. Time management is super important to get your shit together. Make a list for your month, pick the most important tasks for the week, and move these tasks onto your daily task list. For example, if you’re planning to release a single, say no to everything or everyone that distracts you from the release campaign (e.g. working on new music or talking to your mom).
#9 – Have your vision in mind
Every artist has a vision. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to develop yours. But don’t worry, this can take some time – even years – until you figure it out. If you have one though, it’s important to review your vision, turn it into a mission, and set yearly goals to get there. Check on these things every day to remind yourself why you make music.
#10 – Enjoy every moment
It can be very depressing if you review your goals, vision, and mission but don’t seem to note any big changes. Focus on the little daily things. Be grateful for the playlist curator that added your song to his Spotify playlist with only 20 followers. Say thank you to the fan who didn’t have the money to buy your merch but shared and commented on your post.
#11 – Be a tower of strength
Don’t let fear, anxiety or stress rule your life. Stick to your plan, and don’t change direction once you react emotional, feel uneasy or think you’re a failure. Show relentless persistence and work on your music career. No matter what.
I want you to sit down for five minutes and set a timer. Think about where you see yourself in five years. Who and where would you like to be? Which of these 11 ideas could help you right now to get one step closer to this goal? Maybe it’s sleeping at least 7 hours per night, maybe it’s reviewing your goals each day, or staying focused on one task.
Once you’ve selected how you will boost your self-discipline, create a habit tracker.
For the next X weeks or months, I want you to focus on building one habit. This helps you to build it into your life, and after X days, you will just keep at it.
(Average is 66 days but don’t let that number be your guide.)
So how will you develop your self-discipline this week?