7 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Music Practice Time

When I'm helping a student create a practice schedule I've found that it's best to build in another element that has to do with guarding yourself against the wasting of time. This is so important because your time is incredibly valuable and must never be wasted away frivolously... 

The reason we absolutely must protect our time is because we fill our time with our focus. 

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The most valuable thing that we have in the world is our focus. Just think, it's what we get paid for no matter what job we do in life. Our focus is everything, and once it gets wasted, we never get it back. In this session, I'm going to run though the 7 things that waste our musical practice time.

1). The first is choosing to do useless things instead of choosing to go and practice. Now, I can't tell you what your own personal useless things are. But, I'm going to bet that if you think for a few minutes or simply ask yourself if the thing that you're going to bypass practice for is "useful" or if it's instead "useless" I'm sure you'll have an answer to that. Remember, your focus is your most important commodity, never waste it doing useless things.

2). Next, is Drinking and doing Drugs. If you're skipping practice for that next gig, if you're skipping the study of songs you need to learn for a band rehearsal - or a recording session, just to get drunk or to get high. You might want to re-think that as a waste of your focus.

3). The next one is just pure laziness. You need to keep motivated. If you instead choose to do nothing, or to give up your focus, or switching off your focus, you've just lost a chunk of time that unfortunately you'll never get back.

4). Another one is getting wrapped up in worrying about others and how they perceive you. I've got some news for you, not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to respect you and ya know what... it doesn't matter. So, long as you create your accomplishments and you do a good job in the areas that you know are important, then you will have constant success. And, it doesn't matter what others are doing or what anyone else thinks of you.

5). The biggest factor for how we waste our time is by giving it away to people who are thankless. This is the person who expects your time, who doesn't respect your focus, and who never considers that you gave up something so that they could benefit. And, most importantly, they're they type who will never give time back. Because, unfortunately it's all about them. Which is probably why they're thankless people in the first place.

6). The next big time waster is involving yourself in someone else's projects - more specifically a project that takes up a lot of your time, but has little to nothing to do with your own personal focus and any personal direction regarding your own music, career and especially with enhancing your skill set. If a project only benefits somebody else, if a project pays nothing (or perhaps very little money), and most importantly if a project does not benefit you in any direct way - it's better to walk off from it.

7). The last time wasting area involves not having a personal direction with what you're doing. If you're wondering why you're not accomplishing all too much when you sit down to study music, you need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you have a personal plan. Because if you don't, you'll just flip flop from one thing to the next and shift your focus from topic to topic without accomplishing anything. And, that's why Practice Plans are so critical. That's why working with time frames and using a study log can be one of the best things for your time that you'll ever do!

So, start asking yourself what your goal is. If you look back at your music studies, ask yourself;

- Why am I not getting better?
- How have I been wasting time?
- Where have I been putting my energy?

I'll bet that you come up with a few good reasons to make a few critical changes.



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