With everything that's expected of a DIY musician, it's common to feel the pressure knob go to 11 as you attempt to learn the business, build a fanbase, promote new music, write newer music, and balance all of your other obligations as a human.
Not to mention the fact that, since the beginning of time, the music industry has has a reputation pushing the 24/7-grind lifestyle regardless of whether or not one can go about it in a healthy way. (Spoiler alert: There is no way to grind 24/7 in a healthy way.)
But, rather than focus on the braggarts who claim to "get it all done" with little-to-no sleep, why not focus on building a career that's sustainable and that serve you for years to come?
Remember busy ≠ productive.
I know it's common to want to ignore this advice because we all want what we want when we want it. And we want it all now. But humor me. Below are three ways slowing down actually saves you time and increases your productivity and progress towards your goals.
1. It brings clarity
Ever feel like there are 100 things that need your attention at once? The environment around you can often lead you to believe there is greater urgency than actually exists. When you take a step back you may very well find it was all in your head and certain things can actually be dealt with at a later date.
When you no longer feel pressed for time, taking slow, deep breaths can allow your brain to see things more clearly, enabling you to make better decisions and judgments. Stepping back may help you realize a lot of those tasks are either unimportant or can be dealt with rather simply, including delegating them to someone else (i.e., a virtual assistant, intern, or band member).
2. It brings structure
If you try to multitask and build each piece of the puzzle at once, you'll never finish the puzzle because you'll be too busy trying to balance all of the pieces of the foundation at once. Focusing on one area at a time allows you to walk away from a completed section and focus on the next at hand.
At the end of the day, we crave boundaries. They enable us to wrap our brains around concepts and choices more easily with fewer options and possibilities distracting us.
When you're rushed, you can't even see the boundaries. Having a structure in place, like time managing your days/weeks, gives you a sense of control and greater focus on the task at hand.
3. It brings confidence
When your work is getting done, and it's getting done right, a wonderful domino effect happens. You compare yourself less to others because you're focused on your own progress. You walk taller because you're proud of your work, and you attract the right people because your attitude dictates they take notice.
There is a reason the story of The Tortoise and The Hare has lasted through the ages. As difficult as it can be to slow yourself down once the adrenalin starts pumping and the pressure to "keep up" screams loudly in your mind, try hard to remember that success is not a race with others, but a journey with yourself.
At the end of the day, it's about building a career, not proving to others how busy you can be. Make sure you're giving your future in this industry the respect and attention it deserves.
Suzanne Paulinski is a mindset coach and founder of The Rock/Star Advocate. She helps music industry professionals gain confidence and clarity in their goals with a healthy work/life balance. Her book,The Rock/Star Life Planner is now available on Amazon.