In my career as a music teacher, I did a lot of research on procrastination as it seemed to be one of the reasons people failed to get ahead. A common source of procrastination is the idea that we have to wait until we have a big block of time before starting on a task – any task. There are people use small amounts of time to get things done efficiently throughout a day. They tend not to procrastinate, but they are not waiting for large blocks of time.

Modern life is full of demands and interruptions. If you are waiting for a large block of time before you start something, you likely will never start it because the large block of time may never come.

Learning to use make good use of small blocks of time is a key to getting things done that will take you one step further in your career. Another is the idea that you have to wait until the “right” time. However, for many of us, the “real” time seems just to get further and further away.

Here are eight tips stop procrastinating on your music career:

  1. Baby Steps – Break your task down into small steps, do each small step individually.
  2. Kitchen Timer – During writer’s block I write in 15-minute increments, then get up and move around. I find that if I limit the time I do not feel so overwhelmed with the amount of time given. I always have a Kitchen Cooking Timer when I am writing to make sure I stay on task.
  3. Force or Pressure- Just do it. This usually means that I have waited until the last minute and have to get something done. I find that if I wait until the last minute to get something done, I can work. There is something about the pressure that moves me forward.
  4. Relax – Yes relax. Spend a little time meditating and stop stressing about the deadline.
  5. Music – Music can work wonders for concentration. If you do not have a band or group that allows you to concentrate, try anything by Mozart.
  6. Bargain with yourself – I am fond of snacks, licorice or goldfish crackers when I am working. I often bargain with myself – I can have one piece of licorice or 10 goldfish crackers for each page I finish. This mainly works when I am hungry.
  7. Completion NOT perfection – Just get it complete. Do not worry about it being perfect. Perfection is the enemy of completion. You can always edit later.
  8. Eliminate all distractions – turn off the TV or radio. Remove yourself from rooms that may cause you to be tempted to do something, e.g. video games, clean, etc.

Procrastination is nothing but a polite term for avoidance, and that is not an excellent thing to do. Watch this video for more tips on how to stop procrastinating:

This is our list of simple ways of avoiding procrastination while you advance in your music career:

  1. Pinpoint the reason why you are avoiding the activity. It could be many things – fear of failure, or the pressure of having to work with someone you find unpleasant, or is it that you have bad news and don’t know how to go about delivering it?
  2. Make a schedule for your day’s jobs and stick to it. One good way is to finish the jobs you hate bright and early, so you are free to enjoy the rest of your day.
  3. There goes a lot of preparation behind every successful project. You have to prepare too. That might mean a lot of adaptation and modification and adjustment. But face it, you have to do it. The sooner you accept this, the better.
  4. Stop thinking. Just work at it and get it over and done with.
  5. You can allow yourself small rewards when you have finally done what you had been avoiding. You could take a coffee break, or a forbidden snack, just to indulge yourself.

You need a certain amount of inner strength and real motivation to get things done, irrespective of their nature. Most people, however, tend to be swayed easily and lose focus of their goals. There is no need to despair.