Sometimes no matter what you do, it feels like you’re drowning. You get up early, but you still can’t get through those emails. You set aside an hour a day to focus on those big scary tasks, but it’s never enough and in the end you feel more frustrated than ever because an hour isn’t really enough time to move the needle like you want.
And so you slink back into doing what it is you’ve always done, what it is that’s comfortable and familiar—posting your music on social media even though there’s barely any response. Sending out the same tired pitch to blogs and venues that never gets a response. Practicing the same tunes on the same days at the same times, never really incorporating (or writing) new material.
When you stop to think about it, you get pretty down on yourself, but you also know that while what you’re doing may not be working as well as you’d like, it’s also not completely failing and so maybe it’s ok if you just keep at it like this for a while. Maybe someone will discover you and pour money into your lap and then you’ll have the time and energy to focus on growing your career and truly thriving in it, instead of just staying stagnant and surviving.
But what if I told you that there’s a way you can move forward in your career by devoting just one extra day a week to it? That you’ll start to have those big ideas, you’ll have the time and energy to implement them, and you’ll begin to see new opportunities come your way
What would that look like? What would it feel like?
Well my friend, you’re in for a treat, because the truth is it can happen for you, and it’s not even all that complicated.
By setting aside just one day a week to focus solely on growth, you can transform your entire career.
I’m not exaggerating.
I’m also not saying that it’s going to be easy. I know you’re busy. But the reality is if you want to have a successful career, you have to make time for it, and that includes the things that most people forget about—it includes the growth.
It’s one thing to just play catch up on a day to day basis, and stick with handling all the little emergencies that come up, putting out fires and dealing with the things that seem to require your attention right now. But if we don’t make time to grow our careers, to do the things that require us to just sit, and think, and create plans, and implement structures, then we’re going to find ourselves running in circles forever.
Ready to stop the madness, quit losing time, and build your dreams into reality? Here’s how we get started.
Choose a day
The first thing you need to do is decide which day will be your weekly growth day. For me, it’s Friday, but depending on your schedule and when you feel the most creative, it can be any day. Try to keep it as the same day every week and try to really, truly, make it the entire day, from the moment you get up until the moment you’re done work for the day. This can be 4 hours or 8 hours, but you want to have a good chunk of uninterrupted time to work.
I’d recommend at a bare minimum of 3 hours, but aim for closer to 5-6 hours. Yes, this might have to be on one of your days off, but think about it—if you’re fighting for a full-time career doing what you love, then isn’t it worth it to set aside a couple hours first thing in the morning for it? If you got up by 8, worked until 12 you’d still have the entire day and be that much closer to your goals.
Decide on a task
Ideally, you want to decide on the day’s task before the day itself. Don’t go crazy here—it should only be 1-2 tasks, and they should fall under the same goal. For instance, if you want to get started on booking your tour your tasks might be #1 route the tour and #2 find venues along tour route. These tasks are always going to take longer than you think so don’t overpromise.
Now the tricky part. Make sure your task is one that propels you forward and moves the needle towards your end goal. This is not the time to work on your weekly social media posts (unless you’re working on getting better at posting branded content and then maybe it is) or to answer emails. This is your time to do something that you’ve probably known you have to do for a long time, but you just keep ignoring because it’s hard.
Examples could include: booking your tour, researching studio time, writing a new song, finding a publicist, figuring out what your brand is.
Pay attention to what your first thoughts were when you read this. Odds are, you already know what the tasks you should be working on are.
Time block your day
I find that most of us, when stressed, tend to find every possible reason to get distracted and before we know it the whole day has gone by and we’ve just been on Instagram for 6 hours.
Don’t do that.
Pay attention to what your stress response is. For me, when I’m working on one of these big growth tasks that’s really frustrating me, I tend to mindlessly start to answer emails or poke around in Facebook groups. Basically, anything that I can convince myself is still productive, but gets me away from the actual goal I’m trying to achieve.
One of the ways I help combat this is to time block so that even when/if I get distracted, I can instantly snap back to the task at hand by referring to my notes.
So for instance, if you know today you’re going to start booking that tour, then you might write down that from 9am-11am you’re going to route the tour. (again, always give yourself more time
than you need. These things have a way of taking longer than we expect) Then from 11am-12pm you’re going to make a spreadsheet of all the venues on your route and their contacts so you can begin reaching out. And so on and so forth.
That way, when at 10am you’re getting antsy because you’ve spent an hour trying to figure out how to include NYC and Nashville into your tour, and you’ve begin looking around on FB, you can quickly look at your notes, remind yourself of what you’re supposed to be doing, and get back to it.
Setting aside one day a week for personal growth is something I’ve been doing for the last 6 months and I have to tell you, it’s completely changed the game for me. Not only do I look forward to my growth day, but it sets me up for success for the weeks that follow. When I know that I’m getting the things done that I need to, I feel good about myself, I feel good about where I’m going, and I feel confident in what I do—and that sets me up for a completely different mindset, which impacts everything I do.
I know you might be thinking “I don’t have any more time!”
I do get it! But if think about all the things we either waste our time on or spend doing things for others. This is your time. This day, this one day a week that’s all about you and what you want for your life, it’s worth it. So please, find the time, because it’s going to make all the difference.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Co-Founder of Music Launch Co. Her free training ‘Reaching a Wider Audience Without Spending A Dime’ helps emerging artists cut through the noise and get in front of fans and industry influencers in just a few steps. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.