This week through a conversation with a previous colleague and good friend, we dived into our current struggles we were having. For me, I was realizing that even though I was really enjoying being a virtual assistant to my clients, I admittedly still had things to work on that could bring me to my highest possible self in my position. I also talked about what my clients struggle with – what musicians struggle with – and what I could possible do outside of the box to assist them, since I do love being able to help. Even if we’re in a position where we are doing what we love, there are still struggles that come with the day-to-day grind. There’s no formula that says when you reach your goal the struggles stop. They just are on a different level or area.
After our conversation, I was inspired to focus in on what are the top struggles for a performing musician, or rather, any musician, and give small steps they can take to help lighten the pervasiveness of these struggles.
I wrote a list of everything I could think of that musicians struggle with. Pain, fatigue, boredom, burnout, stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, no time, artistic skills…the list goes on. And then I went digging online to compare my list with others, to see if anyone else is talking about this – because it needs to be talked about! We need to know our struggles and address them in order to improve, correct?
Sure enough, I found a woman who created a survey asking exactly what I wanted to know (The internet is great, I’m telling you) and shared her results. What she discovered were the top 3 struggles creative and performing musicians have, and they are:
1. Time Management
3. Pain issues
Can you relate to these? I’m sure we all can, and I believe it’s on point with what full time musicians struggle with or stress about. So what can you do to alleviate some of the pressure from these common problem areas?
This issue coming up reminded me of the days when I was part of a summer chamber music festival, and we had intensive rehearsal days. We only a month to learn 4 new pieces with 3 other people you’ve never performed or played with. Your body goes through so much especially when your heart and mind is determined to write that song, perfect that phrase or make it the best performance of your life.
But, you can’t have the best performance of your life if you aren’t taking care of yourself. If you know that you are in for a long day of rehearsals or a marathon of songwriting, schedule some time to relax in a way that works for you. Take a hot bath, get a massage (or ask a friend for one), take a few minutes in the sauna – whatever your options are, choose one and stick to it. Your body and your playing will thank you.
The thing to remember with having worry or anxiety is that you are NOT alone. Even if you are winning Grammys, there will be moments of worry that can take over. It is not forever.
The best thing you can do is release your worry to a friend or support group. Share your struggles, share your fears, and you will find others who will help you through it. Be reassured that you are not the only one and it can lighten the worry for you.
If you are having intense anxiety, you will want to seek a professional to help ease the tension you have. It’s important again, to take care of yourself. You cannot do everything you need to do with anxiety in your mind.
Even though we all have the same hours in the day as Beyonce, there’s a second part of that line that we all forget. Beyonce has a TEAM behind her that build all the pillars required to reach her goals. No musician who is successful gets there or stays there alone.
Time management is what I do for my clients as a virtual assistant. If you don’t have an assistant on your team, I wrote a few posts on time management, why it’s important and ways to keep yourself organized with daily tasks. Check out the posts below:
-Don’t Let It Slide (Keep Yourself Organized)
-How Musicians Waste Time (Coordinate a rehearsal faster)
-5 Benefits of a Virtual Assistant
What’s a small step that can help you quickly change that way you manage your time? Take the first 30 minutes of the day to plan your day with a to-do list and by each tasks, specify how much time you will spend on that task. Stick to it and your day will be structured and more productive.
I’m interested, can you relate to these three common struggles musicians face? What do you do to help yourself and keep yourself productive? Come over to my blog and let me know. Maybe you have a special trick that everyone could use!
I really hope that if you are feeling pain, worry or stress about time management that what I’ve shared will help you along your journey. There’s no joy in doing what you love if you are struggling the entire way. Address the struggles and you can find the freedom in doing what you love!
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and Happy Labor Day.