One thing I've found from talking to literally thousands of musicians during my time as a music adviser, is many find it hard to dedicate much time to music. Other things in life often ‘get in the way.' Work, family, and other commitments are all things that need to be done, but can stop you from pursuing your dream of a successful music career. There are things you can do to save time and be more efficient, but it's not always enough.
So if you've got a limited amount of time to dedicate to your art form, is it still worth pursuing? Can you still hit your music related goals with only a limited amount of time each week? And how much time should you really be spending on your music? This is what we'll look at today. Before we do however, it's important you remember one thing:
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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Working Smart Is Just As Important As Putting In The Hours
Putting in 40 hour weeks won't mean a thing if you don't do the the right things. If you spend your 40 hours adding random people on Facebook and emailing people telling them to check your music out, you're simply wasting your time on things that aren't going to help your music in any real way.
I've talked multiple times about how you can promote your music effectively (See the guide at the bottom of this post) and what mentality you need to do well in this business (See the link above), so have a look around this site for more information and tips on what you should be doing.
How Many Hours A Week Should You Be Putting Into Your Music Career?
The simple answer is as many as you can! There's never going to be a ‘one size fits all' answer to this questions; everyone has different circumstances and everyone has different needs in terms of what needs to be done. That said, I can help you determine if you're putting in as much time as you should be. To determine this, let's look at whether or not you've got your priorities in order.
Getting Your Priorities Straight
If you want your music career to take of, you need to prioritize it over TV, computer games & the like – Tweet This
Yes we all like to relax and watch a bit of TV here and there. Maybe play a computer game at the end of the week to let your mind loose. That said, remember that every minute you're involved in this kind of thing means time not spent on making your music career work.
To be clear, I'm not saying you should give up on TV or computer games. What I am saying however, is it's all about getting the right balance. Switching your mind off for say half an hour a day with TV is fine. But if you come home from work and don't do anything but watch TV and eat food, you're simply not dedicating enough time to your music.
In all honesty, watching hours of TV every night after work is fine if that's what you want to do. But once you make that choice, you've chosen to prioritize that lifestyle over your music career. As this is the case, don't expect to get very far with it at all.
If however you want to make it as a paid musician one day, you need to make the time. That means cutting down time on doing things that aren't really necessary to your life (Endless TV shows, computer games, excessively hanging out with your friends etc) and doing more of the things that will move things forward for you. Yes those things might be fun, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get where you want to be in life. And besides, making music's fun right?
If you're not willing to make those sacrifices, then I guess you don't really want it enough.
Can You Still Do Music If You've Kids Taking Up Your Time?
So, you have kids. Is it still possible to make time for music? The simple answer to this is yes! Let me explain…
Of course you won't be able to dedicate the same amount of time as someone who doesn't have kids and work, but you can still make the time to do things and work in manageable steps. It will just take longer.
Having other commitments makes it vital you do the right things in the short amount of time you've got. In fact, regardless of how much time you have, that should be your main aim either way.
If you've kids though, you may want to work at more manageable goals. Rather then multi-tasking and making songs, recording, looking for shows, networking and more all at the same time, focus on one thing at a time.
So do your songwriting while your kids are asleep. When you've enough songs, get a baby sitter one day and record a few of those songs at a studio. This can either be at the weekend or one evening after work. Once your songs are ready, aim to get gigs or get radio play, or possibly other exposure via online or (If you can make the time) offline networking. Really break things down into manageable steps.
You can still do it even if you've got children, so make it work for you!
Do You Dedicate Enough Time To Making Music?
Ok, so now you've read the above, I want you to ask yourself: Do I dedicate as much time to my music as I should be? Or can I spend more time on making it all work out?
Only you can answer that, and if you're honest with yourself, you should know if you're spending enough time on your music career.
While there isn't a set amount of time you should be dedicating to your music, the more you can put into doing the right things, the better your chances of succeeding are.