Module 3

"Time Management Strategies"

"Time Management Strategies"


The purpose of this module is to provide musicians with the knowledge and skills that allow planning, organizing and managing working time effectively.

Watch and discuss

By the end of this module, you should be able to...


  • Acquire time planning strategies to structure their professional activities.
  • Identify ‘time thieves’ and eliminate them to improve time management.


  • Develop skills to better organize daily work and activity planning.
  • Plan and set priorities as key elements to manage time efficiently.


  • Focus on self-awareness regarding time management and self-motivation to implement techniques to improve results.


Time Management

Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.

It involves a juggling act of various demands upon a person relating to work, social life, family, hobbies, personal interests, and commitments with the finiteness of time. 


Planning plays a pivotal role in effective time management. An individual needs to plan his day well in advance to make the best possible use of time. 

Planning gives an individual a sense of direction in the organization and motivates him to complete assignments on time.

Planning helps an individual to know what all he needs to do urgently and what all can be done a little later.


Prioritizing daily tasks is key to successful time management. When you prioritize, you make sure you accomplish the most important tasks first. 

With the proper utilization of time and prioritization of activities, one can easily provide a better quality of work. 

Prioritization helps you focus on important tasks by keeping them in the highest priority which enables you to work on them with full attention and focus. Hence, the quality of the work is improved.


By tracking time, it is possible to know how much time is left before the deadline of a specific project. This will help you to be in tune with the schedule that has been initially planned.

Setting deadlines in time management can also be essential when it comes to discipline. 

Another importance of setting deadlines is that it will help to determine the necessary improvements. You can learn from the time that has been tracked from past projects. 

Which are the most common Time Management difficulties for musicians?

Some common Time Management difficulties

  • Being a Perfectionist

  • Not Being Able to Concentrate and Maintain Focus

  • Doing Everything On Your Own

  • Being Busy Instead of Effective

  • Not Managing Distractions

  • Not Breaking Down Big Projects

How can musicians overcome these time management difficulties?

How can musicians overcome time management difficulties?

Being a Perfectionist


  • Get comfortable with imperfection.
    Diligence is a good trait, but sometimes it may take more of your time and effort than required. Attention to detail is also a great one but it can be very time-consuming. Whenever you find yourself putting too much effort into your task, take a break and ask yourself: “Am I using my time wisely? Am I being productive?”. It’s often the case that a handful of imperfect tasks bring more results than one task that meets your high standards.
  • Reflect on your progress regularly.
    Review your performance on a weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis. Could you be less fussy about some of the tasks with little or no damage to the outcome? Can you think of tasks that you avoided or put too much effort into due to fear of making a mistake?
  • Take some pressure off yourself.
    If you want to accomplish more in less time, allow yourself to be less perfect and concentrate and what’s important.
  • Ask for perspective and support.
    Show your work to your manager or supervisor regularly to learn if you are doing good and if the current quality of work is sufficient. Be open with your intention to become a more productive employee and be ready to take criticism.

How can musicians overcome time management difficulties?

Doing Everything On Your Own

  • Outsource.
    Consider outsourcing a part of your efforts. Weigh the opportunity costs and you may find out that your time and energy are more crucial for your success than your money.
  • Automate your routines.
    Automated routines will save weeks of your time in the long run.
  • Delegate.
    Consider delegating. You will have more time on tasks that require your direct involvement.

How can musicians overcome time management difficulties?

Not Being Able to Concentrate & Maintain Focus

  • Know thy enemy.
    Identify workplace distractions that interfere with your ability to focus and be productive.
  • Take better care of your health.
    Sleep deprivation can easily disrupt concentration, not to mention other cognitive functions, such as memory and attention. Regular physical activity improves concentration and attention and maintains brain health.
  • Use your peak performance time.
    Identify the most productive parts of the day and use them to schedule the most demanding tasks.
  • Take breaks.
    Breaks are not only fun, but they also refresh your mind, replenish mental resources, restore motivation and reduce decision fatigue.
  • Set daily goals.
    Our brains like short-term goals due to physiological reasons. When we succeed at something, our brain releases dopamine, making us feel more concentrated and inspired to experience this sense of accomplishment once again.
  • Practice single-tasking.
    Multitasking has many adverse effects on your concentration and performance: it slows down your progress, makes you prone to making mistakes, stresses you out and more. Instead, focus on one task at a time.
  • Limit your Internet and social media time.

How can musicians overcome time management difficulties?

Not Managing Distractions

  • Define your boundaries.
    Make time for phone calls and emails, use chat statuses to communicate when you are available, and, most importantly, schedule time for important tasks that require your deep focus and attention.
  • Learn to say no.
    Avoid participating in chit-chats and postpone low-priority tasks. When you say no, explain your reasons professionally and provide an alternative.
  • Schedule work time and play time.
    In your calendar, schedule fixed, self-care activities, guilt-free time (e.g., socializing, hobbies), and then schedule work time.

How can musicians overcome time management difficulties?

Not Breaking Down Big Projects

  • Break it down.
    Whenever you start a new task, break it down into steps that you can complete in 20-30 minutes, even if they look trivial. This approach is especially useful for those who prefer working in tiny intervals.
  • Develop a logical sequence.
    The easiest tasks may seem more attractive, but you should better complete them in order, one by one, which will bring you closer to your project’s goal.
  • Review your progress regularly.
    When working on a big assignment, you may not always feel the progress. Break your tasks into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step checklist, or use task boards to visualize your progress.

Time Management Case Study: Florian

This case study will show you how we helped a “creative thinking” type person to increase his personal productivity.

Managing Time


Mapping out your plan isn’t just essential, It is literally the answer to effective time management. It is the foundation on which the rest of your time management strategies are built.

Establish your day, week, month and year plan including goals and deadlines.


It’s important to understand that not all of your tasks hold the same weight. By treating all of your tasks as equally important, you are adding unnecessary stress to your day because while you work on one task, you will naturally feel as though there is something else you need to be doing or checking.

Take a look at all of the tasks you have to do – determine which tasks are most aligned with your goals and do those tasks first.


Don’t Try To Do It All Yourself. You must get some of the many things you need to do off of your plate so that you can have room for long-term planning and creative time. You must learn to delegate and get the stuff that stresses you out (or the stuff that a superfan or a band member can handle) off of your plate.

Make a list of tasks you can delegate and who could handle them.

Time Management Tips for Musicians

Embrace brain dumps

It’s very easy to get all caught up in the business stuff that comes along with being a musician. And sometimes all that business stuff floating around in your brain makes it really hard to focus on creativity and your craft as a musician, songwriter, and performer. That’s where brain dumps come in.
Getting these thoughts out will allow you to use your brain power for what it’s really meant for: music.

Once you’ve finished a brain dump, you can go back later and organize it into tasks, to-do lists, and file away any other information in its proper place.

Time Management Tips for Musicians

Do a Time Analysis

Before you change anything, you need to get a good idea of where you are right now. For that, we’re going to do an analysis of your current time management situation.

What is Your #1 Task?

Once you’ve completed your time analysis, it’s time to optimize your time. Time management is really about thinking strategically and focusing on your most important tasks. To do that, you need to know your big goals.

Now, divide projects up into tasks. Ask yourself, “What are the steps I need to take to get this done?” These will become your #1 tasks which you can start scheduling into your daily to-do lists.

Time Management Tips for Musicians

Make To-Do Lists

They help you get a bird’s eye view of what needs to get done, and it helps you feel a sense of forward momentum and accomplishment as you start to cross things off.

Think about these questions:

  • How important is this task?
  • How much will it move me towards completing my project or goal?
  • How long will it take?
  • How much focus or brainpower will it take?

Know Your Focus Time

Once you know your focus time, you can schedule your #1 task in that time slot and really make the most of your heightened productivity.

Action Plan

1 – PLAN

Whether it is at the top of the year, quarter, month, week or day, you should have a plan of attack.

This plan should include:

  • Goals and deadlines
  • A comprehensive list of tasks that are required of you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Content schedule.


Determine which tasks are most aligned with your goals and do those tasks first.

By accomplishing the most important tasks first, you remove the stress and resistance of handling other tasks later on because you know you’ve already handled the things that are most critical.

3 – DO

You can’t do any of this till you stop procrastinating!

Are you a procrastinator?

Many of us are and it’s always a work in progress to overcome.