As musicians and artists, balancing our work with the rest of the activities throughout our daily lives can be hard to keep up with. Work is never-ending, chaotic even. And if you also have a job on top of this, it can seem almost impossible to get as much fulfillment as you would like to. Over the years working as a full-time musician, Iʼve come up with a stern set of guidelines that I follow to try and maintain a healthy balance of work while making sure that Iʼm saving time for myself. Iʼm here to share some of my routine with you all.
Maintaining your relationships (spouse, family, friends) is probably the most important factor that determines our overall happiness. People have to be social in order to get that good energy from others while also getting out of their own heads. I try to set aside x-amount of time per week from my home studio to set out to meet with friends. Whether itʼs a movie or playing some video games, itʼs a good way to catch up with whatʼs going on in their world since Iʼm always so focused on my creativity. My family doesnʼt live close but I always make sure that Iʼm in touch with them via texting or FaceTime. Something as simple as a conservation with your Mom could be a good start on realigning all of your displaced energy. Start by setting a goal to go out at least once a week then gauge from that. It will definitely get easier as you begin to better your time management and organization skills.
“If youʼre touring consistently, make sure that youʼre including health-conscious food items on your rider. It makes a big difference in your performances if you’re eating apples rather than a pizza.”
You need proper energy to be in peak condition. I realized that after long hours of working that I would be incredibly tired even though Iʼd be sitting down for the majority of the day. Part of the problem, for me, was that I wasnʼt always eating the best. I wanted fast food to keep up with my similarly paced lifestyle. Once I realized that, I decided to make a change. Healthy food will give you the substance that you require. Get into that habit of buying groceries once every two weeks and plan to cook most of your meals. If youʼre not the biggest chef in the kitchen, pick up a cookbook! It will definitely change how you look at food and it could even become another thing you become passionate about along with your music. If youʼre touring consistently, make sure that youʼre including health-conscious food items on your rider. It makes a big difference in your performances if you’re eating apples rather than a pizza. If at a restaurant, be cautious and mindful of what you choose. Everyoneʼs body is different so find what works best for you. If you slip up and eat something really unhealthy, itʼs okay. Just try to not make a habit of it and stick to your dietary guns per-se.
“A trip to go workout can totally shift your focus back in the right direction if you feel like your creative energy has been off.”
Exercise is everything. Since Iʼm sitting down in a chair for most of the day, I have to make time, either in the morning or at night, to make sure I make a daily trip to the gym. I pay $20 a month for unlimited access to everything that the gym offers including saunas and message lounges. A trip to go workout can totally shift your focus back in the right direction if you feel like your creative energy has been off. Try and plan for at least three days with an hour worth of exercise. If you feel like itʼs benefitting you, add more time that youʼre comfortable with. Once you get your routine down, make sure it stays a constant thing. One week of not going could make you slack off and you donʼt want that. Also, if youʼre traveling for a show and your gym isnʼt closeby, utilize the fitness center in the hotel. Itʼs almost always empty and you can certainly get a decent workout.
Eight hours. You NEED your daily eight hours of sleep to maintain any kind of good environment for your work. I have some friends in the business that swear that getting less than the recommended amount actually sparks their creativity. For me, it has the total opposite effect. I always end up feeling groggy and my ideas tend to not be as concise as I would like them to be. To get myself into a good sleeping pattern, I stop making music around 4PM and try to do what must be done by the end of the day at 6PM (cook, clean up the workspace, gym, etc.) so that I can be in bed by 10PM. Once I got into a consistent routine of this and getting a healthy amount of sleep, I noticed that waking up earlier worked wonders for me. It might not have the same effect for everyone but I do recommend a least giving it a try and see how it works for you.
For a while, I got into the nasty habit of just winging everything that I had to do throughout my day. No real set in stone plans to follow. Iʼll get to it when I get to it. I knew I had to change that way of thinking so I started making a list of thing I needed to be addressed throughout my week in my iPhoneʼs notes. Eventually, it got to a point to where I had a lot on my plate so I bought a journal so that Iʼd have everything handwritten in front of me in full detail. Also, my manager Jordan is really great at utilizing Google Calendar so just in case I forget about something that I have coming up, Iʼll always have a reminder. Thatʼs what helped me break out of that mentality of thinking that things can be handled on the fly without care.
For me, following these set guidelines have increased my creative workflow and personal life tremendously. Iʼm sharing this with you all because I know how tough it may seem to keep all of your ducks in a row and still maintain your sanity. If this helps you gain some type of stability in your fast-moving life, Iʼm glad to have been of some assistance.
Your friend, LAKIM