Thursday, September 9

The Four Hour Work Week(Musicians's Edition)

The amount of activity that can be accomplished with focused energy is truly amazing. The Four Hour Work Week written by Tim Ferris shares some great insight that can be applied to musicians. Below is a summary of lessons to be noted.

1. Have a Low Information Diet- Tim argues that we are all taking in far too much information than we need to be – the news we watch, magazines we read, and many of the people we speak to will never benefit us in life and so it is just wasting our time. He applies an 80:20 rule where 20% of the information we take is useful, where as 80% is not, the key is to identify that 80% and remove it completely.

This is as applicable to musicians as anyone, but I think noticing the 20% of valuable information is certainly the key here – instead of looking at fancy new gear, checking out music videos, and browsing Facebook, invest your time learning and actioning the things that will help you to succeed as a musician.

2. Outsource Your Work – In reality, we as musicians spend so much time doing things that we don’t need to be doing. I know I have spent days in the past putting together spreadsheets of music industry contacts, sending demos, and designing artwork when I could have just paid someone else to do it at a cost that is less than what the final product (or my time) was worth.

The point is that you only have so many hours in a day, and there are only so many tasks that you NEED to do, many of the task you do someone else could be doing for you, so free up your time by outsourcing them and only doing what you need to do.

I would recommend websites like Fiverr for outsourcing small tasks like artwork generation, video editing, data mining, amongst other things. For outsourcing web projects I recommend oDesk, and for large scale data mining I recommend Mechanical Turk.

3. Improve Your Productivity – It’s a common misconception that if you work more then you get more results. Tim urges that we focus on effectiveness over efficiency, why sit at a desk for 5 hours getting gigs when you could get more gigs in less time by being more productive.

The trick to becoming more productive is to limit distractions, increase motivation and work in short bursts. I recommend writing on a post it note every time you go to work on your music what it is you plan to do – maybe it’s ‘contact 20 music promoters, film a video interview and get some new artwork made’, then reduce every potential distraction you can, remind yourself why you’re doing it (I find having a collage of pictures of things you want to achieve by your computer helps) and finally give yourself a short amount of time to do it – you’re more likely to get all of the above done in 2 hours, than say 6 because you will force yourself to be productive.

4. Create a Passive Income – Tim states in his book that you need the freedom and independence of an information business to be truly free and able to enjoy the four hour work week lifestlye. This is totally possible for musicians – create a product range that you can sell online and leave breadcrumbs in the form of videos, articles, and die hard fans driving people to your products so that even if you do take a two week vacation to the Bahamas, you’ll still wake up in your hammock every morning with a nice little wake up message from Paypal!

Source: The MusiciansGuide

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1 comment:

  1. You did a great job in posting this information. I did learned a lot. Thanks much for sharing.


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