Simple Productivity Habits


Do you ever have a plan for a great practice session, and didn't quite finish everything you planned?....or, are having trouble reaching your goals in a timely manner?

Here's a great way to be productive with just one little step......the amazing pen and paper!....... Well, maybe the smart phone reminder or notes app nowadays.

When I was in school, I found that the amount and quality of my practice sessions improved vastly when I wrote a detailed list the night before. Here's what I mean: sometime after dinner, the night before your next day of big productivity, spend a little time jotting down all the things that you have to do the next matter how meaningless it may seem:

  • 6:00am....wakeup
  • breakfast
  • 6:35am....get ready to go to school or work.....blah, blah blah......

...and so on and so on......get all the everyday stuff written down for that next day. If you are fully in the tech age (which is probably everybody except me), using a smart phone will make this very easy. There are lots of "Notes or Reminder" apps, that can create a template of the repeating things that happen day to day or week to week, which can be added or subtracted to very easily. Get all that mundane junk in there with specific start and end times.

Now, once you have the "must-do's" taken care of, schedule the stuff you want to do around that. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if practicing snare drum technique is you goal from 7:30-9:30am, jot down the specific books, exercises, tempi and dynamic goals you hope to achieve. Or, you can use this scheduling time to write some specific exercises on your own to practice. The more detail you put into this, the better...that way, it's just one less thing  you have to do tomorrow, because, it's all written down!

You might find that once this is all written down (or typed), you just don't have enough time in one day to finish everything! That seems to happen quite a bit to me. Tough choices either need to get up earlier or perhaps rearrange or prioritize some of the tasks. Believe it or not, getting up early is a lot easier if you have a schedule that you need to adhere to....or maybe you're more of a night person...who knows.

You will find the more you make this a habit, the more productive you will become, hopefully reaching your goals quicker and with better results. Remember....practicing is supposed to be fun and make you feel IT DOWN.....and then, HAVE FUN!!! 

Timothy Genis