Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finding Time For Activities

So in addition to running my business, Bneato (professional organizing) and blogging daily for Apartment Therapy, I also play drums for a Los Angeles band called Kissing Cousins. First, a little bit of background on the drumming. I had always wanted to play an instrument so at the age of 27, I started taking lessons. Ridiculous? Maybe, but I thought I'd be decent if I practiced. At the same time, my best friend asked me to be the drummer of her newly formed all girl band. In the beginning, I was terrible (but we were just starting and it didn't really matter). It was all in the name of fun and I was having a blast. I practiced on Monday nights (when we had band practice) and that was about it. Slowly, over time, I learned a few things but I still wasn't very good.

Then, last Fall, Richard Swift (amazing musician and producer) agreed to record our first full length album. While I didn't record drums on the record, I had to start learning all of the songs for upcoming shows and the CD's release. The songs were a lot harder which meant I really had to bring it (practice, practice practice). Because I wasn't used to practicing, there would be days that I'd drag my feet to get to the practice space, talk myself out of going and altogether forget to practice for the day. So I decided I needed to start applying things from my time management background to become more productive with my drumming practice.

1. Put the activity in your schedule. Always take a look at your schedule the night before and make sure your to-do list allows you enough time to fit in your (drumming, blogging, writing etc.).

2. Create accountability. I borrow cymbals from another band that shares my practice space. In total, there are 4 bands that use our practice space. Music equipment (esp. cymbals are super expensive). So when I do borrow them, I'm supposed to take them off each stand and return them to their case. But, if I know I'm going to practice the next day (and no band is coming in that evening to practice, I leave the cymbals out). That way, if I try and talk myself out of going downtown to the rehearsal space the following day to practice--I can't. I have to drive down to play drums because I've given myself the accountability of not returning the cymbals to their case. For you--accountability might be promising a friend you're going to do something. Whatever it may be--hold yourself accountable.

3. Write your activity down on a bright colored post-it and display it in a place you'll see it daily.


  1. helpful! I play the fiddle but have SUCH a hard time making a regular scheduled time for me to practice. I write it in my planner but I write it down so often it lost its importance in the book haha. Must work on that.

    Richard Swift is awesome!

  2. @Michelle--I've also thought of writing down on post-its the feeling I have after getting a song down pat (or the rush I get after playing/seeing a good show). Those feelings are super strong for me and capturing them in a few words on a post it might also be helpful...

  3. Michelle-Michelle, you are full of surprises, and such wonderful surprises! Multifaceted! I need to discover time, and yes, that means get organized....OMG. I hope reading your blog organizes me. I think it is influencing me. I just ordered some folders yesterday.

    Happy Drumming!


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