My 4 Life Hacks To Help Your Music Life

Most of us work in a studio at home these days, and while walking the 10 steps to work in the morning seems like a dream, there are mental consequences that can occur as a result. Not interacting with people for long periods of time can easily lead to depression, while the many interruptions that digital communications bring can lead to poor work habits. Over the years I’ve worked crazy long hours just like many of you, and spent literally years without a vacation, and that took a toll on my mental health and relationships. As a result, I’ve developed my own personal 4 rules (many call them life hacks) for healthy living in the music world that I’d like to share with you.

4 Life Hacks for your music life

Rules #1: No Phone Calls Or Texts While Eating

Meal time is my time and no one else’s. There’s almost nothing in life that can’t wait 20 or 30 minutes for a reply. I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve had lunch or dinner cut short because a client needed me to drop whatever I was doing to tend to some artificial emergency. I can’t remember even one case were whatever it was couldn’t wait. Do yourself a favor, enjoy your food and your company (if you’re eating with someone else) and turn your phone’s notifications off when you dine. You’ll thank me later.

Rule #2: Go Out For Lunch Every Day

This rule has been a lifesaver for me in so many ways. The one thing about working from home is that you can get so much into your work that you forget to eat, or miss the enjoyment of a nice sunny day. I go out to lunch every single day just to break out of the studio focus and clear my mind. I try to schedule lunch with a friend or client, but just being by myself is usually enough for a reset for the rest of the day. Having food brought in from the outside doesn’t count. You need to get out into the fresh air for a bit for this to work.

Rule #3: Take Regular Vacations

And speaking of a reset, I’ve found that at least a short vacation every quarter helps my productivity more than I ever believed it could. When I get back to work I’m much more productive with a clear mind, and I’m usually armed with a host of new ideas as well. Of course I take a laptop with me to keep in touch and put out any fires, but I make sure to have some fun too. I didn’t take a vacation for 25 years, so I guess you can say I’m making up for it now, but regularly scheduled getaways will definitely help you improve your focus.

Rule #4: Automatic Lights Out

When you’re 25 years old you can easily work consecutive 16 hour days and revel in the chance to do so, but that really doesn’t help your productivity. I’ve found that the traditional 8 hour day is still the best for keeping focus clean, and going beyond that just leads to work that you’ll probably have to redo anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind working more than 8 hours if I’ve had a dinner break, but it’s usually just an extra hour to clean a few things and and prep for tomorrow.

Just to make sure that I don’t overdo it, all the lights in my studio are digital and timed to turn off at 8PM. Sure, I can easily turn them back on from my phone app, but when they go dark it’s a clear sign that it’s time for me to stop for the day. Occasionally something has an emergency turn-around that keeps me on the clock, but that rarely happens if you stay focused during day and stay off your phone.

These 4 life hacks may not be for everyone, but they’ve not only helped me stay more productive, but helped me turn out better product as well. Of course there’s a whole science related to life hacks, but I developed these on my own way too late in life after I squandered too much time. See if they work for you!

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