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Thread: Musicians with full-time jobs..How do you manage everything?

  1. #11
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    One word COCAINE!

    Just kiddin

    The dream when I was young was the day job was just a temporary necessary evil that would end when I "made it" ...error!

    As cartoonist Allen Saunders once wrote “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans,” and then John Lennon tweaked it and said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,”...
    Either way it's a fact Jack.

    How you manage your time is based not only on your day job but other things as others have mentioned above...or didn't mention ...ahem.....WITZENDOZ (You bastard!) e.g. You own a house, you have children, oh yeah and a girl friend or wife, a parent with Old Timers...the list goes on and on and changes day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year.

    So it's all about priorities....and having a plan...If you don't have a plan you have planned to fail....OH LORD! I have read Waaaaay too many self help books and time management courses.

    There is one book I highly recommend to everyone I meet that want's to do a better job of getting their shit together...and it's the kind of book that doesn't hurt re-reading every few years as we tend to fall back into old habits easily..
    THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Steven Covey.... The other coincidentally being tied in with the number 7 The Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews...Good shit said the fly!

    HERE's a link
    to a readers digest version of time management that hit on a lot of the cylinders of the Seven Habits..

    You map out the time allotted in order of importance and then schedule it as best you can...If you are a solo dude it's much easier with each added member another layer of scheduling complexity is added.

    When I was young and had zero responsibilities I played in a band that practiced 4 nights a week for 4 or 5 hours...then we'd head home and do our day jobs and come back for more...The weekends were gig time ...most of the time insane schedules.

    40 years later I play in a 70's cover band that hardly EVER plays out and the target day for practice is Thursdays for 3 hours...of which we actually are able to get together once or twice if we're lucky a month..

    My "back room" play for me is VERY unstructured..I now have the luxury of working from home and am self employed so I go play when I want to go play...as long as the wife isn't home........she gets pissed that I "get lost" in the back room..

    mo money mo money...I tell her that's where the big bucks is gonna come...but for some reason me being 64 she is less optimistic about that than when she met me 40 years ago...

    So back to that bastard WITZENDOZ...In looking at your incredible schedule I have to guess the following...

    No Kids
    No house that you must maintain
    No significant other
    No parents that need your assist
    Maybe you have a dog, cat or bird

    Dude you're an animal but if I was able to pull off that schedule there is no way I could stay happily married...She'd murder me in my sleep
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

    Creating audible vibrations to stimulate and entertain mankind and other small cave dwelling furry animals.

    "The secret to a long life is to live a long time" .... "You can quote me on that" TAE

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazuray View Post
    Has anyone on this forum overcame this? Do you just accept being exhausted all of the time? I really don't want to quit doing music but I realize that I am not investing enough time in it. I don't know how to manage everything well enough to spend enough time with it.
    I don't know if it's something that you can really overcome. I think at best, the music side ends up being a piecemeal process that you try and squeeze in-between your job and your life. If you have a lot of "life" responsibilities and/or other interests, than it squeezes out the music even more. I mean...like if you have a wife, kids and you want to devote a lot of time to them when you are home...that cuts out the music even more.

    You can burn the candle at both ends and try to jam it all in, but I think at some point you burn out and something suffers, unless you're one of those real wired people who can't sit still and survives on 5 hours sleep.

    That said...living the life of the "starving musician" might sound adventurous and fun when you're in your '20s...but it wears thin quickly as you get older. I know a couple of guys in their late forties who still live from hand to mouth trying to survive on a gig here and there. There's no glory or pleasure in living like that, IMO.

    I realized early on that a good day job can fund the music/recording, so I took that path, and it certainly has allowed me to have a recording studio that I only would have dreamed of without a day job to pay for it...but it's been hard to find the steady time and motivation to put it into use. I've also wanted to get back to playing out many times, but I know if I attempted that, I would have cut time from my own recording interests. So it's been about making some concessions, though I did that consciously, knowing that I could keep building out my studio setup with the day job.
    Now I'm at a point where I can give up the job so I can have all my time to myself, most of which I will spend on the music/recording. I would not have been able to survive if I tried that earlier in my life...but now I can, and I think I still have plenty of time to enjoy focusing on music and recording 7 days a week.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazuray View Post
    I am an aspiring producer and singer-songwriter. I have been involved in the music scene in various capacities over the years. I have had one consistent problem over the years that is getting in the way of my success: finding the time and energy to practice.
    It takes a great deal of self discipline. I have been self employed and work out of my home going on close to twenty years. This is my work flow, 6 days a week.

    Up at 1am coffee going at 1:05. Work till 5:30am and head to the kitchen or depending on what I am doing on the PC, I will have the following done by 5:45am. Unload dishwasher, load dishwasher. Have the wife's tea waiting at 6am. Spend 30 min with her till she starts getting ready to go to work. Back in the office till 6:55am when I start her car. Walk her out at 7 and head back to the office.

    From 7am till noon, work. 12 noon do laundry if needed and take out food for dinner. 12:30, back in office and crunch till 4:45pm. Go to kitchen and fix dinner. 5:30 eat and chill with the wife till 6 pm when her shows come on. Then back to the office and finish around 7. In bed around 10:30 or 11 and back up at 1am. I do knock off at 12 on Saturday and I never work on Sunday.

    As mentioned before, family always comes first and if it ain't on the "to do list", unless it is an emergency, it goes to the back of the line. Working from home is both a blessing as well as a hardship. All your buddies will want to come over as well as have you meet them for lunch, or want to have a bull session via the phone.

    I threat it just as if I was on someone else s clock and although I am the best boss I have ever had, I am also the most demanding. Without self discipline, it would be impossible. But this is what works for me, it may not work for you. There are many days when everything is finished by noon. That is when I work on non profit jobs. They already know I will get to them when time permits and they really don't blow up my phone wanting to know when their project will be completed.

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    So you live on less than 2 1/2 hours of sleep each night...???
    I wouldn't call that self-discipline...I call that crazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    So you live on less than 2 1/2 hours of sleep each night...???
    I wouldn't call that self-discipline...I call that crazy.
    I have been tested 5 or 6 times throughout my life. About a year ago, I was classified as a "short sleeper". Something new I guess. I will be 57 in March. I take no blood pressure or high cholesterol medicine. At the most I may eat 3 or 4 Advil a week due to having both my knees partially replaced last Nov and Dec. At the hospital at 6am, on the table at 7am, back at the house at 11am and off the walker at 1pm. My doctor is still freaking out. He even wrote a paper on it. Said it was the "damnedest thing he ever saw".

    My father and his father were like this. They say it is hereditary. As a teenager, before cable, I read a lot. When I was in the military, I made a killing taking peoples CQ duty. 24 on and 24 off. I would run 4 or 5 times a week doing this and never missed a formation. I would grab 2 or 3 hrs sleep while my runner stayed on duty. When I was up, he got to sleep the rest of the night.

    As Sheldon on the "Big Bang Theory" often says, "My Mother had me tested, I'm not crazy".

    Attachment 100922

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    I can run on 4-5 hours sleep/night for several days, and be pretty functional during the daytime...but then I need to get a couple of nights of 8-9hr sleep to recharge...but it's a roller-coaster ride.
    When I can do steady 7 per night...I think that's when I feel best consistently.

  7. #17
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    Sleep is over rated....

    Wow Mack Caster 2 1/2 hours a day......yep you're an anomaly.

    When I do the international travel I can deal with 4 hours but it takes it toll after a few days....As I get older the memory is just not what it used to be and when I am sleep deprived it is worse..... I've been shooting to get 8 minimum but it is a rare I do... 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 average these days and I find myself getting tired mid day ...... I worked on 5 for years when I was younger but your 2 1/2 hours is bizarre.... "They Say" sleep has a lot to do with longevity. Did you Pops and Grand father live long lives?
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

    Creating audible vibrations to stimulate and entertain mankind and other small cave dwelling furry animals.

    "The secret to a long life is to live a long time" .... "You can quote me on that" TAE

  8. #18
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    @TAE , I need to clarify one of my previous statements. When I speak of self discipline, I am not referring to the amount of hrs you work, I am referring to the amount of hrs you have, to better your skills, regardless of what profession it may be, after everything else in your life is taken care of. If you only have three hrs at the end of the day, then it will be up to you to invest that time working on your adventures/skills/hobbies or if you just want to spend 1 hr doing so and the other two in front of the TV.

    I never knew my Grandfather but I did go to his funeral and he was 97 when he passed. My Father is 88, will be 89 in May and he is just as fit as the day he came off the drill field at Paris Island in Beaufort SC. The study I was involved in states that only 3% of the worlds population falls into this category of "Short Sleepers". The other 97% are classified as "Sleep Derivation Syndrome".

    Here is a little more incite into this/my world if you want to learn more about it. Keep this in mind if you do read it. My doctor wrote his paper after he contacted my 2 days later asking me why I had not filled my three prescriptions for class a narcotic pain killers and at this time, I run three different companies as well as employ 8 others. Everything is done strictly by the book. Eight Is Too Much For 'Short Sleepers' : NPR.

    You can also just google short sleepers to find out the many others who are labeled this way. I can assure you, I posses neither their intelligents nor their finances.

  9. #19
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    Wow Mack Caster I'm jealous.. I'd really love to be able to get by on a few hours but it's not to be...I used to be a night owl and back in my Tile contracting days I had pulled off a couple 30 plus hour runs but I was pooped when I got to the finish line. I am intrigued by this short sleepers thing and will dig into it to understand it better.

    I Know that there are several great men like Einstein, Napolean, Kennedy and several others that could go many hours without sleep but they all incorporated the use of "power naps" which is something I do on occasion especially when I am acclimating from Asia to U.S. /U.S. to Asia jet lag...can really kick your butt. I'll set the alarm for 20 or 30 minutes...feel like I'm drugged when I first get back up but 20 minutes later I am recharged for a good 8 hours...

    With your Gramps and Pops living so long I guess that pretty much crushes the lack of sleep shorter life theory.

    Now you are operating on 2 1/2 hours sleep....That's crazy....I just started reading that NPR and the first person they speak of operates on 5 1/2 ....I absolutely operated well with this much sleep for years...over the last 5 I've been trying to get a little bit more because of the studies saying I needed it ....I go to sleep at 10:30 / 11 and wake up at 3 sometimes and have to do all kinds of meditation tricks to get back to sleep because my mind is going...Sometimes I get back to sleep sometimes I lay in bed and get up at 4 or 5....maybe I'm a short sleeper too. I sure do feel sleep is a waste of time other than needing it to get refreshed.

    BTW do use an alarm clock or do you just automatically wake up after 2 1/2 hours?
    Tomco Audio Electric ( TAE )

    Creating audible vibrations to stimulate and entertain mankind and other small cave dwelling furry animals.

    "The secret to a long life is to live a long time" .... "You can quote me on that" TAE

  10. #20
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    @TAE , I really wish I could sleep more then I do. I even tried taking ambian or however you spell it, prescribed by my doc. It had little effect and just made me sluggish while still being awake. While I do get a lot done, being able to relax is something that evades me. Regardless of where I am or what I am doing, I am always thinking about the next project. Even on vacations, I will do things with the family but when they are winding down at the end of the day, I am writing notes or pecking away at the laptop once everyone goes to sleep. As far as the alarm clock goes, not really. If I do over sleep, it is never past 2am.

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