Beating Procrastination in Music Study


in Methods

Have you ever asked:

How do I stop procrastinating and just practice the music elements I need to study?

I've just relearned a technique and I'm going to experiment with it on myself and family. It's called an accountability buddy.

That accountability buddy can be a friend, parent, teacher, mentor, or even a boss. So every morning you need to email or text this friend or teacher with 2 or 3 super important things you are absolutely going to get done today or tomorrow. In the evening you get to follow up with that email, text or phone call and confirm that you got them done.

That evening text is a summary of some daily music study habits that you want your friend or teacher to hold you accountable for.

That daily habit list might be some combination of items like these:

Do 1 thing to improve finger dexterity when playing my instrument
Get away from the computer and get some mind clearing exercise
Work on expressing one statement in a new song
Do something creative or artistic that feeds my soul with composition

So every day you let your accountability buddy know how you did against this checklist.

How This Can be Extremely Useful for You

It forces you to focus on 3 BIG things.  If you have ever noticed it is incredibly easy to get sidetracked with a dozen other little things that don't matter as much.

This technique forces you to focus and not procrastinate.

This will help you avoid and not fall into bad habits as often. This is a seriously cool system because it's simple and it works.

It may seem a little scary at first, but you are allowed to learn to make it work. Think of it this way. If you create a list of 4 things you need to be held accountable for and you have to report that you only got 2 of them done, then you did accomplish more than if you hadn't put that goal out there.

Your accountability buddy will then be able to help you ask, what kept you from completing the other goals and what might you change for tomorrow. Maybe you need to start with just 2, add a third in a couple of days and maybe 4 next week.

Where to Start

First identify the 5, 6, or 10 things you are working on for your music. Then decide each day what 2 or 3 of those things you will accomplish for the next day.

Find a buddy to help you stay accountable. Explain your plan to move ahead faster with your studies and you want their help to make it happen. Agree to be their buddy a well and do the same for them in what ever their pursuit might be.

Every night decide what your going to do the next day, then that morning send that email or text and go to it.

I actually recalled how a teacher used this idea with the phone. It worked well, but didn't keep it up. I like the idea of using text or email, it keeps it simple to the point and short and can have wildly successful results.

For you teachers out there, consider setting up a gmail address just for this short of thing with your students. I'm sure there's a few logistics you'll have to work out about responding and the like. However, it could be that one little thing that helps get them over the hump.

Featured Music Resources

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