productivity

Virtual Office Hours Now Open!

I'm excited to announce that Virtual Office Hours are now open to the public! I'm offering free 30-minute conversations about the challenges of creative work, including: 

  • Finding and honoring your priorities
  • Making small + sustainable changes
  • Creating more ease and balance in your work and life
  • Developing and keeping healthy habits
  • Managing time
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Adjusting your mindset
  • Moving through creative blocks⠀

If you want some new perspective on any of these things, let's chat! 

Sign up for a free appointment here, and if you don't see any times that work for you, feel free to send me an email to see if we can work something out - I'd love to hear from you! 


And, it's getting SO CLOSE to Kickstarter launch day - just 4 days away. I have a really fun video that I can't wait to share with you on Tuesday, so stay tuned!

If you want to stay in the loop on the Kickstarter and upcoming gigs, be sure to hop on my mailing list here!

What’s your biggest challenge as a person who does creative work? Let me know in the comments. 

How I Keep It Together When I'm Busy

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Well, it’s springtime (only according to the calendar - several inches of snow are forecast for MN this weekend 😫), and that means crazy schedule time!

In the next 2 months, I’ll be: accompanying lots of recitals, playing many/various gigs, practicing and rehearsing for said gigs, planning out my summer teaching schedule, going to Boston for New Music Gathering May 17-19, marching in the May Day Parade, and attending a few family events.

Add to that: planning a recording project (for my first album!) and a Kickstarter (launching May 29), which is awesome, but overwhelming! I have to be really deliberate about how I spend my time, to avoid burnout/meltdown.

Earlier this week, I was thinking, “I don’t know what to blog about this week, I’m feeling really overwhelmed...clearly that’s what I should write about.” So, here is my arsenal of ways that I keep it together during crazy busy times (like right now):

SYSTEMS!

I would be the most hopelessly disorganized person without systems - my brain needs them!

This app is where all of my to-dos live. My system is loosely based on the book Getting Things Done, structured in columns (Today, Working On, This Week, Next Week, Waiting On, Planning Ahead, Done). I’m a really visual person, so I like being able to drag each card from one list to the next.

  • Zooming out to get the big picture

At the beginning of each month, I list all of the upcoming projects and events coming up in the next few months (including preparations like practice/rehearsal). I like to print out monthly calendar sheets and plot it all out. Then, I make cards in Trello for each task or project (you can also add checklists), and add due dates. It also has a calendar function, to visualize all of your due dates, but I don’t do this much because I like the analog version.

  • Reminders

I use the iPhone Reminders app all of the time for repeating tasks that I don’t want to forget (like making copies for teaching, or quarterly taxes), and also for things that I need to remember, but don’t want to take up space on my to-do list. If I’m out and about, I’ll set a reminder for a time that I know I’ll be home and at my computer, then I don’t have to worry about it.

TIME/TASK MANAGEMENT

  • Writing my to-do list in order

My planner has a space to write the 3 most important tasks first, and if I’m being really strategic, I write things in the actual order that I’ll do them, to avoid indecision.

  • Manageable to do list

I almost never succeed at this, but ideally, I would make a list that I could actually accomplish in a day. On the upside, I no longer beat myself up about not getting it all done.

  • Time blocking

I’ve tried this in the past, but I don’t do it very often, because it made my days feel too chopped up into pieces, and stressed me out a bit. I do schedule my piano practice time in the morning, though.

  • Pomodoro technique (4 cycles of 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes break, then a longer break)

This works really well for me when I want to harness the power of a time deadline. Bonus: if I actually get up from my chair to take those breaks, it’s really energizing.

  • Create barriers to procrastination and distraction

If I have to, I put my phone in another room, use the Self-Control app (free!) to block distracting websites, and close my email tab until a specified time (email is not an emergency). I also have almost all notifications turned off on both my phone and computer.  

  • Scheduling according to energy

I gauge how I feel each day, but generally plan on doing tasks that require more complex thought when I have the most energy (for me, that’s in the morning, or right after a walk), and save tasks like email for mid-afternoon when I have less energy.

  • Batching tasks

I plan all of my lessons for the week at one time, try to write multiple blog posts in a row, etc. Studies have shown that each time we switch tasks, we waste 17 minutes in the process - if that’s true, it’s a wonder that we get anything done?  

  • Embrace external accountability for important but not urgent tasks -

I have Obliger tendencies (see Gretchen Rubin's 4 Tendencies for an explanation), so I either say publicly that I’ll do something, or I also have a friend that I check in with monthly for accountability and mutual encouragement!

PRIORITIZING

  • Figure out my non-negotiable tasks, habits, and activities

For me, this is exercise, cooking breakfast, spending time with my partner (he’s also super busy, as a grad student), etc. I may have to let some things go temporarily (like seeing shows, social events, or starting new projects), or even permanently.

  • Stop overcomplicating

I have a tendency to make things harder than they need to be, so I try stop and ask myself if I’m overcomplicating, and whether I need to be doing everything I originally had planned on! 

  • Simplify non-work areas of my life

Let’s be real, this translates to me wearing the same clothing more often, and cleaning less often, but it could also apply to delegating or postponing things until I’m less busy.

MINDSET

  • Be kind to myself

This one is the most important! Being hard on myself when I can’t do it all (no one can!) does not help at all. 

  • Using positive mantras like "I have as much time as I need" to quiet my brain.

  • Accepting that I have less time for creative work

I certainly haven’t been writing as much music as last year, when I did 2 100 Day Projects, but these things go in seasons. I generated a lot of work then, and now I’m working on doing something with it, so naturally I can’t (and might not want to) be creating a lot (and that’s okay). These tips are super helpful for fitting in as creative time as possible.

  • Remind myself that resistance and overwhelm are normal.

If I expect that resistance is part of working really hard, it's easier to handle. I don’t have to want to do the work, I just have to do the work.

  • Thinking about only one thing at a time

I know that I expend a lot of energy thinking about and projecting into the future, anticipating how overwhelmed I’m going to be, which actually brings more overwhelm to the present moment. This used to be really hard for me, so I started by making my daily walk a no-thinking-about-work zone.

  • Refusing to create more overwhelm

I can choose not to fixate on it, and not to rush while going places. This actually does help a lot.

SUPPORT MYSELF PHYSICALLY

Exercise, meditation, and eating good food are non-negotiable for me - it's even more important to support myself while super busy. This habit tracker has been really helpful:

  • Prioritize rest and breaks (especially anything mind-focusing like meditation, short walks, stretching, etc.)

We’re not machines! I know that I can’t focus for long periods of time, especially when I’m already mentally or physically exhausted. I’ve noticed that when I’m struggling to work productively, that’s not just a sign that I’m feeling lazy, it’s a message from my brain that it’s tired and needs support (via food, water, movement, or rest).

  • Scheduling time to regroup

During a busy season like spring, I have to pace myself, or my brain will turn to mush. I actually schedule rest days on my calendar (yes, they say “CAT/COUCH DAY” - Rusty the Cat is my relaxation mentor.) And, if I don’t have time to regroup, that means that I’ve overscheduled myself unsustainably, and hopefully I will learn from that and not do it again.

I've written a lot about self-care for musicians, too - links here, here, and here

These are all things that I strive to do, but of course, this is all a process, and there are ups and downs! The good part is that healthy and productive habits build on each other, allowing more and more of them to happen. If your spring is as crazy as mine, I'm wishing you well!

What are your favorite tips for keeping it together and staying efficient during busy times? Let me know in the comments!

Habits that Support My Creative Work

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As someone whose career is built on having a personal practice (music), and helping others do the same, I am endlessly fascinated by habits and routines, and I’m always trying to start new ones. I’ve come a long way from a past version of myself, who would decide, “This is it - today’s the day I’m going to overhaul my whole life!”, draft a long list of things to start doing, do most of them the first day, do far fewer of them the second day, get overwhelmed/slightly ashamed of myself, and promptly quit doing most of them. That’s clearly a terrible way to start habits, and I now take a different approach - much more gradual, usually one thing at a time. (I also have some tips on keeping up a creative habit here.)

But it’s not just keeping up with my piano practice that affects my career - it’s also all of the habits that contribute to my general well-being. Here are my personal routines and habits that form the underpinnings of my creative work:

Daily habits/routine:

  • Meditation - I do this first thing in the morning, still in bed, and usually do a guided meditation in the Insight Timer app, which varies depending on what I feel I need that day. (I have a daily reminder set each morning that asks that very question!)

  • Daily walk (or the gym if it’s too cold, but I promised myself that above zero-degree windchills are walking days, and it's made me hate winter much less!) My walk has really become a form of meditation where I gently untangle my brain, maybe repeating a mantra to myself, or just asking myself questions about what I need or what’s bothering me that day.

  • Cook a solid breakfast, usually scrambled eggs with a pile of veggies and some avocado.

  • Vitamins/supplements

  • Drinking enough water - I use the app Plant Nanny to track this, because gamifying works! I’m still amazed at how I gain energy (or lose moodiness, hah) within minutes of drinking a glass.

  • Piano practice and/or composing time in the morning. I try to treat this as a non-negotiable, but if I’m not feeling it, I can employ one of these strategies.

  • Sleep - I try to be asleep by 11pm.

  • Non-work hours - no work after I get home from teaching (~ 8pm) if I can help it. Rest is more important, so that I can replenish my energy to be productive the next day.

  • Taking more breaks for stretching, snacks, water, or a mini-walk if it’s warm enough.

Other regular habits:

  • Acupuncture once or twice a month - this is as relaxed as I ever get!

  • Massage once a month - so worth budgeting for, to keep my hands, arms, and neck from getting too sore.

  • Scheduled rest days after big events, and I try to observe Caturday as often as possible!

Batching activities together:

  • Batch cooking on Sunday so I have food ready to go for the week, otherwise my energy levels will tank and I become hangry - that’s never good!

  • Plan all lessons for the week on Monday.

  • Weekly admin check-in on Monday (organization, financial, website updates, etc.) All of those things don’t always happen each week, but having it on the calendar ensures that those things don’t get neglected for too long.

  • Writing on Thursdays.

Staying organized:

  • Trello - I use the app Trello to house all of my to-do lists, structured in columns (Today, Working On, This Week, Next Week, Waiting On, Planning Ahead, Done. I’m a really visual person, so I like being able to drag each card from one list to the next.

  • Reminders - I have many set on my Phone, so that I can avoid forgetting about upcoming important activities, but also not think about trying to remember them.

  • Scheduling to-do list items - I try to write my to-do lists in chronological order, and utilize the Due Date function on Trello cards, so that I can visualize when things need to get done.

Habits I’m still working on adding:

  • Yoga - I keep thinking I’m going to start, then I don’t! I need to take my own advice, and start really small, like 5 minutes a day.

  • Journaling - this is something I do at least weekly, but would like it to at least be a part of my workday morning routine. It really helps me sort out my thoughts, hopes, dreams, goals, everything!

  • Better evening routine - I want to have screens off at least an hour before bed, in favor of an analog activity like reading, drawing, or taking a bath.

In case you’re thinking, “Whoa, I could never do all of that stuff,” I’m not perfect, I don’t do all of it every day, and it’s taken me years to develop these routines, which are also always changing. I think that the most important change I’ve made is committing to practicing self-compassion when I don’t accomplish all that I want to, for whatever reason. Sometimes we have less energy (here are some strategies for those days), and it’s just not realistic to think that we can perform at a high level all of the time.  

I’m trying to shift to an attitude of saying, “maybe that was not a realistic expectation” instead of beating myself up for not making whatever change or doing whatever task. For me, committing to taking care of myself better (both physically and mentally) has at least raised the baseline of my energy level and ability to handle the often overwhelming life of being a self-employed musician. Self-care is a buzzword right now for good reason - we could all use more of it!

So, if you have lingering new year intentions that you’ve lost track of, no matter - whatever habits you want to start or improve, just start today with one thing! If you have multiple things you want to track, I have a free tool for you: Musicians’ Habit Tracker Worksheet!

What habits are you trying to add to (or remove from) your life? Let me know in the comments, and I'll cheer you on!

Keeping Your New Years Resolutions Beyond January

A lot of people roll their eyes at the idea of New Year’s resolutions, either because they bristle at the arbitrariness of January 1, or because they, smugly annoyed at the huge crowds in the gym for the first few weeks of the year, think that no one actually keeps resolutions.

I might be guilty of being in the second camp, as someone who actually exercises all year long (not a humblebrag: I mostly do it to maintain my mental health and avoid feeling terrible). But I get the eye-roll - the reason why resolutions often don’t work is because they can be pretty wishy-washy. Stating your intention is a good first step, but if you don’t make a plan for actually doing these things, you risk getting overwhelmed and not starting your big goals, or forgetting about them entirely! (Not that I’ve ever done that…😳)

We're hitting the time in January where the freshness of the new year is starting to lose steam, so here’s what I do to try to keep my goals rolling all year long:

Regular Check-Ins

Truthfully, I haven’t always been the best at these (often the urgent tasks push out the important), but I’m trying some new things lately:

  • CEO Day

I got the idea for this from the amazing Being Boss podcast - they sell a bundle of worksheets that I’m sure are amazing, but instead I made up my own process (and am continuing to refine it). Each month I schedule a whole day to look at my big picture/overall vision for my work, including an emotional check-in (how am I feeling about my work), financial update, systems, things to delete from my life, and surveying upcoming goals and projects.

  • Desire Map Planner

I’m trying out Danielle LaPorte’s daily Desire Map planner this year - it has spots for core desired feelings, gratitude, and things to stop/change, in addition to the usual to-dos. It’s giving me a more positive vibe for my daily tasks, which is always welcomed - mindset is the underpinning of everything!

Also Being Boss-related, Kathleen Shannon devised this method: each quarter you make a chalkboard (mine’s a bunch of post-its on posterboard) with blanks for the things that you want to invite into your life, such as clients, gigs, certain amounts of income, followers/subscribers, and unexpected extras. I also have spots on mine for my word of the year (Connect) and 2 daily habit trackers, one for meditation and one for piano practice (from Elise Blaha Cripe’s newsletter). I have been doing chalkboards for about a year now, and they continue to evolve (as our goals do).

  • Weekly check-in

I admit that I have gotten lazy about this one (because sometimes there is just too much to do, and it’s not as essential), but I have a checklist of things that I try to accomplish on a weekly basis (keeping up with financial stuff, updating my main Trello board, sorting through my unruly downloads folder, and checking my Goals Trello board. This might soon just be replaced by the CEO Day.

Make non-negotiable daily habits (one at a time)

I am the kind of person who’s motivated by keeping up a streak of days and not breaking it, so coloring in little circles on a chart, or using an app that tracks these things (I use Insight Timer for meditation). We all miss days of our daily habits, and that’s okay - don’t get discouraged and quit - but missing two days in a row greatly increases your chances of quitting entirely, so avoid that, if possible. Also, only adding one thing at a time (or maybe two) also increases the likelihood of keeping that habit (as I wrote about here).

Set goals whenever you want, not just on January 1

The beginning of a year, or any time after a period of rest, can be great opportunities to revamp our routines and habits. For teachers like me who operate on an academic calendar, that’s September, after Thanksgiving, after winter break, after spring break, and the beginning of summer. So, I could easily take any of those opportunities to reboot.

But, something I often need to remind myself is that we can create fresh starts whenever we want to - today or even on a Saturday night at 10pm. As the writer Alexandra Franzen is fond of saying, “Today is not over yet!” It’s easy to let mindset get in the way, but with a little self-compassion (doing and committing to new things is hard - give yourself some credit!), we can keep moving forward.

Break everything down into bite-size pieces

 

Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time!

(I say that to my students a lot - they don’t think it’s that funny, either.) The fact remains - we can accomplish big things in small chunks, especially committed, consistent small chunks. In 2017, I did two 100 Day Projects in which I wrote 8 measures every day, and ended up with dozens of finished pieces and tons more ideas. It didn’t feel like I was doing much each day, but those small efforts really do add up.

As for big, overwhelming projects, I often find that when I’m procrastinating the most, it’s because I haven’t broken down my tasks into small enough pieces - “Launch sheet music store” needs to be broken down into: “Decide which pieces to publish”, “Edit Piece 1”, “Fix layout of Piece 1”, “Research legal concerns”, “Look into how to set up Squarespace shop”, etc. (That’s on my list for this week.) Our brains are way more capable of handling a bunch of small tasks, one at a time.

Schedule everything!

If you have a big goal for the year (one of mine is recording my first album, eeep!), it’s easy to sit around on January 1 and make your big dreamy list (yes, this is also an important step), but never convert that into actual bite-size action steps or make time for doing each one. It seems so obvious, but when I don’t get projects done as fast as I’d hoped, it’s because I didn’t make time for them, like actually putting it on the calendar on a certain day (or at a certain hour if you really mean it!) I love using Trello’s calendar function, so that each card that you’ve designated a due date for fills itself in on a month view of the calendar, giving a great big picture view of when everything has to happen.

Make sure deadlines are realistic

I am often (okay, most of the time) way too ambitious when planning out what projects I want to accomplish in a month. It’s a fine line, because setting a deadline makes me finish sooner, but when I have too many things to focus on, I either get overwhelmed and don’t finish many of them, or get burned out. This is definitely something I’m still working on.

Regular journaling

I’ve started and stopped this habit so many times, but I got a fresh start on it this week, starting each work day with some journaling. It’s not something that I want to pressure myself to do daily, but definitely want to do regularly, so that I can stay in touch with my thoughts, ideas, and dreams, and also have a dedicated place to process my experiences.

Don’t give up!

As a recovering perfectionist, this is one I've worked on a lot (and continue to work on) - part of me is dead set against failing at anything. But, the more I soften this viewpoint, the more I can embrace learning as I go (since that’s actually what we have to do), and adjusting what doesn't work right away, making getting started less scary.

If that goal is really important to you and you still haven’t done it, figure out why - could you tweak something about the process, are you just resisting getting started (if so, set a timer for 10-15 minutes and make yourself work on it just a little bit), or do you need to make time in your schedule? Maybe there’s a little shift that you could make in your lifestyle or your mindset that would really help.

Bottom line: don’t be afraid to start, and restart (again, and again) - a little flexibility with yourself goes a long way, especially if you have the illusion that everyone else has it together and you don’t. (I might sound like I do, but I have to work really hard to stick with things, too.) It’s all a process, we’re all just doing our best.

How are your 2018 goals or habits going so far? Are you going strong, or losing steam (or some of both)?

Self-Care for Musicians Caught in the Holiday Hustle

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December is a notoriously busy month, especially for musicians. For me, the beginning of the month was pretty busy, with two big concerts that included pretty demanding repertoire, but now my obligations (involving others) are winding down. Compared to many musicians I know, I don’t have a lot going on this December (I don’t have a church gig or many holiday gigs), which in theory feels good, but then the thoughts pop in: “I could use more money,” or “Shouldn’t I be doing all of that stuff, too?”

The problem is in those two little words: “compared to.” Way back in music school, it felt like we always had a never-ending parade of things to do, which, of course, led to complaining about how many hours you spent in the practice room, how many credits you were taking, how little sleep you got last night, etc., which is kind of a series of unrewarding humblebrags that say, “LOOK, I AM DOING SO MUCH!” (Ugh.) These habits get ingrained, though, so this is the culture we still find ourselves in, often ending up in survival mode rather than thriving. First of all, I definitely don’t have the energy I had 15 years ago, and most importantly, I don’t want to live like that!

It’s so easy to get sucked into the feeling that we need to do ALL THE THINGS, in terms of teaching, gigs, promotion, creative projects, and even our personal holiday preparation, parties, etc. This is the point where you’re probably thinking, “I thought this was about self-care. When is she going to start talking about epsom salt baths?” Don’t get me wrong, I love those, and they play a helpful part in my self-care, but we need to go deeper.

What’s stressing you out?

Besides the general feeling of overwhelm (I hear you!), step back and figure out what specifically is stressing you out: Is it money? Too many gigs? Not enough gigs? (That balance of time vs. money is always a work in progress.) The wrong kind of gigs? Students that don’t seem motivated? It feels like we have to take all of the students and all of the gigs (and believe me, I’ve been there), but if you really hate some aspect of your work life, you don’t have to do it anymore, or you can do less of it.

If you’re an introvert who teaches way too much, think about dropping a day of teaching and find some other work to fill in that gap, or, for something you can do right away, take a couple extra bathroom breaks that allow you to take some deep breaths.

If you hate driving to far-flung gigs, set a personal radius that you will no longer take gigs outside of.

If you’re financially stressed, look at what you’re spending money on that doesn’t make you happy. (Sarah Von Bargen has a great free bootcamp about this! )  

If you’re teaching/gigging/whatever-ing too much, you could consider getting a part-time non-music related job (that takes less energy) to fill in the gaps.

Realistically, we can’t always make changes as quickly or drastically as we dream about. Maybe that looks like doing a little bit less of that thing and decreasing it over time, but there are always other options to shift the mosaic of jobs that most of us have.

Hit delete!

So, in the short term, what can you delete that’s not that important? We have so many expectations on ourselves this time of year (and all of the time) - what can you let go of? For example, I traditionally have made holiday ornaments for my students, but this year I made prints of a piano drawing that was already done, and didn’t make holiday cards, but just cut up red paper to write on. Easy. It’s amazing what I do without thinking about it, because I’ve assumed that I HAVE TO.

When all of those “requirements” pile up, you’re headed toward the land of burnout. For me, it was the worst when I continued to be busy for the sake of being busy, without questioning why I was doing all of that. (Because it’s way easier to distract yourself from big questions by being so busy!) Megan Ihnen wrote a great article about avoiding burnout by taking time to set really meaningful career goals, including a really actionable goal-setting exercise. Take a look at the article, and schedule some time to think about your big goals, the work that makes you feel the best. (Seriously, put it on your calendar right now.)

Resources!

But, you probably don’t have time for deep thinking right now - it’s December! So, back to self-care in the traditional sense. If you’re in the trenches trying to survive the next couple weeks, you might be looking for some actual (and quick) self-care strategies. I have 10 survival strategies for busy times right over here, some inspiration for when you’re feeling unmotivated here, and some wellness resources for musicians here.  

Self-care isn’t all about bubble baths and spa days (although it could be if you want it to) - it’s about doing things that make you feel better, and it’s incredibly personal, so you have to figure out what works for you. For some excellent resources in this department, check out Christy Tending’s offerings. 

So today I invite you to take 10 minutes (or more, but we can all find 10 minutes), and decide what one little action you can take to lighten your load and make things feel a bit easier. Do something, anything that FEELS GOOD. If even figuring that out takes more mental bandwidth than you have, pause for just 2 minutes, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths - I guarantee you’ll feel better, and you’re going to make it through December, too!

What’s your biggest challenge during this busy month? Let me know in the comments!

Productivity Tips to Support Your Creativity

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The weekend before last, I started coming down with a cold on Saturday, rested over the weekend, and somehow felt worse on Monday for the start of the work week. I wasn’t sick enough to justify cancelling things, so I had to come up with a way to expend the least amount of energy while also fulfilling my responsibilities (including writing my daily 8 measures for 100 More Days of Writing Music).

Certainly if you’re feeling really sick, take the day off, take a nap, do whatever you need to do (and don’t get this cold, it lasted for 10 days!) But, I know that’s not always an option, so here are some things that helped me get through the day in the most productive way possible:

  1. Self-Control app (for Mac, but there are similar ones for PC) to block social media from my computer (and I have no social media apps on my phone except Instagram). Seriously, this app has saved me from all of those times where I'd get the "twitch" (credit to Anthony Ongaro for that term), and would start mindlessly clicking and scrolling because my task was no longer comfortable.

  2. Don’t keep email open - only open at very few specified times. There aren't going to be any emergencies arriving via email.

  3. Only make a short to-do list (<5 items that must be done), in the exact order that I'll do them, which eliminates the indecision of deciding what to do next, or bobbing between things and never really starting anything (not that that sounds familiar...)

  4. Do as little work at the computer as possible (to avoid getting spaced out and/or easily distracted). This is easier for me when I'm practicing or composing at the piano, of course.

  5. Buckets of water and tea to drink. Staying hydrated makes a huge difference in my mental clarity.

  6. Smelling this Mental Clarity oil (so refreshing and invigorating).

  7. Short breaks for meditation or lying down whenever I'm dragging. Staring out the window is okay.

  8. Repeat after me: "Done is better than perfect."

I discovered that, even when my head felt like it was filled with applesauce, by eliminating more distractions I was able to free up enough space to allow the conduit of creativity to be open. On Monday my daily composing habit was extremely easy and poured right out of me, and the idea for this post came to me so quickly while I was in the shower that I had to rush to finish and write it all down!

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that there’s a direct correlation between these things, but if we set up the conditions for creativity to happen, it’s more likely to show up. After all, it’s not like we are totally in control of creating the thing. If we show up, it will. Or if it doesn’t today, it will tomorrow - just show up every day and be ready to receive.

I love this quote because the man is spot on.

I love this quote because the man is spot on.

If you need some help sticking to new habits, or deciding which habits to take on to support your creativity, I have just the thing for you: a free habit tracker worksheet!

Ironically (or maybe not ironically), I get more done when I’m not obsessing about being perfectly productive, and I am much less stressed out, too. Win / win / win.

In other news, despite the sickness, I have been working overtime the last two weeks, finishing up my MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) certification projects, which I finally completed today! So, if all goes well, I will soon be a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (woo hoo!) Now I have extra energy to put into my upcoming gigs (I have 3 in the next week), more composing, and of course, some relaxing! I'm wishing you the same. 

What do you have planned for your weekend?