Being busy ≠ being successful 

Ever feel like you’re putting so much effort into your career but not getting anywhere? Like it’s all work and no play, your head is overflowing and you don’t get time off to unwind? 

The issue could be that you’re busy with the wrong things. Here’s some lessons I’ve learned and try to live by:

Focus on your business’ core tasks

And with core tasks I mean activities you are most likely to have an impact with and generate income with. For example: working on new music instead of doing guest mixes for some random radio show or finetuning every little detail on your website.

The one thing that can really help you with this is: delegate! Whenever a task or request presents itself ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Is this important?
  • Does it need to be taken care of right now?
  • Does it need to be taken care of by me (in other words: is it one of my core tasks or can someone else take care of it for me).

If you can’t afford to hire professional help you can see if anyone you know can volunteer, look for an intern or hire a student.

Food for thought: you may feel you don’t have the funds to hire help so you do everything yourself. But don’t forget your time is valuable too and you can only spend it once…

Become intentional about how you use social media

This may sound strange coming from a social media coach. However, the fact that I see social media as a means to build a sustainable career does not mean I believe you should spend all your time on it. 

On the contrary, I believe it’s important to learn which strategies will bring you the most impact in the least amount of time! 

So my advice is;

  • Educate yourself on best practices and pick two moments a week to write and schedule posts (or hire someone to do it for you).
  • Stop mindlessly scrolling through social media. You don’t need to know what everyone else is up to 24/7. Focus on yourself.

Be proactive instead of reactive 

Research has shown that it costs our brain energy to switch between tasks. When you are distracted from a task (for example by a phone call or someone walking into your office with a question) it costs our brain quite some time and energy to get back into focus and reach the same level of concentration we had before we were interrupted.

Here are three ways I try to minimise this loss of brain energy and focus:

  • Don’t let incoming email and messages distract you and dictate your workflow: turn off your notifications and check your emails at fixed moments during the week.
  • Plan your week in advance. I like to do this on Sundays. And then also every evening for the day after, but that may be too extreme for some people 😉
  • Group your tasks. I recommend that you plan your days in advance too (like I said I do this the night before) and to group your tasks. For example: plan all tasks related to your social media from 9-10am. Then work on music between 10am-5pm and make time to check your inbox, answer emails and make phone calls between 5-6pm. 

And don’t forget to take proper breaks! To help prevent my mind from overflowing at the end of the day I like to take a short break in the morning, a long lunch break (where, ideally, I also go for a walk to get some fresh air, even though the Dutch weather isn’t always very inviting haha) and another short break in the afternoon.

There’s so much more I could share about this subject! I will leave you with three books that really opened my eyes to the importance of attention management for anyone who wants to build a sustainable career.

  • How To Thrive In A World Of Too Much (Tony Crabbe)
  • Deep Work (Cal Newport)
  • Chillpreneur (Denise Duffield-Thomas)

I would love to hear your takeaways from this blog!

Let me know in a comment below 🙂

Free resources:

  • Find the BCFA Podcast on your favourite podcast platform here!
  • Join the BCFA community on Instagram here for daily inspiration, tips and tricks to help you share your music with the world and grow a sustainable career.