You can never take back time- once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!
Time mismanagement is the number one stumbling block that will hold you back from accomplishing your goals. Quality time is the single most common element that people lack when attempting to make their practice routine more consistent. You can never take back time- once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Yet, over the years I have witnessed first-hand how people with good intentions in regard to improving their musicianship will allow these blood thirsty Time Vampires to suck the time and energy right out of their ongoing practice routines.
Being able to recognise Time Vampires is the first step to avoiding them. These Time Vampires often masquerade as friends and family members, so no one is safe from their blood sucking thirst. You know- the friend who always appears on your doorstep unannounced just wanting to hang out with you and ultimately wasting your valuable practice time by you giving in to this. When this happens, your so-called friend is telling you that your time is less valuable than his and more importantly, he or she is sending you a message that whatever you’re doing isn’t that important and can be easily interrupted.
Unfortunately, Time Vampires are now able to attack with more frequency due to an arsenal of new-fangled gadgets and computer technology that is supposed to improve communication, but in reality sucks you dry of your time and energy on a daily basis. How many friends on social media do you actually know? Time Vampires around the world now have the capability to catch you off guard anywhere and anytime through fibre optic cables. An hour of your precious practice time can vanish in a heartbeat over Facebook or Twitter time. Instead of paving your way to becoming an expert on the bass guitar, you are now getting closer to becoming an expert in watching others waste their time en masse. Like a collective consciousness of mediocrity, you allow an endless parade of Time Vampires to suck you dry all day long.
In order to counter these Time Vampires, you have to have a pre-planned exit strategy if you are caught off guard just before you begin to practice and a closed door policy during your precious practice time. To the unannounced friend, you have to be firm and simply tell them that you are too busy right now, but could possibly schedule in some time later. For family members, you have to learn to teach them a new discipline that when your door is closed you can’t be interrupted with trivial matters that can be dealt with at a later time. Make sure that you turn all of your gadgets off! Now and again, you might get caught off guard with a phone call. When this happens, let them know that you will have to call them back another time. Remember- if you welcome the Time Vampire with open arms on his or her terms, then it’s ultimately your own fault for not being prepared in advance for their time sucking onslaught.
Another way to counter to Time Vampires is by wearing a watch! Most people don’t wear watches anymore and as a result become unaware of the time they are regularly wasting. Casinos don’t have clocks because they don’t want their customers to be aware of the time that is flying by while they are gambling. If you are unaware of your valuable time, by the end of the day your neck will look like a bloody feeding frenzy right out of the horror movie Blade. At all costs don’t allow the Time Vampires to suck your time and drain your energy reserves dry- learn to drive a stake right into the very heart of their blood thirsty intensions and take back your valuable practice time now!
Until next time…practice smart, work hard and play creatively!