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Time Management for the D.I.Y. Rock Star ⏰

This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam 302. Time Management for the D.I.Y. Rock Star

As a D.I.Y. Rock Star, making music should be the core of what you do. However, it’s that “do-it-yourself” part that sometimes gets in the way. Here are some tips to help you get BACK to what’s important. This topic was inspired by DIY Musician podcast, ep 342:

Check out the episode for the full discussion.

What should music artists concern themselves with time management?

As a D.I.Y. Rock Star, you are responsible for doing ALL the things, including writing the songs, recording the songs, mixing the songs, distributing the songs, promoting the songs, etc., etc. –And alL of this MAY be happening alongside of your full-time job, right? –What if we could learn to use our time more wisely, so that we could get BACK to creating the music that is why we got into this thing in the first place? Here are a few strategies to get you thinking more intentionally about how to spend your time.

Here's our newest "Clouds" Obtanium Flow t-shirt design:


Top time management tips for the D.I.Y. Rock Star:

1. Use goal-setting and project management as a framework

While we’re sure we talked about this before, we think it bears repeating, because it is power hack. What we mean is that you have to know what you WANT to achieve and set THAT as your vision, you will need to connect up goals that help you achieve that vision. And, of course, your day, your week, your month, and your year will reflect activities that help you check off those goals. For instance, if you want to release a record in the next year, you will need to work backward to see what accomplish that goal—up to and including writing, recording, mixing, distributing, promoting your music. If you have spent any time working through those goals, you will be “successful” at achieving that goal.

The MAIN point is that, if you plan THIS way, you are sure to feel accomplished—by keeping the IMPORTANT shit front and center—and you are BOUND to see progress, because you are actually working toward the vision—and NOT just talking about getting ready to work on your creative career.

Why creating a vision board matters:

2. Use tools to help

Whether it’s a project management-type of tool—like Trello or Asana—but even an app as straightforward as the Notes app (for Apple iOS or Google Docs) or something super simple, like a pen and paper, finding a way to take down the ideas and tasks related to your vision, goals, and activities—that we talked about earlier. This way, you can begin to organize and prioritize your time, so that things can be planned and accomplished.

3. Understand critical pieces

In the podcast that inspired this topic, they talked about knowing what activity has to happen before another thing happens is important. This is SUPER critical for tasks that are time-sensitive. For instance, if you need to have photos taken before you can complete the artwork for your album, then you have to plan that out BEFORE the artwork can be completed. If you do not consider the order of the tasks that need to happen, you will slow down your OWN timeline and make it LESS likely to achieve your goals.

Want to know how to take better band photos?

4. Sacrifice the BIG idea sometimes

There are times when wanting to achieve a BIG goal can be paralyzingly overwhelming. –In our case, we had planned to have videos for EACH of the 15 songs on our last album, “Sugar Fit,” and we had shot the videos and done MUCH of the legwork, but as time wore on, the prospect of finishing the videos became overwhelming and I started working on other projects, so that I DIDN’T have enough time to do it. –Instead, for this new album, “Obtanium Flow, I decided to make videos that did NOT require all new footage to be shot to make it easier to produce. Sure enough, it’s been MUCH easier to create music videos for the new album. The bottom line is that, by throwing out the idea that EACH music video had to feature all fresh live performance—the original BIG vision—I have been able to live up to creating a video for each of the songs and WITHOUT losing my mind. THIS has been HUGE for me! By kicking out the idea that, in order to have a video WORTH releasing HAD to include fresh, live performance footage, I have been able to move out videos within a week or two by using moody visualizations mixed with that former live footage to produce decent music videos that showcases the music. BUT I had to STOP thinking that a music video HAD to have fresh live performance footage. By giving up that GRAND idea, I have been able to crank out videos quickly and without worrying too much.

Which is better; releasing singles or an album?

5. Consider what season you’re in

Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and see that you’re in a time when you simply cannot HANDLE all the duties that you would LIKE to tackle and definitely all the ones that need to be done. –If you’ve been working on your D.I.Y. Rock Star goals for ANY time, you will notice that there’s ALWAYS more to do and you HAVE to decide what to tackle and what to push down the timeline to another time. –That’s why you have to be conscious about finding your balance or rhythm within the time of your life that you’re in. –For instance, when our kids were young, we were focused heavily on raising them, so that some of our D.I.Y. Rock Star exploration had to fit around rearing our children. Once they were grown, it has been much easier to take on many of the more challenging projects, like building out our website and trying to figure out better ways to release and promote our music. So, your vision and goals may change depending on the season you’re in. Realize that this is your reality and make those changes as needed—in order to NOT feel as if you’re slacking, if you’re not on your D.I.Y. Rock Star grind 24 hours a day.

Self-Care for the D.I.Y. Rock Star:

6. Have tools available at all times

We discussed using tools earlier, but what we mean here is having whatever tools you use to capture your creative ideas with you at ALL times. This is a SERIOUS time management hack! By gathering those bits of creativity that the muse grants you—WHENEVER she decides to give them you—so that you have them waiting for you when you DO decide to sit down to create. So, keep your phone, your notebook, or your MPC accessible to capture any inspiring ideas. You will be SO glad that you captured these ideas, because if and when you get stuck for a place to start, continue, or finish an idea, THIS will be where you go next. –ALSO, it’s helpful to keep track of creative promotional ideas as well.

7. Take the 5 seconds to name your files

So on the podcast that was the inspiration, one of the hosts talked about having 500+ voice notes of song ideas on her phone, but that she would have to listen to them to even know what they are. This brings us to yet another hack for saving time. Take the time to name the voice notes or files that you create when capturing those creative sparks of ideas. If you take just 30 extra seconds to give the idea a date, a temporary name (that characterizes the attitude of the piece), and perhaps the genre, you will THANK YOURSELF when it is time to go create. –Bruce has gone as far as to make folders for each month on his DAW as a means to remind himself when this idea was generated. – After all, if you don’t do this, WHO is going to go back to painstakingly listen to each and every one of them?! No one, sadly. So, it’s worth this little bit of extra time so that you have something that is ready to go and usable for creating complete songs.

File Management for the D.I.Y. Rock Star:

8. Schedule–and protect–your creative time

This is another power-packed time management tip that we’ve shared before, but making your creative a priority item is important, because it reminds you to honor your goal of continually creative, whenever or wherever you decide you can swing it. For instance, when I worked a really crappy job that started a little later in the day, I would get up an hour earlier, so that I could take time to write blog posts BEFORE I would leave for that job. What I found is that I got SO much more work done AND it made me feel better about giving the rest of my day and energy to such a soul-sucking workplace. The main thing is to make your creating the CENTER of your life—and not as a side project.

We hope that this post got you thinking about how to spend your time more thoughtfully. We ALL want to spend MORE time creating, so thinking about HOW to get to doing it more efficiently and effectively is worth your time. –See what I did there? Very punny, right?!

What about you?

What time management tips do you use as a D.I.Y. Rock Star?

We’d love to hear about them.

Leave them in the comments below.


So, will we do it again? HELL, YEAH! 🙌🏾 In fact, our NEXT livestream is scheduled for Friday, August 25, where we will debut for Bourgeoisie Paper Jam’s next single “Lovely Mystic (Obtanium Flow)” We will also premiere the music video live and on-air—unless you are a member of our Patreon community. (If you’re in our Patreon, you will see the video one week earlier. Join here.)

Limited edition “Obtanium Flow” designs:

· “Clouds” T-shirt design:

· “Retro Flow” T-shirt design:


81+ types of social media posts:

If you need to do social media, here are 10+ social media tips:

Need Contest Ideas for D.I.Y. Rock Stars?


Did you know that along with putting together our next album, we are working on our first book?

Here’s the link, if you want to pre-order:


Here’s what we’re into now:

· We’re featured in Variety Magazine!

· The video for “Every Heartbeat” is doing well in Indonesia!

· The Tony Webb "Funkalicious" video is going crazy in Honduras, y'all!

· One of our videos for our song, “Tell Me What You Want,” is going gangbusters in Vietnam!

If you like this, you might enjoy:

· Basic Recording Studio Setup:

· What to do when real life interrupts your artistic process?

· 7 Strategies for rebounding from creative burnout:

· How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to give better live performances:

· How to collaborate better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to write quicker, but better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· Should you ever play for free?

· 17 Tips for taking better band photos—ESPECIALLY if you taking them yourself:



New single, “One Love (Find a Way),” by Bourgeoisie Paper Jam and

follow on Spotify at


More Ways to experience B L O O M I N G P R E J I P P I E :

· All things “Obtanium Flow”:

· Gab & Jam podcast:

· Soundcloud (music):

· Join the Bourgeoisie Paper Jam Street Team!

· Prejippie Patreon:

· Be the NEXT D.I.Y. Rock Star Handbook Pre-order:

· Funky Happy People (Who Listen to a Variety of Genres of Music) Facebook Group:

· Be the Next D.I.Y. Rock Star Facebook Group:

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Until next Monday, here’s wishing love, peace, and chicken grease!




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