When you’re a parent or have a demanding full-time job or both, it’s hard to find time to work on music.

In fact, it’s much easier to forget about music for weeks at a time and only wake up every few months feeling discouraged and defeated because, despite all of our efforts, it looks like we’ve made no progress…

Here are 4 techniques that helped me stay focused and move forward with my music career WITHOUT affecting my day job negatively.

I used these 4 techniques to write 56 tracks in 6 months while I was traveling and working full-time as a contracts compliance auditor for a Fortune 500 company.
Here’s what I did…


The Switcheroo

Not sure it’s wise to start with this one because it’s one of the scariest thing I ever did but let’s go for it anyway! If you’re still around for technique #2, I’ll know you’re a true warrior! :)))

So…. the switcherooooo…. what’s that?

It’s when instead of going to bed late (say 2AM) and waking up late (say 1PM), you start getting up at 5:30am every morning and recording music before heading to the office….

WAIIIIIIT!!!!!!

WHAAAAAT??????

I promise it’s doable and not even painful!!!

Let me explain how I did it….

First thing you need to know: I consider myself a night owl and a BIG sleeper. I like to go to bed late (say 2-3am) and I like to sleep A LOT (10-11 hours is far from unusual).

I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been this way since I was a kid.

So when a mentor of mine suggested I try working on music BEFORE going to the office in the morning, I was willing to try but not super confident I could pull it off….

Here’s what made it work

1. I said I would wake up at 5:30am for 7 days in a row, no more, no less.

That seemed a small enough commitment. If he was right and it could change my life, it was worth a shot.

2. I went to bed early. Lights off by 10pm to be precise.

In order to help me actually go to sleep around that time and not just lie there, I would follow 2 rules:

  • no screen time after 8pm 
  • read a book for a minimum of 30 minutes (I set a timer and everything!!!)

Well guess what?

It worked!

Now it wasn’t easy and the first 5-10 minutes after getting out of bed stung! BUT….

♦  after a nice shower and good breakfast, I was ready to go and record music.

♦  by the time I had to head down to the office at 8:30am, I was full of energy!

I can’t even begin to describe the feelings of pride and contentment and accomplishment that I would experience on my way to work.

By the time I opened my inbox in the office,

I had already completed the most important task of my day!

Now I’m not saying you should wake up at 5am for the rest of your life…. 

I go in and out of this particular habit. Sometimes it’s just not the right period for me because my family needs me awake at 11pm or I just want to enjoy a lie in.

All I’m suggesting is you give it a try for 7 days in a row and see how that works out for you and your music.


The ONE Thing

As you know, being an indie musician can be very lonely and overwhelming.

One book that has helped me IMMENSELY along the way is The ONE Thing, by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller.

The ONE Thing

It’s one of those rare cases where I think the audiobook may actually be even better than the paperback (although I still purchased the paperback!!!)

I enjoy the audiobook because the message that’s pushed across the book bares repetition and it’s nice to have someone whisper it in your earbuds every now and then!!!

So the core message of the book is fairly straight forward: