Give Yourself Deadlines…and Avoid the Summer Slump
May 16, 2019 In: Sound Bits
Have you heard about the concept that a task will take as much time as you allot for that task? So if you give yourself a week for a task that you could complete in two days, it will probably take…a week. This is known as Parkinson’s law.
We often hear stories of musicians, organizations, students (anyone really) who struggle to stay productive over the summer months. Why is this? Well there could be a lot of factors, but often times we have slightly less structure over the summer which leads to tasks taking longer than they would during other parts of the year. If our schedule is a little more flexible and relaxed, chances are our work will likewise relax and slow down to match the extra time we have.
Now, this is not all bad! All of us need to slow down every now and then – students, teachers, administrators, musicians – everyone. But there is a difference between slowing down for a bit and finding yourself in a summer slump where you just aren’t as productive.
One thing that might help: Set deadlines for yourself (or your organization). Think about what tasks you would like to complete by the end of each month. Maybe those are practicing goals for pieces you are preparing. Maybe they are website updates, things you need to research, grant proposals, resume/CV updates, budgeting, booking next season’s venues for your ensemble, etc. Whatever the tasks are, set some deadlines for yourself so that you have some structure. That way you can stay productive, get your work done, and still enjoy all that comes with the summer months!