It’s easy to become overwhelmed in any industry, but the music industry is so fast paced and hectic that it is more common than not to experience some kind of burnout at some point in your career. Many of my musician friends talk about feeling burnt out and how hard it is to balance everything in a healthy way. In this post, we’re talking about how to help yourself out of this rut as well as avoid it from happening down the line. Here’s what we know…
5 Tips For Avoiding Burnout as an Independent Musician
Rethink Your Time Management
I don’t think this even needs to be said, but poor time management will make or break your life in any career. And as you know as an independent musician, you have a ton on your plate at all times. From recording and performing to writing and social media posting, everything falls onto you to manage accordingly. One thing we forget, however, is to prioritize time for some much needed R&R.
Taking time to decompress is just as important as everything else on your massive list of to-do’s. I understand the guilt that can come from taking a break. Especially as creatives, we tend to correlate rest with being lazy or unmotivated. However, it is so the contrary. Treat rest as a part of the process. Without it, you can’t do everything else at your highest potential.
Manage Your Expectations
Nothing great happens over night. If you set your expectations too high, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you don’t reach those lofty goals exactly when you planned. Let’s face it… things work out the way they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to. Don’t stress too much if you need to push a deadline, reschedule plans or take time to reconsider your game plan.
Be reasonable about what you can achieve and how long it will take to do so. By being honest with yourself about what you can do, you’ll be more likely to meet more of your goals and stay motivated to keep pushing after you do.
Time management is one of the main things having a great manager on your team takes care of. It’s literally their job to keep you from getting overwhelmed and figure out how to move forward in a healthy, mindful way.
- If you already have a manager but feel like something’s missing, check out “Valuable Management Skills Every Artist Manager Should Have”. It breaks down some of the most important things your manager should have on lock, with time management as one of the biggest.
Prioritize Self Care
When we think of “self care”, our brains typically run to face masks, vitamins, yoga, bubble baths and the like. However, self care goes way deeper than that. As creatives, we tend to push our mental health to the side and throw the grind into the front seat. Think of self care as reassessing how things are working internally.
What basic things in your life have you been neglecting lately? Has your laundry been piling up? Are there errands you keep putting off? Are you taking care of your body’s basic needs? Drinking enough water? All these things contribute to the balance between your body and mind. If these basics aren’t being taken care of, a domino effect of disarray will follow.
- Some things you may not realize fall under self care include setting clear boundaries, setting smaller/more achievable goals, healthy coping mechanisms and more. (All of which you can read more about in this post.)
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Prep Content In Advance
We all know how important social media is in the music industry. No matter which socials you use, consistency is the key to growth on any platform. When you have multiple platforms to master, it can be overwhelming to keep it all running smoothly. Having a content calendar where you plan everything in advance is a great way to alleviate some stress from your daily routine.
In addition, you can even repurpose old content into new works of art you can share all over your socials. For example, music videos offer a huge opportunity for additional content like gifs, TikTok’s, lyric videos and so much more. — If you need some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, check out “8 Types of Repurposed Content You Can Create From Your Music Video”
No matter how hard things are right now, it’s important to try and appreciate this amazing industry we all call home. Whenever you start to get lost in the chaos, think about why you do this in the first place. You didn’t come this far just to come this far. Think about everything you’ve accomplished and take a moment to be proud of yourself. As they say, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
The things that are plaguing your mind today will change as you progress through your career. There will always be obstacles in your path, but having healthy coping mechanisms is the best way to keep your head on straight through the madness.
To wrap it all up…
If you’re currently experiencing mental burnout, take it easy, take a deep breath and try these tips. You’ll be surprised how big of a difference these small steps can make.
Good luck! — You got this.