Last week I spoke about routines, without saying anything about mines. It’s time to share with you parts of my practice routine that could be useful to you. As a professional, you have to keep your practice organized: you generally have a lot of works to play and no time to practice them. So you develop strategies and have to acquire “special” skills to be able to face the workload (yes, I can fly, see in the dark and become invisible). So here are 3 essential tips I use for organizing my practice routines.
1. Get a practice schedule: What the heck is he talking about? I have a monthly schedule of the works I have to practice. As a picture is worth a thousand words, here is how mine looks:
This is for me essential: I have to maintain a lot of works for the upcoming seasons, perform others and learn new repertoire. My time is limited and I have to manage it wisely. If I don’t come up with a plan, I’ll never meet the deadlines and find myself in a delicate position.
2. Keep a practice journal: I don’t write about what I’ve done, but about what I’ll have to do tomorrow. You can’t fix everything in one practice session, so I have to write down what are the priorities for tomorrow, and try to estimate roughly how long it is going to take (how many pomodoros?). I also realized I was much more motivated to practice if I had a clear To Do list.
3. Keep your phone off: Unless President Obama plans to use your superpowers to save the world, keep your phone off. Why? Because practicing well is a matter of focus: the less distractions you have the better you practice. At some point, I thought I had to be reachable 24/7. No, I don’t. If something is really important, they’ll find a way to reach you in any case.
Of course I could easily find other tips, but these 3 really made a difference in my daily practice. Everything reducing stress (like routines and schedules!) and keeping you away from distractions will help you practice better. Stay focused!