5 Simple Steps Towards Making Time For DJing

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You're not going to improve if you don't find the time to practise... but what's the best way to do that? I share with you today how I do it... Pic: Ellaskins

Nobody has enough time nowadays, right? I sure as hell know I don't. No matter how much I plan, how organised I try to be, and how much I say it'll be different this year, whenever anyone asks how it's going, I almost invariably say that same thing: "Y'know, busy..." So if that sounds like you, and you feel like you're not giving your DJing the time it needs, what to do?

That's what I'm going to discuss with you in this post. In fact, I'm going to do more than discuss it - I'm going to give you my formula. Unashamedly cobbled together from a bit of this and a bit of that - from business books to self-help gurus to the methods of pro DJ friends - this is what has always worked for me.

(As a DJ, business owner and author, not to mention dad, marathon runner and enthusiastic cook, I have a few things to squeeze into my life as it is, and I'm always wanting to have a go at different stuff, so if this works for me, I'm pretty confident it can help you, too...)

My five-step plan for finding time for DJing

  1. Set measurable, achievable but challenging goals - If you don't have a goal that excites you, you'll make excuses for not doing the work. Whether it's landing your first gig, getting a club booking, making the podcast you've been saying you'll do for years, whatever - set a goal that inspires you, give it a name and a date, and tell the world
  2. Give something up in order to achieve it - I'm going to guess you don't spend an awful lot of time sitting around doing nothing. So if you want to do the work to achieve a goal, you can't make time, you've gotta find it - right? So something has to give. A key factor in success is choosing what to give up. Another way of putting it is: What are the consequences of going for this goal? Try an hour's less TV a day, or getting off Facebook. Commit to it upfront
  3. Timetable the work - Anything worth doing needs work, right? Whether it's DJing practice, or sitting down to record your latest podcast, or finding the perfect signature tune for your next mixtape, to get where you want to go you'll have to do the work. So put it in your diary, set notifications, and stick to it!
  4. Form the work habit with a "when... then" rule - This is a great one. An example: Every night at bedtime, I take water to my bedside table. That triggers me to fill in the day's page in my journal, and it does so because I have a "When I take water to the bedroom at night, then I will fill in my journal." So if you want to always practise DJing in the evening, and you also always read a story to your kid/s, that could be yours: "When I finish reading to the kids, then I will practise DJing for an hour". It rewrites your neural pathways to feel weird when you don't do whatever the thing is. It really works!
  5. Celebrate your wins - I forget to do this sometimes, but it's vital. "Doing" makes you right, so don't always simply push yourself with no time to take stock and smile. Make time to celebrate the little steps along the way. If getting a gig involves sending out 50 mixtapes, following them up, getting a booking in the diary, and playing the gig, celebrate all four steps when each is done. You get the idea. Go a bit easier on yourself, and try and enjoy the journey a bit more

Finally...

Just by doing the above, you'll be ahead of the majority of people who don't do this stuff. It can be worth remembering the words of Bill Gates, too: "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years."

In other words, start now, keep doing it, and you'll achieve more in your DJing that you can imagine as the months turn into years. Good luck :)

Do you have any tips to help find time for DJing (or anything else in life)? Have any of the above ideas (or any variations on them) helped you? Let us know in the comments...

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Comments

  1. I think the advice is great. I know for me in my past, it was easier to DJ more when I was living the life of a bachelor/student/part-time worker. Now in married adult life with a demanding career, it's challenging.

    I know for me, part of my DJ life choices came to compromise. I've spoken before on how I walked away from gigging to just be a bedroom DJ, and that does help in my situation. Less pressure to stay on top of everything.

    Beyond that, I find digital tools so helpful in keeping that fire alive. From mobile apps like MixxVibes Cross to plan out new sets, and portable controllers to set up and take down the setup to record mixes into Traktor.

    Granted this isn't ideal for the busybody who wants more than just to make mixes and upload them, but it's helpful. I'll heavily agree on making time for it like designated free time. Block off your schedule and just do it...and don't let anyone sway you into giving up what you love.

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