I was skeptical about meditation...but here’s how it helped me more than I could have ever imagined
My top 3 : three things that are making me WAY more productive this year
8 years ago I went through an injury that nearly stopped me dead in my tracks. I was drowning in the negative stigma that surrounds “musicians’ injuries” and filled with anxiety around the unknowns of my career and life (read about my journey here).
Taking care of my mind turned out to be the cornerstone of my recovery and what started it all was my introduction to meditation.
Was I skeptical about meditation at first? Absolutely. It wasn’t a tangible remedy to me and when a friend suggested it, I scoffed.
Optimize for Creative Work - By Jason Heath
A month into the new year, I wanted to share 3 things that made an impact on me in 2018 that I’m continuing to carry into 2019!
1.) NOT checking email first thing in the morning
This has been huge for me. Previously, I’d check my email while still in bed. I’d jolt into to-do mode before I even gave myself 3 minutes to wake up. Now, my phone lives across the room at night so I can’t reach for it first thing. After lots of trial and error, I’ve learned I need to give myself 1 ½ hours in the morning BEFORE I check my email to have the most productive day. This allows me to wake up and plan my day focusing on MY most important tasks instead of starting my day reacting to other people’s emails. After a year of NOT checking my email first thing, I’m less scattered, more focused and productive.
5 things I can't travel without : secrets to performing my best on the road
Maintaining a musical career takes a lot of creative energy. Here are some tactics I employ nearly every day that ensure I am optimizing for peak creative work.
1. Know your biorhythms
I like waking up early, going to the gym, and making a high-protein breakfast. These two daily rituals set me up for great morning work.
My most complex tasks are scheduled in the morning. This is when I write, record podcasts, sketch out project plans, and practice my instrument.
Afternoons aren’t as creative for me, so this is when I handle my calendar, answer emails, and do work that doesn’t require as much creative spark.
How I stopped wasting energy trying to be someone I'm not
I spend about 30% of my life performing on the road. Ever since my injury, I’ve become hyper aware of how my body needs to feel to perform my best. Here are 5 things that help me that I won’t travel without.
Do nothing. Why adding this to your To-Do list could help you get more done
Writing these bloglettes is definitely a passion project of mine. I love discovering new ideas, researching, writing about and sharing them. But, since I launched this blog 7 months ago, it’s sometimes been like pulling teeth being consistent about writing and posting these.
If this is something I really love doing, why is it so hard for me to get it done?!
For a while I thought that it should be easy to sit down and artfully pump out these little bloglettes in one sitting. After all, it’s ONLY 350 words and I’m writing about subjects that I love! What could possibly be hard about that?
But this wasn’t happening.
Is it time for a cell phone cleanse?
Here’s something to add to your ever-growing to do list: Do nothing.
Sounds ridiculous, right? But what if this was the one thing that could actually help you get MORE done?
In the 5th chapter of his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown discusses why deliberately scheduling downtime with no phone, email or distractions is the most beneficial thing you can do to boost your productivity.
Can you train confidence with gratitude?
Yes. I was that girl, sprawled out on the sidewalk after tripping because I was immersed in my phone and oblivious to my surroundings. Luckily no serious injuries ensued, but my acrobatic fall was a sharp wakeup call.
Take the stress out of email
Last fall I was listening to a School of Greatness podcast interview with sports psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais about High Performance Mindset Training and an idea peaked my interest - we can train optimism and confidence by writing down three amazing things that we are grateful for each day.
Why the Productive Musician? And what's a bloglette?!
EMAIL. There’s always a lot of it and it’s so easy to feel swamped.
I recently read an incredible book called "Unsubscribe" by Jocelyn Glei. It’s a clever, quick read about the psychology of email and how to diffuse “email anxiety” so that you can be most productive.
My name is Sarah Whitney and I'm a professional violinist, teacher, artistic director, career coach and entrepreneur.
To me, the word “productive” encompasses a broad spectrum of topics. The Productive Musician bloglettes will include practical time-saving email tricks, mindset-altering techniques to get into a good headspace, and health and wellness tips. I have found all of these tools essential to my wellbeing as a musician and human being.