Staying Engaged; Maintaining Your IPR Skillset

Congratulations, you’ve probably either recently graduated or left IPR for the summer, and you’ve got a lot of open time in front of you. It’s tempting to take advantage of all the summer options out there, but if you desire to maintain your IPR skillset, you’ve got to make time for what matters. Are you an audio production and engineering student; are you into sound design for visual media? Don’t let the IPR gear go unused, book some studio time; make the best recording you’ve ever made and proudly present it to your favorite instructors this fall. Are you a music business student? Find a local artist to help manage for the summer, detail a business plan for your ideal business, or check to see if there is a street team or a festival you can volunteer with (kudos to you if you’ve got something going already). Whatever you decide to do, don’t stop practicing your craft in favor of leisure; it can and will slowly steal your will away from you. You don’t want to hit August before realizing you’ve wasted most of your summer.

Discipline is key:

Everyone I know who has been successful in the music industry has had to develop some sort of personal discipline to maintain. The ones who don’t, may not last long. Out of all the capable IPR graduates / students out there, you need to be the one who stays involved. Nobody is going to do it for you, and nobody is going to follow you around and remind you. For this reason alone you can choose to be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. Use your time wisely.

Use a Planner:

The ones who have been able to maintain a healthy relationship with family, career, bills, and craft are the ones that have mastered the art of planning out their days and sticking to the plan. You may hate using a daily planner, or a calendar, but you’re going to hate it a whole lot more if you go years without organizing yourself. Watch what others have done by planning for their dreams, and begin to model your life after theirs. You don’t want to have to feel like you could’ve been successful years before now only to discover you’ve allowed yourself to be blown by the wind. Take the time to make it happen instead of watching your dream fail. No, it won’t be perfect every time you plan something; life does get in the way, but you’ve got to keep trying. You will not be able to measure progress if you don’t plan for it.

If you’ve taken time to read this, then something in here made sense to you. So I would like to challenge you, even if it feels unnatural, to start by setting your alarm tomorrow morning, even if you don’t have to get up for work. Maybe go to bed 30-60 minutes earlier than normal, and wake up tomorrow with the plan of spending at least 2-3 hours in the studio, practicing your instrument, putting together a business plan, taking pictures, designing a graphic or a website… whatever project you’ve been putting off, make it a priority. Besides, you love what you’re good at, and you feel good doing it… so schedule it in.

I would love to hear how some of you are already doing this. Please comment with your tips and tricks below. Maybe you could even tell us the types of successes discipline has awarded you, and make some suggestions based on what is working for you. Please share.

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