Being a full time creative can feel overwhelming sometimes, trust me I know. In the last few months, one of the best ways I’ve personally found to restructure and refocus is through minimalism – clearing out the clutter from your life that’s getting in the way.
Minimalism isn’t new, in fact it’s quite trendy right now! Between Marie Kondo helping you remove items from your home that no longer spark joy, to Pinterest worthy wardrobe capsules, to years worth of YouTube content, to the sage advice of grandpapas across the world, there’s no shortage of lifestyle guru’s telling you to get rid of things that just collect dust.
In this article, I’m here to give you a good starting direction, aimed specifically for musicians.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, GEAR, AND MERCH:
Are any of your instruments broken? Go take them to be repaired.
Is any of your gear busted? If you don’t think it’s worth fixing, time to let it go.
How much old merch do you have taking up precious real-estate in your back closet? Make a plan on how you will get them on fans, whether it be a sale, bundle, or giveaway contest.
Are any pieces falling apart? If full of holes and you’ll never get around to the tailor, toss. Is anything dirty? Into your laundry basket.
Do any of these pieces feel constraining or uncomfortable to wear during your live sets? If you overheat or can’t bend over in those leather pants, maybe it’s time to retire them.
Is this outfit too formal for the venues you usually play? I wouldn’t recommend letting the train of your sequinned ballgown touch a dive bar floor, that might qualify as a bio hazard.
Does this outfit still accurately reflect your musical style and brand?
EMAILS AND OTHER DIGITAL STUFF:
Are you on any email lists that don’t provide value? If you automatically delete a corporate newsletter before even reading the subject line, it’s time to unsubscribe. (conversely, are you on any email lists that provide too much value, therefore terrible for your savings goals?)
Are you in any Facebook groups, sub Reddits, or forums that regularly lead you down hour long rabbit holes of procrastination? Turn off notifications and remove them from favourites, so that you have to intentionally seek them out
Is your accounting up to date? Hot Tip: Take photographs of your business receipts and store them digitally in a desktop folder. It’s 2020, you don’t need a filing cabinet stuffed with paper receipts.
If you have a bunch of digital worksheets/free downloads that have been taking up space on your computer desktop since 2017, because you’ll get to them… someday, it’s time to drag them to the trash folder.
Go through your phone contacts, Facebook friends, social media accounts you follow and your old school rolodex…
Are any of these contacts no longer in business? Toss the business cards of shut down venues and broken up bands.
Are there any first names in your phone that you have no idea how they got there and you can’t be bothered to reach out and ask who they are? Time to clean up.
Is there someone you follow who makes you feel bad whenever you see their posts? Bad memories, drama queens/kings, and trolls don’t need to take up space on your feed and in your head.