Practice and planning.
If you have no goal and plan to reach the goal, you basically do not know, what you are doing. It is like to set off a journey to nowhere… Without clear considering of your goals and plans you have no chance apply effective strategy to become more productive. Although compositions and practice material brings the needs of what to fix and work on itself, such a way of work is less effective, sometimes chaotic and stressful more on a long term basis.
Therefore, it is good to make plans! Even “having no plan” for some day is a plan, if you KNOW and decide it consciously and with clear reasons. So making plans is even more about awareness of where you are, where you want to go, what you want to do, how and why.
Write your plan on the paper! Benefits from writting instead of just thinking it? You will see your thoughts as they are. You will be forced to name and define your thoughts precisely. You will see the whole amount of your work so you can set priorities better and structure your whole work according to these priorities.
Try following basic tips!
- Write down the list of all your playing duties for the following week. Scales, etudes, compositions + what do you want to work on within those, which goals do you want to achieve. Have in mind to set reachable goals! If you make inadequate goals and you are not able to reach it during a week, then for the next week, think about lowering your goals!
- Set the priorities. Try to sort out your duties according to what needs to be achieved and completed as first, what is not that acute and what can wait. Some of you would say, that all the duties are important and you want to finish it! That is all right, but it does not mean that you have to play through everything every day! Some compositions, technical problems need to played as often as possible to improve, some music is not of this kind and it can wait a day or two to your attention.
- Set up your daily plan. Every day, before you start practising, take your time and think about your further work – what do you want to work on, why and how? Remember, that the day goals will differ from week goals! Also, do not think that you have to keep your plan going despite your playing and particular needs of the composition (some new problems occur to be solved) move somewhere else during playing!
- Define your state. How do you feel this day? What is your amount of energy? How is your mood? Are you feeling weel or tired? Try to include your state to your work plans. If you feel tired then you should adapt your plans to this situation. If you do not follow your state, then you can get to high stress levels because of pushing yourself to hard work for which you have no source. Opposite way, if you are feeling well, plan more!
- Choose a free day within your week. Choose a day in which you will not practice and play your instrument. Give your brain a chance to process all the information from the past week, your tissues to recover… Try to keep the habit of the sea free day within your week.