One of the most common questions I get in emails, interviews and, well, all over the place really, “is how do you get so much done???”
While there’s certainly no magic trick to it, and a lot of it is simply the illusion of the internet making it seem like I’m doing everything at once (not on purpose; that’s just a quirk of the internet), I certainly do have some best practices I try to follow in regards to time management.
One of the most important changes you can make to become a more productive piano teacher is to understand the difference between important and urgent tasks.
The next time you make a to-do list or a potential priorities list, ask yourself whether each task is important or urgent.
Urgent tasks are the ones that need to be done YESTERDAY.
When you look at your list, these are the ones you’ll be tempted to jump to first like replying to the email that’s been sitting in your inbox for 2 days or ordering piano books while the sale is still on.
Urgent tasks are how most people spend most of their time. Running around, chasing bits and pieces, and never feeling like they’re on top of things.
It’s in the name, really. These are the tasks that will make the biggest impact in your business.
If that email you haven’t replied to for 2 days is from a potential new piano parent and you have an opening, maybe it is urgent and important.
If you actually need new books for your students as they’re about to finish their current ones, then maybe that task is important too.
But, chances are, the important tasks are the ones that you never actually do. They’re the things that sit at the back of your brain making scribbly circles on your concentration.
Maybe you keep meaning to revisit your policies, so you don’t have to give make-up lessons anymore. Maybe you want to write a curriculum outline that you can use for all your new students. Or, perhaps you want to update your studio website so that you get more enquiries and fill the final lesson spots.
All of these things are really important. They’re also really easy to put off for later.
Did you notice something else about these important tasks, though? They could all save you time or make you more money in the long-run.
If you do a brain dump of everything you could be doing right now, everything on your mental to-do list (and I suggest you do!), you might reveal something else surprising. Many of the tasks on your list might not even matter at all.
Nothing tasks are the “shoulds”. They’re the clutter that fills up our minds and our diaries but doesn’t actually have any impact on our business. They limit our piano teaching productivity.
Every time you make one of these lists from now on, ask yourself: Does this task actually matter or can I just cross it off?
Once you have a list of things that really are important, it will be that much easier to put them in order of priority and get stuff done.
Are you chasing your tail following urgent tasks?
We all get that way from time-to-time. I hope this article has helped to calm your scribbly scrabbly mind and improve your piano teaching productivity. For more ideas on improving piano teacher productivity, visit my page dedicated entirely to running your studio business. Let me know what you think in the comments.