No time to practice? Here’s how to do it!

The past couple of years, I’ve been on a pretty big productivity kick. I’ve read books, blogs, downloaded apps, and watched Youtube videos, all in an effort to try to maximize my ability to do things quickly and effectively.

I’m still pretty far from where I feel I should be – productivity wise – but I think I’m getting more stuff done during the day, with less general stress, than I was a few years ago. Despite having a kid, more work, more driving, and more things to occupy my free time (like watching all those Youtube videos).

Which means, when I hear my middle or high school students complain about not having enough time to practice during a week, I get a bit more sarcastic than usual – as impossible as that sounds.

Use Your Calendar!

One of the first things I generally do when students pull the “no time to practice” excuse is asking to see what they have on their calendar. Since 99% of students have a smartphone, they all have a calendar app readily available.

I don’t think I need to tell you what they have on their calendar. Almost without exception, there is nothing on it.

calendar schedule

The combined calendars of two freelance musicians. This is our “regular” work week schedule. Long days.

Of course, I tell them to schedule their practice time (and other commitments) and most of the time, they do nothing about it, and we end up having the same conversation week in and week out.

This was weighing on my mind this morning at 5:45 while I was getting some things done before work, and I came across this video by Carl Pullein, and I thought he did a good job of showing how to quickly and easily schedule things on your calendar so you A) Get things done that you need to and B) See what’s coming up for your upcoming day/week.

Watch the Video

The video starts at about 4 minutes in – he’s got a slightly long-winded introduction, but you’re not missing much of the content.

Now Do It!

Now that you’re hopefully inspired to start scheduling out the things you need to do, you can click here to go to YOUR Google Calendar and start adding in your school, homework, practice, and social commitments.

If you have any questions or feedback, or just want to let me know how it goes, please leave a note in the comments below!

About Colin Dorman

Colin is a freelance horn player and teacher, as well as a fan of tech of all sorts, aviation, and increasingly complex flight simulators. He also enjoys beer, bourbon and fitness - but not at the same time. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, as well as right here at!