Finding the Time To Practice Your Guitar

Do you have trouble finding enough time to practice your guitar?  Guess what? You are not alone. Here’s are some thoughts to help you get unstuck.

I just realized that my time is limited so it’s game on for guitar for me.  Friends are amazed that I am playing like I am and think that I have always been playing like this.  It’s not true.  I just realized the deal about time.

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got. Art Buchwald

I remember when I was taking guitar lessons from a bad ass blues player, I thought I was getting ripped off because the thirty minute lessons went faster than I wanted.  I had finally found a good instructor and I just wanted to be around him.  There was another student that was just as enthused and I hated when he knocked on the door.  Where does time go?

Before I knew it I was back in the class but had not practiced.  It sucked!  Where was time going? Why was I in this loop?  You ever been there?  Or maybe you just picked up your guitar.  You have decided this is the time in your life where you are going to master your instrument.  The guitar is just sitting there and you haven’t picked it up yet.  What’s going on?

How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard

Confession:  I have had a guitar within arm’s reach most of my life.  It was like a wall decoration for the most part. I bought the books (Mel Bay), tablature, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CD’s, and DVDs.  I’ve bought guitars, sold them and then bought another.  

Here’s the deal.  We all have one thing in common. We all have only 24 hours in a day. No matter if you who you are. How is it that some people find time to practice?  How did I?  

Doing the pandemic we were all sitting at home.  I realized how I was using my time.  I started to take notice of the time spent preparing for work, sitting in traffic, eating, doing actual work, spacing out, watching TV, sleeping and entertaining myself.  I had less time than I thought to do what I wanted to do. It was only after I realized I was in the 3-4 quarter of my life that I paid attention to how much time I had left to accomplish this one thing.  

The more you know yourself, the more you understand life, the more you value your time. Maxime Lagacé

Time management is a real thing.  If we all only have 24 hours in a day, and we have to sleep, eat and work then what’s left is the transitions and a little bit of time to practice the guitar.  You have to purposeful about it.  In other words you have to be judicious in the planning of your time.  You can’t “do things on the fly” or be spontaneous, and be productive. Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive.  

If you are a parent, caregiver or have a needy partner, you might not be able to enjoy those moments. Face it, love is sacrificial.  Accepting that you can’t do something because of your lifestyle at the moment can help you not feel guilty.  Understand that the power of NO is liberating.  Get comfortable with saying “No” if you want to get better. Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management.

If you focus more on being efficient, you’ll feel better. If you stop procrastinating and just do stuff, you’ll feel better. Generally, less dabbling and better time management will make you feel better. Feeling you waste your time is a horrible feeling. 

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. Charles Darwin

How much do you scroll?  Has Tick-Tock taken your soul?  Are you addicted to social media?  Social networking addiction is real.  Reality shows aren’t real.  They are scripted for impact.  They replaced soap operas of your great grandmother’s era.  They are trash.  They distort your view. They steal your time.  

It’s all about prioritization. Do you want to continue to scroll, level up on your PS5 or master your instrument?  It all comes down to what brings the most value to your life?

When you lose motivation, or are not as passionate as when you first started, you’ll find excuses for why you can’t find the time.  Remember we all have the same amount of time in a day.  How you use it is important.

If you want to find the time to practice your guitar:

  • Re prioritize your life
  • Substitute the time you would watch tv with practicing
  • Set a time limit for social media / scrolling on your phone.
  • Make it fun

Time is ticking.  We all have 1440 minutes in a day, 168 hours in a week, 8760 hours in a year. How are you going to spend yours?

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Seneca