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Using If-Then Statements to Improve Your Practice Routine

Playing violinIf you have been reading my blogs for a while, you know that I am always interested in ways to stay organized and be efficient.  One of the methods that I like is using if-then statements.

I read that making decisions takes as much energy whether it is a small or large decision.  For example, it takes as much energy to decide what to eat for lunch as it does whether to move to a new country.

What does this have to do with everyday life and practicing music?  Well, deciding what to practice every day takes energy.  This is energy that you could be using to focus on the details of your practice session.  I schedule my practicing for the morning each day, but still have to decide exactly what to practice.

I use if-then statements to eliminate having to make a decision each day about what to do.  For example, if it is Monday, then I work on technique.  If it is Tuesday, then I work on my music for Ensemble 18C, etc.

I also use if-then statements when it comes to exercising.  If it is Monday, then I go to Pilates.  If it is Tuesday, I go for a walk, sometimes with a friend, sometimes alone.  It doesn’t matter if that is what I “want” to do that day or not, it is what I do.

In essence, this is a different way to think about scheduling.  Personally, I like to use scheduling to block off the big chunks of time that I need for recurring tasks such as practicing, but then I like to use if-then statements for the details of exactly how I am going to use that time.

Happy practicing!

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