Finding the time to DJ can be difficult, especially if you’re a university student or a work full-time worker with a hectic social life. We also have the distraction of social media, which takes away so much of your time in the blink of an eye.
However, how much time do we need and how can we be more efficient so we can be a more productive DJ? I am going to touch on time management for DJ's in this blog.
Never say you don’t have enough time
I used to be as guilty as all hell for me saying I don’t have enough time. I realised that I was telling myself a lie so often, it was not until I got out a pen and paper and calculated how much time I actually had during the week. I found out I did have time if I cut back on habits and engaging in activities that didn’t serve me.
I worked out what was most important at the time, and DJing in Melbourne nightclubs was up there. If you estimate what you have to work with and then realise the importance of what you need to do, you will find the time, but being a DJ must be up there as a priority.
Learning the artform of DJing
Like anything, it takes time to become a DJ, and more time to become a great DJ. However, efficiency is everything and so is developing successful habits that will serve you in time. To become a great DJ, you need to work on it day to day; it’s not about spending hours every night learning how to become great but more so dedicating a specific time each day for as little as 30 minutes, which is all you need. Sure, one hour would be ideal, but it is about consistency and developing a successful habit.
At the end of the week that is three and a half hours, you could make it four, which is dedicated to the skills aspect. However, we still must consider that we need to find time to look for new music, which is perhaps more important than the DJing itself. My view being a great DJ comes down to eighty percent music and twenty percent skills and timing of the music. Does it seem like you may not have the time to find the new music? “Well” don’t be overwhelmed yet; let me show you what you can do to find music faster.
Use your downtime to find new music
As the very time scarce person I was, I found it hard to dedicate the time to find those new hidden gems. It used to take me hours to be satisfied, until I used my time more efficiently. While at work, whenever I could I would listen to music from my favourite DJs on my iPhone, whenever I came across a hidden gem, I would just note it and write it down in my notes app on my phone. I would also listen to music on my half an hour drive home from work. This would save me hours scrolling and looking for new artists on Beatport and Spotify.
Whenever I found a new DJ with great music, I would also save them into my Beatport and Spotify playlists so later on in the coming weeks, I could refer to them and develop more of my style by utilising their music in my DJ sets. It all sounds very simple to do, but many DJs can have a tendency not to develop this habit. By doing this you can craft more of a unique style through your influences, save hours upon hours of frustrated wasted time, and you can use better music in your DJ sets without feeling the need to download rubbish for the sake of new music.
Based on my experience you only need to download ten good tracks a week, which is almost a one hour set. You can always use some of your other great tracks from the previous weeks to make up the other two or three.
I firmly believe you only need a few hours a week of consistent practice to become great over time.
If you could devote thirty to forty-five minutes a day of listening to music in your downtime by the end of the week, you would not have to spend all day looking for new gems. Instead, you could spend only one hour. This is a great time-saving hack if you are willing to try it for yourself. Remember you have to ask yourself the question, is your DJ career or hobby a priority right now?
Would love to know your little time-saving hacks below ;)