I have a confession.

I hate making decisions.

I love having MADE decisions, but the actual decision-making process wears me out. It’s not so much normal, everyday decisions like “Should I put Sriracha on my eggs today or not?” (By the way the correct answer is “YES ALWAYS.”)

It’s the important decisions, the ones about work and music. You know, decisions about things like how I spend my time at work, how I spend my time NOT at work, how to become a professional model…things like that.

But seriously, it can be a struggle. I’ve gotten better, but the underlying resistance is still alive and well.

It’s just fear. That’s all it is. Fear of making the wrong decisions. Fear of putting effort into something that will eventually fail. Fear of only getting a mediocre response.

Maybe you can relate?

Here’s the big stinkin’ pile of irony: I love having the FREEDOM to make decisions. I love getting to choose how I spend my time. And that love of freedom makes me hesitant to commit to anything. I like to leave things open and fluid. I like to be sporadic and spur-of-the-moment.

To summarize, I love having the freedom to choose, but I hate choosing because once I choose I have to do the thing I chose and am no longer free to choose something else.

Do I sound crazy yet? Probably. But I bet you can relate to some (or all?) of this.

It’s a problem of intentionality and commitment. Too much structure kills spontaneity. Too much spontaneity kills structure.

We need BOTH.

Am I still being too vague? Sorry. Here are some practical examples.

Structure: Pam and I have a meal plan for the week.

Spontaneity: If it makes sense, we might order take-out one night instead of sticking to the plan. If there’s NO plan, we’ll eat out more. If all we do is eat out, our budget and our bellies suffer.

Structure: I will release 4 EP’s in 2017.

Spontaneity: I can choose what kind of EP it will be. Full band? Acoustic? Piano/vocal? There’s freedom within the structure.

Structure: I will put out new content daily

Spontaneity: If I have extra time to make a bonus piece of content, great, but the commitment is one piece of content daily.

That last one is what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

Remember when I started GilderCam, a series of vlog-style videos on my YouTube channel? That was a spontaneous decision. And I dove in. I made them DAILY, 5-6 episodes per week. It was fun, and I learned a lot, but it took too much time. I burned out after 50 episodes.

So I stopped making them, and I stopped doing Ask Joe, too. I cut out everything for a while to re-evaluate what the structure needs to be.

Time is a limited asset. When you choose to spend your time on one thing, that’s time you cannot spend on something else. You simply can’t “do it all.” I foolishly thought I could add a daily vlog on top of my normal routine and still get everything done. I couldn’t. Adding 3-4 hours of additional daily work on top of an already full schedule was madness. The time’s gotta come from somewhere. For me I gave up most evenings and some sleep.

It wasn’t a good trade.

So I re-evaluated.

I thought about what it is that I’m trying to accomplish with Home Studio Corner. I realized that I still do want to connect with you on a daily basis, but there are other equally important things that I need to work on as well, big projects. As it turns out, if you fill your schedule with spontaneity, you leave yourself no room for planning, big picture thinking, and big, important projects.

So I’ve scaled back, regrouped, and I have a plan, a plan that has both structure and plenty of room for spontaneity.

The specifics of my plan aren’t that important, because they can change as I continue to evaluate. The lesson here is to have a plan.

Take the time to figure out what it is you want to do. Ask yourself hard questions and give yourself honest answers. Make a plan.

Then?

WORK the plan.

See if it’s reasonable, if it has enough structure, if it has enough room for spontaneity. Re-evaluate as needed.

That’s what I’m doing, a walking “work in progress.”

What does that mean practically? I’m bringing back Ask Joe. I’m bringing back GilderCam on a weekly instead of daily basis. And I’m going to send out more regular consistent emails to you.

Sound good? Stay tuned. I’ll be in touch.

Joe Gilder

Home Studio Corner

P.S. What’s something you need to decide about? What plan do YOU need to make?

  • James Lawrence

    The return of Ask Joe AND Gildercam! Woohoo! I gotta start making some plans too!

  • Alan

    Joe. You realize you don’t have enough time to do all those things on a daily basis. Good. And as far as I am concerned, I don’t have time to follow you on a daily basis neither. Easy answer to this problem: why not doing it on a weekly basis! After all, it’s not the quantity that will make HSC a great place to go, it’s the quality of its content. And things that are important for us to learn, things we need to know about. (I miss time, I need to plan, I already know this and I need something else to read about). Hope I didn’t waste your time with my comment. But think about it.

    • Appreciate the feedback, Alan. I WANT to do something daily, and I think a lot of people connect with it. Totally fine if you don’t want to check in daily.

  • Frank Perreault

    When GilderCam and AskJoe disappeared I knew from experience what was happening. It always goes back to that word we struggle with called “balance”. Like you said, there are only so many hours in a day. The problem is we try cramming in “one more thing” never realizing that something eventually has to give, Cutting back on GilderCam and AskJoe, is the ideal solution for us and you. That way we don’t lose those valuable resources and you still get to “talk” with us. That’s great news!

    So what plan do I need to decide on? Well I have written my first song. Now I have to get my butt in gear and make some music for it…

    • LOVE that, Frank. Schedule that session and go have fun.

  • Pete overaitis

    Great points!! The family life balance and how much to charge is a tough one for me.