The Number One Reason For Not Practicing!

As a guitar tutor I often ask students how their practice is going. Whilst there are a range of reasons (some legitimate and others not so much) there is one reason that I am told far more often than anything else.

“I’ve been too busy”

Sure we all have our busy weeks, but what this really means is “I didn’t make time”. Believe it or not, I’ve heard this from a range of students; adults, teenagers, uni students and even primary school students!

Now, I could give you the “we all have 24 hours in a day” speech, but let me show you my point of view…

I’m a pretty busy guy. I work about 12 hours per day, at least five days per week. I get up at about 5:30 or 6am on weekdays and my nights are filled with some family time, exercise time, walking the dogs, doing housework and if I’m lucky I’ll get between 20-30 minutes of time to myself. Yet I still manage to practice for an hour every day. No excuse.

Of course, I’m much more strict on myself than I expect most of my students to be, but my point still stands that we often have to make time to practice. Make it a priority. Realistically, it doesn’t have to be all that much, only about 10-15 minutes on three different days per week.

Occasionally, I’ll go a day or maybe two (absolute maximum) without practicing, but that’s during times of unusual business like a family crisis of some sort. This doesn’t have a huge impact on my playing because it rarely happens.

So what do you do if you think you’re too busy or your child says they’re too busy to practice?

If it’s a once off, sure they’re probably busier than usual. But it this consistently becomes the reason, then better time management should be implemented (I’ve written countless articles on practice tips). Here are a few quickies!

Schedule – Get a family schedule of some sort and write up the times that you or your child should be practicing. Set alarms in their iPhones, iPads and computers!

Instruct – Tell your child that “it’s guitar practice time after dinner”. It’s even a good idea to sit down with them and instruct them on what to play. Your UGA tutor can help you with knowing what to do!

Reward – Positive reinforcement of some sort is extremely effective. Lollies, chocolate, money, video game time, iPad time, movie tickets…whatever works! This is particularly important for younger students.

The bottom line is this; We all fill up our day with various activities and so need to prioritise a small portion for practicing and improving on the guitar.

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