#108 | Is it Rest or Laziness? | The Rock/Star Advocate

Suz is a mindset coach for music industry professionals looking to gain clarity on their goals & find a better work/life balance.





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procrastination productivity ep108

#108 | Is it Rest or Laziness?

Before you hit that snooze button…

Are you lazy or overwhelmed? How do you know when it’s time for a kick in the ass or a pump on the breaks? Suz goes through the alternatives to laziness that could be causing you to drag your feet and how to push through or hit pause.

None of this stuff is easy. So if you’re here by choice, building a career in the music industry, it’s because you have a passion for it. I don’t believe anyone would put themselves through all of this if it wasn’t.

You’re listening to Episode 108 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.

Hello! You’re listening to Episode 108: Is it Rest or Laziness?.

I’m your host, Suz, a mindset + productivity coach helping music professionals get clear on their goals, priorities, and next steps all while decreasing overwhelm and avoiding burnout. I only have 1 spot left to work this summer 1:1 with a music professional who want to get clear on their goals and strategize their next steps as the world opens back up. If you’d like to discuss working together and how I can best support you, contact me at suz@therockstaradvocate.com and we can set up a time to talk!

This episode is brought to you by the 2021 Rock/Star Life Planner, my weekly spiral-bound scheduler aimed at helping you redefine your hustle and find that work-life balance by working smarter with the help of a library of downloadable spreadsheets, PDF guides, checklists and audio and video tutorials! This year we also created a private IG community, @redefinethehustle, where you can find videos walking you through how to plan your week and month, plus more exclusive content around time management and productivity!

We are now 1/2 way through the year and this is the BEST time to hit that restart button if your year got off to a rocky start, or if you’re sitting there wondering how it’s June already. Printable PDF versions of the Planner are now available, but I only have a HANDFUL of physical copies left from my second printing so grab yours today!

To celebrate the start of summer, between NOW and June 21st I’m knocking $15 off the price of the physical Planner! Head on over to the show notes page www.therockstaradvocate.com/ep108 for the link to lock in that price! If you have any questions, email me at any time, suz@therockstaradvocate.com.

Now, as you know, if you’ve been listening to this podcast, May was mental health awareness month. Even though we’re out of May, it’s still important to talk about our mental wellness as well as our physical wellness, especially as we move into the summer, as the world starts to open back up.

There’s a lot to contend with and adjust to yet again. I talked about this adjustment on a recent IG Live and received such wonderful feedback from it, I decided to interrupt my original programming to bring you this episode a bit sooner than expected.

Procrastination is something so many creatives struggle with, including myself, and there are often many deep-seated reasons for it. We also tend to have a difficult time taking breaks once the work does get started, always feeling as if our commitment to our dreams needs to be mirrored by our commitment to our phones, laptops, and studios.

It’s a slippery slope because while it’s crucial to rest and take breaks, dragging your feet on something and continually hitting that snooze button can turn into real self-sabotage. So how do we tell the difference?

Whenever I would attend music conferences or industry events or when I was working at the major labels in New York, I’d hear all the time, “Oh, musicians are just too lazy. Musicians are lazy.” And I truly don’t believe that. Overwhelmed? Yes. Burnt out? For sure. Lost on next steps?

You bet. With all of the confusion, second-guessing, rejection and emotional turmoil creatives deal with when putting their work out there it’s no wonder procrastination creeps in at all the wrong times.

Even if you’re not a musician, doing this work and being in this industry, it requires so much vulnerability. Plus if you’re building your career in this industry, you are an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship takes so much vulnerability and creativity and risk taking.

So an eight hour day for your friend who works in a cubicle, or maybe now remotely from home, is not the same eight hours that you would have building your career. So if I have a day where I work four hours, some of my friends will be like, “Are you kidding me? You only worked four hours today?” Um, yes, because I’m exhausted because the work that I’m doing requires me to call the shots, make all the decisions, create the work for me to do and then do it.

Even if the work’s been done before, even if there’s a blueprint for certain things like posting on social media or how to write emails and newsletters, even if you’ve got a guide to work off of, it’s still very vulnerable for you to engage and connect with your fan base.

You have to put yourself out there. I’ve worked plenty of day jobs in my life. I did not have to put myself out there as a paralegal or as a camp counselor or as a manager at Crate & Barrel. I didn’t have to reveal myself or be vulnerable with the customers. Vulnerability takes energy – it takes mental energy and it takes a lot of emotions.

So how do we know if it’s laziness or something else? Majority of times, it has nothing to do at laziness. If this were your day job that you gave less than two shits about, ok… you’re probably lazy at times there (or all the time if you were me).

None of this stuff is easy. So if you’re here by choice, building a career in the music industry, it’s because you have a passion for it. I don’t believe anyone would put themselves through all of this if it wasn’t. So if it really is just being lazy, then you don’t care at all about what you’re doing and that’s usually a great indicator that you’ve strayed from your goals and/or lost your passion and need to go do something else.

Maybe that goal that you set really isn’t something you’re connected to much anymore. It might be that you’ve lost interest in it that you need to pivot a little bit, that you need to inject some new life into whatever goal you’re working towards, or simply change it altogether in a new direction. That’s something you can consider if you are lazy and you don’t feel connected to the work.

But, if you care deeply about what you’re doing and it matters to you and you’re still putting things off and you’re still not doing it, it’s likely procrastination out of fear or doubt.

For example, you’re really excited about the song that you’ve just finished. You’re launching it for the first time, but you’ve put stuff on your list to do, and you’re not doing it. You’re watching a lot of Netflix or you’re working, but you’re not working on any of the shit that really matters – the tasks that are going to help you launch your song successfully.

You’re busy, but not at all productive.

One of the reasons you could be dragging your feet is comparison paralysis. You’re starting to get nervous and you haven’t done that Instagram live, or you haven’t posted that post or you haven’t sent out that newsletter because you go on Instagram and you see somebody else’s posts blowing up about their situation or their story or their new song.

And you think to yourself, “Oh, well their story’s more serious” or, “Oh, they’re stories just like mine, but they already shared it. And when I share it, it’s not going to be unique anymore,” or, “Wow. They shared it. But look at the photo they used and that’s more professional than the images that I had planned to use.” And you tell yourself all these stories and beliefs of reasons why you can’t now pull the trigger on what you were going to do.

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if your photo is not as professional or if the lighting is not as perfect. It doesn’t matter if you went through something similar to somebody else who shared their story on Instagram. The way you tell it, the way it’s affected your life, the way you express it in your music, your fans still need to hear what you have to say. The way you describe it and how it’s affected you might finally hit home with somebody and get them to share their story, or to realize what they’re going through or help them process it in a certain way.

I am not the first person, certainly not the first coach to come out and say, “Hey, I have a chronic illness. I’ve got Lyme disease.” Other people out there have chronic illnesses, 300,000 people get Lyme disease a year. I am not a unicorn, but how it affected me and how it prompted me to create the Rock/Star Advocate, how it prompted me to make certain decisions in my life, why it caused me to purchase a tiny house is unique to me.

Besides comparison paralysis, another thing is perfectionism, which in and of itself is just fear cloaked in procrastination, when you tell yourself, “I’m not ready, it’s not ready.”

Here’s the secret. You’re never going to feel ready. So do it anyway. This shit’s messy. Building a career in this industry is messy. Entrepreneurship is messy, so do it anyway. When you feel that perfectionism popping up, just listen to what your body is saying, check in with what thoughts are coming up.

If the thoughts are, “I would release the song, but I still want a few more people to hear it and get feedback on this mix,” or “I think I want to make a few more edits to this video, it can be better,” or “I would send out that newsletter, but I’ll look at it some more and tweak a few more sentences first…”

Is it good to look at something and try to make it better? Sure. But if two weeks have gone by and you’re still in that spot? Again, it’s vulnerability. It’s taking a lot of energy and work for you to share anything with your audience and that’s okay.

You can honor that and still do it. Like Mufasa says to Simba, “I’m only brave because I have to be.” The King was scared! But he did what he had to do.

Another reason you may be dragging your feet may have nothing to do with laziness and also nothing to do with your career or how much you care about what you’re doing. Battling anxiety or depression or something deeper you might be working through might be taking a hit on your focus and energy right now.

Maybe you’re grieving, maybe you’re just in a funk or you’re super anxious about the world opening back up, or your day job is up in the air right now and your income is unpredictable and it’s stressing you out. Or you’re getting ready to move or go on vacation for the first time. Or it’s coming up on an anniversary of something very painful for you or you just went through a breakup.

There are endless reasons. That’s something else could be going on and your body is just stopping you from doing stuff. It needs to rest. It needs to heal. It needs to process. I was watching Oprah and Prince Harry’s new Apple+ show, “The Me You Don’t See,” highly recommend it. One of the things that they were talking about is when you have unhealed trauma and there’s that phrase hurt people, hurt people. When you don’t heal from the pain and you bottle it down and you push it down and you suppress it and you keep going… it will still come out and it will come out in other ways, likely projected onto other people. You’ll also experience physical ailments because of it.

You’ll make more mistakes at work as you try to push through and push it down. You’ll start to do things that are just not aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish because your pain is forcing itself out of you in an array of different ways that you have no control over. So check in with yourself. Are you fighting something deeper?

Lady Gaga was on the series’ first episode, and she admitted that she used to cut herself. Any sort of self-harm that you might be doing, I know myself I’ve gone through certain behaviors as a teen trying to express my anxiety, it’s about gaining control when you feel that your life is in chaos. But she also said another reason is to show people the pain that’s on the inside. So she would cut herself and have scars on her as like a cry for help to show people, “I’m not okay.” And she said, “What I tell people all the time now that I’ve started to heal is ‘Don’t show people, tell people.’”

If you just can’t seem to just get your shit together, tell someone. There could be something else there. Just talking it out with somebody, I fully fully support getting professional help, but in the meantime, finding a trusted friend, finding somebody that you can open up to to say, “I’m not okay,” even if you can’t identify what it is yet, that’s fine.

It’s one things when you’re being lazy with like tasks and jobs that you hate, but when this is your passion, when it’s something you love, if you’re not even writing or going to the studio or doing anything that brings you joy around your music or related the career you’re building for yourself, if you can’t even do the fun things, then there’s something deeper there.

It could be comparison paralysis. It could be perfectionism. It could be something deeper with whether it’s a mental illness or emotional distress or it could be a physical ailment or a mixture of both. So make sure that you tap into listening to your body, taking a moment to stop because your body will find ways to get the message across, whether you’re ready to listen or not.

If you’d like to learn more about a few exercises you can do to better listen and check in with yourself, I’ve left links to quick and impactful things you can do in the show notes page. Head on over to www.therockstaradvocate.com/ep108 to check them out and leave me a comment on the page to let me know which one(s) you’ll be trying out!

And if you need more support to beat the comparison paralysis or perfectionism holding you back, let’s talk! Email me at any time, suz@therockstaradvocate.com so we can set up a time to chat about working together.

Until next time, Rock/Star. Keep planning, keep learning, and I’ll see you back here next time so we can get grounded to get rising! Take care.

Key Highlights

  • Why Suz felt it was important to discuss this topic at this time
  • What laziness looks like
  • Why musicians aren’t lazy
  • What to do if it is laziness
  • How to tell if it’s comparison paralysis {and how to overcome that}
  • How to tell if it’s perfectionism {and how to overcome that}
  • What to do if it’s something deeper
  • How will you commit to listening to your body more often?
    • Let us know in the comments!


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