Be More Productive!

Ever notice how the hours in a day have a way of disappearing? Some days I have a long mental list of the things I’m going to accomplish between morning and night – but despite my efforts, at the end of the day I often feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface. This week’s blog post is the result of brainstorming ways in which we can all be more productive. I’ve tried to make this post brief, so that you can read through it in a few minutes and get back to being your wildly productive self.

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Spring Clean Your Website in 5 Steps

It’s that time of the year again – time for spring cleaning. Here are five ways in which you can spruce up your website, all in the name of springtime.

1) Throw old news in the trash. You know what happens when you leave something in the fridge for too long? Well the same thing happens when you leave expired news on your website. So throw that old news in the trash and let people know what’s happening now. And if you’re thinking you don’t have anything newsworthy to report, remember that your news doesn’t have to be that you’ve just won a Grammy award or a MacArthur Fellowship. There’s always something happening – it’s all in how you frame it. For example, let people know what you’re working on, or what you’re excited about. If it’s meaningful for you, it could well be meaningful for your readers.

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How to Deal with Difficult People

Come across a grumpy dwarf of sorts recently? I did – and let me tell you, it was not fun. Difficult (or even downright mean) people sometimes cause us to buy into what they’re saying – to believe them when they say that we’re no good, or incompetent, or whatever not-so-nice things they might be saying (or inferring). I got through the situation I was having with a very difficult person by reminding myself of the five things below. The next time you encounter a grumpy dwarf, remember these!

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10 Tips For a Great Newsletter

Do you write an email newsletter? Want people to actually open and read it? How about even look forward to it? Then this blog post is for you. In my experience, many people write newsletters in which they predominantly talk about themselves – and while there’s nothing wrong with that, if your objective is to get the majority of your recipients to open your newsletters and read them on a regular basis, then you might want to rethink your strategy. Here are ten tips for improving the quality of your newsletter content, and increasing the chances that it will actually get read.

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How to Keep a Zero Inbox

I’ll never forget the time I was checking my email on a desktop computer when my sister walked up behind me and upon seeing the screen exclaimed: “Holy crap, you keep a zero inbox?” Why yes. Yes I do. And I remember the day many years ago when I discovered an article online about how to keep your inbox empty – I read it thoroughly and never looked back. Over the years I’ve tweaked that system to make it work best for me, and now after all this time I want to share it with you. While my method probably won’t work for you exactly as is, my hope is that you’ll be able to tweak it and make it your own.

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Interview Series: Steve Whipple

How do freelancing artists do it? How do they piece together work to create a sustaining and stable career?  Through this interview series, I aim to get to the heart of those questions by talking to various artists about how they make freelancing work for them.

In this eighth installment, Continuum spoke with jazz bassist Steve Whipple. Originally from Tokyo, Steve Whipple’s musical life has taken him to a great many places: The Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where Steve attended high school; Quito, Ecuador where Steve worked as a visiting professor and department chair of the bass program; and New York City, where Steve has lived for the past six years playing with ensembles that run the gamut from “Double Bass Double Voice,” a group comprised of two bass players and two vocalists – to “Xylopholks,” a xylophone-featured ragtime band that performs in animal suits (Steve is the pink gorilla). In this interview, Steve spoke with Continuum about making lists, when it’s ok to bail on a gig, why you shouldn’t network unless you want to, the importance of maintaining your connections, and why musicians need to be both an artist and a craftsman. Enjoy!

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Interview Series: Sara Caswell

How do freelancing artists do it? How do they piece together work to create a sustaining and stable career?  Through this interview series, I aim to get to the heart of those questions by talking to various artists about how they make freelancing work for them.

In this seventh installment, Continuum spoke with violinist Sara Caswell. Recognized as a “Rising Star” in both the 2014 and 2015 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll, Sara has led a career as impressive as it is diverse. Over the past several years Sara has kept busy performing with her own quartet as well as a group co-led with her sister, vocalist Rachel Caswell. She is also an active performer with The New York Pops Orchestra, Grammy Award Winner Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society, and Grammy Nominated vocalist Roseanna Vitro. Sara spoke with Continuum about surrounding oneself with the right people, how to avoid getting overwhelmed by the enormity of life, the importance of being true to yourself, and the magic three factors for taking a gig: the music, the money, and the hang.

(And after you’ve read the interview, make sure and check out Sara’s beautiful music over at her website).

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5 Internet Mistakes You’re Probably Making

If you’re like me (and like most people), identity theft and hacking is something that for the most part happens to “other people.” And while this mindset may end up serving you well far into the distant future – there is a possibility that at some point identity theft may cease to be something that happens to “other people” and become something that is happening to you. I’m not suggesting that anyone get paranoid, because paranoia is not helpful in any way, shape or form. However, there are some basic practices that we all can and should be doing to protect ourselves from hackers, bots and the like. Nothing can guarantee that you’ll never become a victim of online predators, but if you can avoid the five common mistakes listed below you’ll certainly be much less vulnerable, and it will give you some peace of mind.

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How to Fill the Summer Lull

For a lot of us, the summer is a time when work is not flowing quite as abundantly as it usually is during the year. If this is true for you, here’s five ideas for summer projects that will ensure you are taking full advantage of your downtime while you have it!

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Get Inspired!

Whether you’re in a bit of a creative slump or not – we all can do with a healthy dose of inspiration now and then. Here’s five ways you can get outside of yourself, gain some perspective, and gather some new inspiration to keep moving ahead!

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