Sometimes people ask me to get involved with a project and I say no. I’m not crazy, I just think sometimes it’s best not to take work.
I work a full time job as a digital marketing assistant, so the time when I’m not at work is pretty precious. On top of this I have regular blogging commitments for a range of places which I need to fulfil.
If I took on projects that I knew I didn’t actually have the time to do I’d probably do a bad job as I wouldn’t be able to dedicate enough time to the project to complete it to the best of my ability. Taking on the project without time would add enough stress to my life, but then when it’s done I’d have the stress of knowing that it’s not my best work and then I’d stress about getting bad feedback/reviews (depending on what type of project it is).
Sometimes I’m able to make time in order to take on new projects and do a good job, but that still doesn’t mean I’ll take on any project. Making time means sacrificing other things and sometimes a particular project is just not worth enough for the time I’d have to sacrifice and I’d make a loss when I could be working on other projects that would earn more in less time, or even just keep my original plan.
At times I feel some projects are too small and won’t challenge me or add to my experience. Frankly, I’d rather do something more productive with my time that can help me progress in my career.
On the other hand, some projects are too challenging and I just don’t yet have the skills to do them efficiently. Of course, I could always give them a shot, but right now I just don’t have the time for such a challenge. When the time is right, I’ll take these bulls by the horns, but in busy times like this I need something that’s not too big, but also not too small.
There’s another massive factor at play when working on projects. Passion. If I’m not passionate about something I find it pretty hard to make an effort when dealing with it. That’s why I won’t post music I’m not fully feeling- I wouldn’t be able to say anything (unless I absolutely hate it, then I can say more). I also find it really hard to be creative when I’m not passionate about something.
Now, I’ve written this article like it’s all about me, but it’s really not. Yes, I do turn down a lot of things and people are a bit like “Why?” (most people want everything for free), but I initially decided to put all this in a post when I heard someone feature on a track they weren’t exactly passionate about (you could tell) and I just thought “Wow, this applies to artists too”
You won’t always have time to jump on every track/play every gig/etc., so prioritise. And remember, if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing it won’t be your best work and the listener will probably realise that. Of course you can override this and still sound mega passionate about something you don’t care about, but it’s a lot more effort and not much fun (if you’re being paid though it definitely makes it easier). In terms of features, you may think “Yeah, but if I do this loads more people will hear me” which may be true, but are the fans of the artist you’re collaborating with even relevant to you? Are they anything like your target market? Or is it more like putting cheese in a goldfish tank and expecting it to eat it?
Before you take on a project or jump on a track just have a think… because sometimes it’s best not to take work, even when someone hands it to you on a plate.
That said, if I didn’t a have so much to do I’d probably jump at anything just for the hell of it.