Time Management for DJs


By Stu Chisholm – “The Complete Disc Jockey”

Running a DJ business is an entrepreneurial venture. As owners/operators, the term “spare time” is as mythical as the Loch Ness monster!

It goes without saying that sitting around the office playing Bejeweled Blitz or Farmville is counter-productive, but it is important to effectively use the time you do work by working to a plan.

If you go to great lengths to create an itinerary/timeline for your events, doesn’t it make sense to do the same for your workday?

The outline to follow was written with full-time operators in mind, but if you work a day job, then managing your time wisely is especially critical!

Daily Breakdown

My first time breakdown is by the day, each one having clearly defined purpose. For instance, I call Mondays “office day,” because it’s the first business day after the weekend. This is the day when your phone is most likely to ring, as you’ve just done events over the weekend where people saw you work. This is the day I prepare contracts, send out information packets, return calls and anything else that might be classified “office work.”

Other days I designate for other purposes; Tuesday is equipment maintenance day, Wednesday is music day, Thursday is marketing day and Friday is final prep (when not booked). Again, these are overall day plans and you might arrange your week in a way that makes sense for you.

Hourly Breakdown

I like to begin my day returning phone calls and responding to e-mails. Regardless of what other activities might be on deck, I also spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day on marketing. It might not sound like much, and I do usually end up spending more, but as one industry expert told me when I mentioned my schedule, “That’s about 30 minutes more than most DJs spend each day on marketing.”

That’s right; few DJs do this on a daily basis, yet they expect phone calls and e-mails from new customers on a daily basis! Is this realistic?

There will be daily diversions to allow for; phone calls, UPS, etc. Client meetings can happen on any given day. So might a request for information, and you don’t want to wait to return that e-mail or hold off sending a packet via snail mail!

Your schedule/timeline is therefore a loose structure to keep you on track when other demands on your time die down. Don’t forget to build-in time for lunch. Make good use of scheduling software, including online tools such as Google+.

Ways to Prevent a Breakdown

Lastly, build-in a reward. Once you’ve accomplished your goals for the day, allow yourself the reward of some time on Facebook, or playing Farmville or whatever diversions you’ve been ignoring to get your work done.

After all, the mind needs a release after a long day of work, just as the body needs to stretch after a workout or marathon. You’ll find that you will actually perform better overall, and having that reward at the end provides incentive to not only finish, but be more efficient in the process.



  • Stu Chisholm of Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service in Michigan has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe.

    He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well.

    Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine.

    To contact him, email DJStuCrew@gmail.com. You can grab Stu’s book at TheCompleteDiscJockey.com.

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