I sometimes wish that my working hours where 9-5, then I know exactly when all my work will be finished and when my personal time begins. I don’t have any rules to my working day, or for how long I’ll be working for, I simply carry on until the job is done and that sometimes leads to a 12 hour day! There is a misconception that DJ’s only work two days a week, then spend the rest of the week sleeping until the following weekend arrives. Maybe for a select few who don’t really care about their careers but most DJ’s I know are non -stop like myself. The problem with working weekends and travelling half way around the world to get to work, I end up working 7 days a week. I usually get back home on Mondays, leaving me 3 full days to cram in a full working week until the cycle begins again the following weekend. I try and treat my Mondays like a Sunday, so I can be a little more relaxed. That theory usually goes out the window once the phone rings or an email leads to a task to be done.
So what happens in my 3 full working days? I usually allow my body to recover from the long haul flights and lack of sleep from the previous weekend. So I let my body wake up naturally, that’s usually somewhere around 11am. I tried waking myself earlier in the mornings but found I would seriously fade by mid-afternoon, I’d end up having a huge deep sleep knocking my body clock out and staying awake until 4/5am!? My week gets dictated by the previous weekends travelling/gigs. If it was a heavy weekend of long flights and no sleep, the stuff that takes less effort on my brain would get done first. This usually consists of records shopping and sifting through promos…and hassling producers for music. This is a full days work, but also needs a few breaks during the day to rest my ears and mind, as everything can start to sound ‘Samish’ if I don’t. Finding new music is very important to me, after all I’m a DJ! My sound is pretty unique, so it takes me a while to find exactly what I need.
I try and get a good 2 days of studio time, but this doesn’t always go to plan. When really tired I sometimes find it impossible being creative, I need a clear rested mind. I have a rule that when I’m tired, I take a nap. This helps me recover from the limits I put my body through over weekends. As I mentioned before, this sometimes knocks my body clock out of sync, so some times end up working until 5/6 am in the morning, luckily I have a very understanding wife!
On top of all this I run a record label, have a radio show, write record reviews and the odd column in magazines. My radio show can sometimes take a good 2 days to put together, I like to make sure musically that everyone will enjoy it, so much thought is put into the choice and programming of the show. I must take my hat off to the likes of Armin and Jules who do weekly radio shows, they both travel as much as me with the same commitments, but some how cram the radio show into their every week. Their lives must be non- stop!
Would I change my life for a 9-5? Hell no!!! I love what I do and it’s a privilege and a gift to be able to work with something I love, music. But I have recently been taking a step back and putting some time management into my life, ensuring I get more time for studio, and me time!