Is The Studio Lifestyle Hazardous To Your Health?

Anyone who has worked in the studio professionally either as a musician, engineer or producer knows that the hours can be long and you can go for days, weeks and months without a break. Most of us do this willingly, at least at the beginning of a career, but there’s something that we all know – the studio lifestyle is not the best for your longterm health. Production Expert recently conducted a poll to see what the typical studio lifestyle consists of, and this is what they found after 400 people responded.

Studio lifestyle stress
  1. Short Breaks During Sessions:
    • 40% take breaks occasionally
    • 35% frequently
    • 17% rarely
    • 9% always.
  2. Regular Lunch Breaks:
    • 36% always take a lunch break
    • 26% frequently
    • 24% occasionally
    • 14% rarely
  3. Days Off for Relaxation:
    • 39% occasionally take days off
    • 27% rarely
    • 25% frequently
    • 10% always
  4. Fresh Air Activities (e.g., Walk, Run):
    • 36% rarely go out for fresh air
    • 33% occasionally
    • 17% frequently
    • 15% always
  5. Annual Holidays/Vacations:
    • 32% take a holiday rarely
    • 31% once a year
    • 31% a few times a year
    • 7% regularly.
  6. Average Sleep Per Night:
    • 45% get 6 to 7 hours
    • 28% more than 7 hours
    • 24% 5 to 6 hours
    • 4% less than 5 hours

Looking at these figures, I can’t say that much has changed since when I started 40 or so years ago.

What I do know is that this lifestyle isn’t good for relationships, and everyone has a horror story of one (or more) gone bad from working too much.

It leads to poor health, and everyone has a story about getting sick and not being able to shake it until things got so serious and they were forced to take time off or hospitalized.

It leads to good people leaving the business, and everyone has a story of a talented person they started with in the business that was forced to leave for something more stable and “normal.”

There’s A Light

If you stay in the studio business long enough you find that eventually you can get to some form of a normal life by shear discipline. For instance, I didn’t take vacations for 30 years and was reluctant to take the first one that was booked for me. I surprisingly discovered that it made me a new person on the other side, and now I take regularly scheduled vacations every year because I know that I’ll be better at my various jobs with a fresh mind after some time off.

I no longer work crazy late night hours because I found that they’re counterproductive. You’re not giving your best to a project when you’re too tired to think. 8PM (and usually sooner) is now a cutoff for me as I know that the project will benefit from fresh eyes and ears tomorrow.

Finally, I have a golden rule that I never break. I will never take a phone call or text while I eat. That’s my time that cannot be interrupted. Just about anything in the world can wait 30 minutes for a response.

Like I say, when you’re first starting out you’re asked to sacrifice your free time for the sake of learning and building a career. That’s paying your dues and everyone goes through it. After you’ve risen to some level of seniority though, you owe it too yourself and your clients to be as present as you can, and that only comes with regular rest.

Crash Course Access
Spread the word

Comments are closed