I've been thinking about time lately. Years ago, when I was in college, someone said to me " the most valuable thing you have in your life is time" and I didn't know what they were talking about. Cause I had TONS of time back then. Now - I still have time, but not as much as I did when I was 20. I have more responsibilities now, of course, and less time to just do "what I want". I think students forget that they have a short window of time in their life to actually DO what they want to do - 4 years seems like an eternity - yeah.... it isn't. You must make the best of every moment you have - each lesson, ensemble rehearsal, clinic, master class, all are important. You also have to learn and study and think about priorities - what matters now. You have to juggle what matters to you, and what matters to your teachers, friends and family.
Early in your life, you are likely not able to set very many of your own priorities - you are learning pieces that your teacher gave you, or writing papers that someone else assigned. Gradually, you'll start to have to take more ownership of your own life, and time, and how you use that time. What you do with that time will set the stage for your career and your life. Asking - "why am I doing this, does this get me to my end goal" is an important question to have at the front of your mind.
Don't just float through the business - manage it, plan, and use the time you have to the best of your ability. Before you know it, someone will want you to actually make a living doing this
There are many great books on the topic of time management and planning. I've found First Things First by Stephen R Covey ( author of the 7 habits of highly effective people) to be useful. Also, for a more focused book on the music career, I can recommend Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting additional books, lists and ideas on the topic of career planning and performance.