Another practice tip: Follow your own advice.
Structure, ah structure. As I recently wrote, I've discovered that the only time for me to practice is really 5 AM.
Well, I thought yesterday that I'd skip waking up early, because I'd have plenty of time to practice in the afternoon. Wrong. I had a half hour. Halfway through that half hour, a close friend walked into my practice room to tell me all about his new instrument and how excited he was, and how two nights in a row, he'd practiced it for about six hours. Yes, he is single. No, he does not have kids. Oh, I do love this close friend, and someday I will love hearing him play his new instrument... but I really wanted to practice.
Today, I started practicing my flute, in a rare block of afternoon free time, when my cell phone rang. I answered it. It was a different close friend, calling from Paris to say that he is applying to a jazz studies program in New York and would I write a recommendation letter? Yes of course. I would do anything for him, the smartest AND most musically talented person I know (well... except you, of course). BUT... he called during my practice session. Sigh.
Let's revisit those tips I wrote...
-Don't answer your phone when you're practicing.
-Practice where you know you won't be disturbed.
-Always practice at the same time of day, whenever possible.
I managed about a half hour yesterday. Today, I got about five minutes, and now I have to run out on some unavoidable errands, just hoping that my family will understand later on, after dinner, when I ask for an hour to go practice.
This ain't easy.