Practice vs Playing
How do I make the most of my practice time?
First off there is a huge difference between playing and practicing.
Playing things that you already know is not practicing in my mind. Practice should be about learning something new. Not playing the same ole stock licks.
You need a plan. A simple "practice" plan. Make a list, things you want to improve on, goals, both short term and long term.
Break your routine down into simple small chunks.
Here is a sample.
Scales - 20 minutes
Chords - 15 minutes
Song(s) - 10 minutes a piece
Licks - 10 minutes etc
An egg timer or the alarm on a phone will help you stay on the course.
Remember practice should be just that, practice. Having a practice schedule helps.
Now with all this being said. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just playing! Running though things you know and enjoy. Most of all have fun!
One last thought. You should play at a little everyday, just to keep your hands in shape.
It's funny for me practice is almost zen like, very close to Meditation. I almost guilty if I don't play or practice everyday.
Nothing happens overnight. It takes desire, discipline and dedication to improve as not only a guitar player but a musician.