Making music can be fun, exciting and rewarding – but it can also be a grind, especially if you’re prone to procrastination.
Now – more than ever – you’re faced with a huge world of distractions waiting to pull you out of your creative process and distract you. If you work on a computer, then the distractions are never more than a mouse click away.
Our computers are inevitably hooked up to the Internet, and if you’re anything like me, you feel that familiar temptation to check your social media or emails (again) and lose the flow.
This is one of the reasons why I love making music with hardware – it takes you away from the distractions, and is perfect in the way it lets you focus solely on the task at hand.
Using accountability to boost your productivity
If you really want to boost how productive you are, one of the best ways to do so is to use accountability.
I used to have a boring desk job. I’d come into work everyday and slave away for hours on the same repetitive tasks. My boss was sat behind me, and the rest of the office could see exactly what I was doing.
Then, one day, we decided to shift the office round a little bit, and my computer was moved into a corner, facing a wall. Suddenly no-one could see what I was up to. In no time at all, my productivity plummeted.
What do we learn from this? Well apart from the fact that I can be a lazy sod, we learn that being accountable makes a huge difference to how productive we are. When I knew I was being watched, I worked harder, faster and more efficiently.
This principle can be applied to your music making – we simply have to simulate conditions, to create accountability where there currently is none.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to take to social media, and announce the date of your album’s release. If you talk publicly about your release date, or your aims, then you’ll have nowhere to hide, and the shame of letting people down, or embarrassing yourself by failing to do what you’ve said you will, will be a huge motivation.
Fear of failure is a major reason why we never do the things that we want to. By telling everyone who will listen about your plans, you’re shifting the fear of failure onto not producing what you say you will – which can be incredibly motivating.
Another method I’ve used effectively is to give yourself rewards for succeeding.
So if you work uninterrupted, and complete your daily to-do list, add a few coins to a reward pot. Be strict with yourself, and you’ll have a great motivation to succeed, as raise money for a little treat.
Or, if that’s not working for you, try out the opposite. If you fail to do what you need to each day, give some money away to a charity. If you want to take it to extremes, give the money to a charity that supports something you hate.
All these methods are simply adding in accountability to your workflow. Don’t underestimate these techniques, and use accountability to massively improve your music making productivity right away!