Wether you are new to making music or you have been doing it for many years chances are there are times when you feel less productive. I know you like to think that you are functioning at 100 percent 100 percent of the time, but fact is that is highly unlikely. I say this because it is human nature to get easily distracted and get off task when overworked. In this article we are going to explore my Five Ways To Be More Productive With Your Music in the studio.
Use positive language. Always use positive language when it comes to your music. Rather you are a newbie or a seasoned pro what you speak has a great effect on what you do. Terms like, I can't do that, I am not good at mixing, I will never learn chords, I am just a newbie, etc. have no place when it comes to you and your music. You are what you say you are so stay positive. Believing that you can is the first step to doing.
Have a work plan. One of the easiest ways to stay on task is to have a plan and follow it. Having a plan doesn't need to be a lot of work or take a lot of time to set up. It can be something as simple as a to do list or as detailed as you want it to be. The main thing is that you plan out the time that you will be spending making music. If you want to be more productive in the studio then planning out your time in the studio is very important.
Stop multi tasking. Really. You should stop doing multiple task in the studio while you are working on music. Many of us try to do too much and all at the same time. When you have your DAW open your focus should be there. If you have a browser open to your favorite music forum, another opened to your email, another open to watching videos, still another open to search for things, all this along with your open DAW and maybe a game, then this is too much. You have so many things going on that it can become a distraction. If you are having a hard time being focused in the studio maybe it is time to stop multi tasking.
Work in the morning. Yes, the morning. Most folks that are in music are night owls. Meaning they do their best work at night and often stay up all night working on music. This is fine if you are being productive, but if you are not maybe it is better to start in the morning when your mind is fresh after getting a good nights sleep. Some people work better at night and some work better during the day, but either way your mind is a little sharper first thing after 6 to 8 hours of rest. Sleep during the day and work at night or sleep at night and work during the day. It really doesn't matter (if your schedule allows it) but the main thing is to start working after you have rested first.
Work in small blocks of time. Sometimes one of the main reasons we can get distracted while working on our music is because we simply get tired or bored. It doesn't mean that you don't love making music. If you find yourself getting tired or bored it just means you have been at it too long. Instead of working on music for eight hours straight and risking ear fatigue, try working in groups of an hour to two hours instead. Make sure you remember to take breaks and step away from the project while you are not working.
Staying productive is not as hard as you might think it is just something you have to keep in mind while you are working so that you don't lose sight of your goals. One of the best ways to stay on task and to end up with more done at the end of the day is to use an action manager.
An action manager is a software program that allows you to manage the task that you need to do using a timer or a clock system so that you only have a certain amount of time to finish something. I use a software program called Action Manage. This program allows you to plan out your studio time in blocks so that it is easier to stay on task and not lose focus on what you are doing throughout the day. It also helps you to make sure you get everything done that you want to throughout the day. I got it when it first came out for about ten dollars but it is now available for free! Unfortunately it is only available for Windows.
You can download the Action Manage software for Windows here from CNET.
Article written by Alex Butler
Alex is an audio engineer, studio producer and freelance writer based out of Seattle, WA.