6 Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating and Make More Music
Are you sitting on unfinished music, or struggling to make progress with your songwriting? In this post I want to share a few tricks and techniques that I use everyday to boost my productivity and creativity that will help you to stop procrastinating and make more music!
Hack Parkinson’s Law
This is something that has made me so much more productive and efficient in just about every aspect of what I do. Parkinson’s law states that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”, meaning if you have a week to do a two hour task, it’s going to take all week and will ultimately become more daunting and more detailed than it needs to be, to fill that time. However, if the task had a strict two hour time limit, it would be finished by the end of the two hours.
Have you ever had an assignment deadline and left it all until the last minute? I bet it was finished when the deadline came around - that’s this technique in action. If you can set yourself deadlines or time limits like this for making music, you’ll procrastinate less, be more intentional and will be able to squeeze much more productivity and creativity into a smaller time frame. This works even better if you have somebody to hold you accountable.
Create more than you consume
According to Statista, the average person spends about 7.5 hours per day consuming media. This includes social media, on demand TV, music, video games and more. Imagine what could be achieved if you spent even half of that time everyday creating instead of consuming. If you can become more intentional with your media consumption, you can easily free up time for creative tasks like songwriting, recording, promotion or learning new skills. I try to do this by having a strict schedule of when I work, when I create and when I relax. Since doing this, not only have I been more productive, but chilling out and watching some TV or playing a video game has felt so much more rewarding.
Put down the phone
This links a lot to the last point - everyday the average person checks their phone 52 times. That’s potentially 52 distractions preventing you from getting into a creative flow! Next time you’re writing or recording some music, do yourself a favour and leave your phone in another room and switch it off.
Try to maintain a dedicated space for creating music. It doesn’t matter where this is, it could be a corner of your bedroom, a dedicated room or your garden shed, it just needs to be a creative bubble, with no distractions so that you know when you’re sat there, music is all that matters. It also helps if you’re living with your partner or family, because they will know not to distract you when you’re in your music space.
When are you most creative?
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Different people work best at different times of the day. For me, the first two hours after I wake up are when I’m most focussed, so I utilise them to power through admin before my day’s even properly begun. If you can figure out when you’re most creative, you can schedule an hour or two of that time every single day for music making, instead of wasting hours procrastinating when you’re naturally less productive anyway.
Get a habit tracker
This was a game changer for me! There are tons of habit tracker apps out there that allow you to tick off certain tasks, or regular habits you want to form. You can then see how often you’ve been completing them and give yourself some accountability. I needed to form a habit of getting up earlier each day and if I wasn’t able to tick it off on the habit tracker, I would be frustrated. This gave me the little push I needed to make sure it stuck! You could aim to spend an hour practicing your instrument or songwriting each day and track your progress with an app.