Click here to download the Disney Creativity Strategy I mention in the video
How often have you said this when you’re making music:
“I don’t have any choice?”
How often have you thought:
“None of my options are good!”
How often have you had no idea what the best option is?
All of these moments usually spring from a general perception we have that “what we see” is “all there is”. Thing is, to find the best creative solution (including the ones you need to find to make the best music possible) to any problem – you’ve got to realise that what you see most definitely ISN’T all there is.
What we perceive is a minuscule and highly distorted representation of what is out there. And when I realised this – all manner of solutions started presenting themselves. Everything became much easier.
Click here for just one of the strategies I used (inspired by Walt Disney) to make better music…
While getting stuck is an often necessary part of any creative process…
It is incredibly frustrating, and often getting through stuck is made worse by the method you’re using to approach it.
You see, most humans default to one of the 2 ways to overcome the obstacles that come up in every creative process.
In the video above (taken from month 2 “Make Great Decisions Fast” of my flagship program Start Now Finish Fast) I’ll reveal what both these methods of creative problem solving are and you’ll play a little game to discover which you tend towards.
Click here to access the free “Well Formed Outcome” tool I mention in the video…
P.S. Here’s how to get the most out of this tool:
1. Download the zip file to your computer
2. Make sure you are not going to be distracted for the next 10 mins.
3. Get a pen and paper (or open a text editor on your ‘puter)
4. Open the zip file and play it
5. Pause between the questions and write your answers to the questions as a stream of consciousness – just write what comes out.
Bear in mind that many of the benefits of doing these exercises happen over time – not immediately.
Your brain is amazing like that…
It goes on processing what you’ve been thinking about – even after you’ve stopped consciously “thinking” about it. 🙂
Download the tool now and get those cogs turning…
It happens to the greatest musicians, composer and music producers…
But how are you supposed to “get used to it”?
I mean that’s easy to say – difficult to put into practice – right? All too often this inevitable rejection knocks you off your rhythm, your inspiration goes down the plughole and where there was excitement there’s just…
FEAR. DOUBT. ARRRGH!
We start second guessing ourselves. Everything we were soon confident about before becomes a big question mark. And this usually means our music gets WORSE – not better (if we finish anything at all).
So what do you do?
Well I can’t pretend to have a magic pill. But there are certain ways you can beat rejection that won’t mean your music suffers every time.
Click here now to download it for free…
To Music Producers Who Desperately Want to Focus, But Can’t Stop Getting Distracted…
If focus is your number 1 problem then this is GREAT news! Because you’ve got a pretty simple problem to fix.
(As long as you don’t have a focus related disorder of course – I’m no doctor!)
If you’re anything like me (I’m lucky not to have ADHD – but I used to have a pretty serious distraction problem in the studio) sorting out your ability to focus will result in way bigger productivity, creativity and enjoyment gains for your music making than you imagine…
The main reason is the main tool you use to make music (your computer or maybe now phone or iPad) is also your “gateway” to the biggest distraction there is (the internet).
In fact, I’m not overstating it to say that building your ability to focus is…
The Quickest and Easiest Way to Double Your Music Production Output (Without Spending Any Extra Time!)
Check out this short video:
[If you’ve not got the time or the bandwidth here’s a summary]
- Mike had to finish a followup e.p. for Fierce Angel Records…
- He worked for 5 months and got nowhere…
- After working with me he finished 16 tracks in 6 months
- The number 1 thing he said made the difference was…
I’ve seen this pattern repeated time and again. Literally 1000s of times.
The producers trying to make progress while distracted have the biggest gains and quick wins for very little time investment.
In fact, it’s a “negative” time investment!
The time you’ll get back from the 5 simple steps to improve your focus below will be WAY MORE than the time you spend doing them.
Building your ability to focus is a true “time multiplier”.
You put x minutes in – and get x times 100 (or 1000 or 10,000 depending on how long you keep it up) back!
So, for the next few minutes, focus on this post and then take the 5 steps I suggest. Because if you can’t focus you’re losing hours, days, months, (and in some cases) YEARS of your life to needless distraction…
Step 1: How to Destroy Your No. 1 Distraction Stopping You Making Music.
Take one simple action, get a quick win, an easy “score on the board”. This is the spark will create the fire of motivation you’re going to need to continue.
So if your life is (& DAW sessions are) one distraction after another?
DO NOT tackle the whole banana at once. Pick just one major distraction and work on that.
Problem is, when you’re lost in a maze of distracting input – even working out what to tackle first requires too much focus! When the world is pulling you in all directions you can’t think. You need focus to focus!
Next Step: Use this 10 minute focus method:
This is what this tool is all about. Just focus for 10 minutes on this simple step by step method and destroy that biggest distraction.
Along with the information in this post you’ll be able to use it to destroy the number 1 distraction stopping you finishing music.
Step 2: Use The “Lazy” Producer’s Way to Much More Quality Music.
Much as I dislike talking about annoying stuff like “limitations” (and I certainly don’t want to encourage you to be “lazy” or anything terrible like that) – you’ve got to work with your limited ability to focus – not against it.
Fact is, you don’t have to be working for hours each day to be making heaps of quality music.
In fact, when it comes to focus? It’s much better you don’t because your ability to focus is like a muscle – it gets tired with use.
The main area of your brain you use to focus with is your prefrontal cortex. The part of the wiggly covering of your brain just behind your forehead.
(Apologies to any neuroscientists – this is a huge oversimplification – but a helpful way of thinking about it for us non scientists.)
This is where conscious thought happens, where you decide and plan, it’s where you consciously “think”.
It’s what you’d naturally describe as “you”.
Many scientists think this was the last bit of the brain to evolve. They also think because it’s relatively “new” (in evolutionary terms), it doesn’t work as efficiently as the other more ancient processes which had more time to evolve and so become less resource hungry.
In other words – the part of your brain which allows you to focus is VERY power hungry and tires VERY quickly.
And what’s worse, this part of your brain is also responsible for a number of other essential processes:
1. Conscious decision making
Every time you make a decision about anything, you are tiring your focus muscle…
2. Attention switching
Every time you switch from making music to checking your email (in fact – switching your focus at all) is tiring your focus muscle…
Every time you STOP yourself from checking your phone or email you are wearing out your focus muscle.
So even if you don’t act on those red numbers on your phone telling you you have 3246 emails? You’re exhausting your focus. Even though you’re not consciously aware of them – because a part of your brain is “inhibiting” and so destroying your ability to focus.
(Yes – they know this & WANT you to use their service. Ever wondered why you can’t change the colour?
There’s a good reason those numbers are red!
Red = “Danger”…
“Danger” = Distracting… )
Simply treat your daily available focus as one of the most valuable, limited and constantly depleting resources you have. Because that’s exactly what it is.
Next Step: How to Get Maximum Quality Music Out of Minimum Time
There’s a heap you can do to improve your focus with this information. Here’s a couple of ideas:
1. Reduce your “decision load” before your session
Make as many decisions as possible outside of the studio. Record everything you do and listen away from the DAW and make notes on what you’re going to try…
2. Cut down your options
Another way of reducing decision load is to confine yourself to a small number of plugins. Or start with an arrangement you’ve worked out ahead of time…
3. Avoid attention switching
Use a notebook for any stray thoughts or ideas that aren’t to do with your 100% focus on finishing music. Simply jot the thought or idea down and continue finishing…
4. Turn off the internet
I know this is obvious, but it amazes me that people don’t do this as a simple rule. Simply turn off the internet for the duration of your DAW session…
5. Ditch the notifications
AT LEAST for the duration of your session (if not in general). Turn off all notifications (which aren’t 100% necessary.) Switch off those red numbers…
Step 3 – Build Slowly To Avoid Suffering From Distraction Overload Ever Again!
Good news…Your brain changes according to how you use it.
Just like a muscle, if you exercise it – your focus will grow and build over time.
You’ll focus more. You’ll do more in less time. You’ll make more music.
But the bad news?
If you allow yourself to get distracted constantly – it’ll be ever harder to focus.
- Your focus “muscle” will wither. It’ll literally shrink.
- You’ll focus less. Waste more valuable time. Finish less music.
- Your “distraction muscle” will grow!
A vicious downward spiral of distraction.
For instance, if you’re finding it hard to get to the end of this post – then you’ve just got to start exercising your focus muscle. NOW.
With something manageable. (Like finishing this post!) 😉
Next step: Use Your Studio to Become a Focus Ninja
Here’s your challenge…
Find some time each day to build your focus muscle with a very short “100% focus on finishing music” session. Ideally when you’re not already been exhausted by the days events.
(Before you go to work is ideal…)
It doesn’t need to be long, especially if you’re constantly distracted. Even just 15 minutes a day will help. Simply focus for that time 100% on FINISHING your own music.
Not only will you start to make serious progress on your music…
Not only will time magically start appearing to make music…
Not only will your drive & motivation increase…
If you laser focus during that 10 minutes on finishing music?
You’ll build your focus muscle & your distraction “muscle” will wither.
And then everything you need to do make killer music becomes quicker, easier and more fun.
Step 4 – PRODUCE your way to great music AND a laser focused you.
Before you even start to think about building your focus – you’ve got to define what to focus on.
You see, I’m guessing you want to make the very best music you can make. And to do this – you’ve got to become the kind of musician & producer who can make the very best music.
You want to master the art of making music. Producing it. FINISHING IT.
(If you don’t – it’s probably a good time to decide to do something else!) 🙂
Thing is, to master the art of making music you “could” do a million things. Most of which are now just 1 click away.
And how do we master anything? Through practice.
So, in the context of making music – what is “practice”?
What a Music Production Tutorial Won’t Tell You, And How It Can Save You Years of Struggle:
Well, let’s start with what “practice” isn’t:
- thinking about making music…
- watching tutorials about making music…
- doing course about making music…
- reading books about making music…
- reading and commenting on forums about making music…
The clue is in the title: music PRODUCER.
To become a great music producer you have to PRODUCE music. (i.e. FINISH IT)
You see, you might have noticed that all of the sentences in the list above have an extra word in them.
If you’re doing anything “about” making music…
You’re not becoming an expert music maker. You’re not becoming an expert producer. You’re becoming an expert ABOUT making music.
[bctt tweet=”The ONLY crucial action every producer must take to become an expert is to FINISH MUSIC”]
Of course, that’s not to say instruction or formal learning has no place. It’s just that it’s not 100% essential. You know this for a fact because not every expert music producer has “been instructed.”
You see, many of the activities like “getting instruction” on making music could help you make better music. Of course they could…
BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE ALREADY MAKING MUSIC.
Because then you can apply what you are consuming in order to create. Consumption alone isn’t enough. Information only becomes knowledge through application. And knowledge only becomes skill through practice.
Thing is, what I see time and again is many have this exactly the wrong way round.
They “get instructed” first and leave the real learning for later. If ever!
After instruction you will still have to put in the time to apply yourself to developing those “in the world” practical skills. On top of the time you’re already spending doing all that stuff “about” making music.
So if you are spending any more than 10 – 20% of your available time for music doing anything ABOUT making music?
Stop. Finish music instead.
Next step: Here’s a Quick & Simple Hack to Solve This Problem…
Print this question on a piece of paper and stick it to your monitor:
“Am I doing something about making music or am I actually making it?”
When you notice you’re not actually making music – stop what you are doing immediately.
Make. Music. Now.
(Yes that means finishing it!)
Step 5 – Strengthen Your Intention
Now, this step is (kind of) optional.
But if you’re not yet totally unconvinced about the huge results you will get from these simple steps? It might just be necessary. You’ve got to understand that building your focus alone can have an absolutely revolutionary impact on your musical progress.
Watch this video (which is a bonus video from one of my paid programs) to see what I mean…
YOUR FINAL FOCUS ROUNDUP – YOUR 5 NEXT STEPS
To get your focus fixed and receive the massive benefits – here’s what to do now:
1. Download the Distraction Annihilator and destroy your number 1 distraction…
2. Treat your available daily focus as the incredibly valuable and limited resource it is…
3. Set aside a short period of time EVERY DAY to 100% focus on finishing…
4. Notice when you’re doing something “about” making music – and focus on finishing…
5. Make a cast iron intention to build your focus NOW…