If you’d have said to me in January that this year will see you at home for 90% of the time, no pubs, clubs, restaurants or even work – no one would believe you. On the flip side I’d have even traded you for it as it seems to good to be true on paper. The matter of fact is that it’s a situation I wouldn’t wish on anyone. We all want to be back to normal. Improve productivity using this tips.
Top tips to be an efficient producer
In order to keep a healthy mind and not go stir crazy I made some rules for myself.
- Don’t work too hard.
- Take time off social media.
- Get dressed.
- Stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues.
Stick to these rules to help get through the tough times of lock down. I want to share my methods of making time to improve productivity and help produce music.
Being a part time producer (this is only a hobby for me – not my real job) means that I have limited time to make music. I have to balance family time and work and fit my hobby in amongst it all. You’d think that having all this time at home would help, but it was quite the opposite when it came to looking to improve productivity.
I’ve produced far less that I would have normally. The reason being is that when I worked away, that was my producing time. Lonely hotel evenings meant lots of music producing time!
My methods to make the most of that time were simple. Time is limited, so use it wisely.
Separate production and mixing time
Keep melody creating and track ideas separate from mixing. This means that if you are in the mood for one type of work then use the time for that session. Sometimes I don’t feel creative, so I might work on mixing and mastering in that session.
I might feel a tune pop in my head so will start building up on that. I know if I have a spare 30 mins that I will always have something to do. This will always help improve productivity. Speaking of which:
Use a productive to-do list
Having a list of ideas, jobs needing doing or notes helps give you a task to do if you have free time. Even if it’s not production related, you might investigate reading up on how to release music. Look for or techniques you could apply.
Review and improve on past projects
I bang on about this so much, but I insist that people do not delete old projects or part done productions. Instead I keep it in a folder and review it at a later date. Storage costs nothing these days so there is no excuse to keep hold of everything. Staying organised is important if this is a method you are going to use. Trying to find old files in amongst a tonne of other part finished projects is not easy. Organisation must be a priority.
When working on an old project, use the save as feature to create it as a new name and then add in the more recent techniques you have learnt. This new track could become something special and you want to keep track of your progress. Stand by your music, new and old, as it will help you track your production skills progression over time.
Set a time limit to improve productivity
Try and make time for yourself. 15 mins a day is so much better than 1 hour a week when it comes to keeping skill sharp. Any guitarist will tell you practise is key and 5 mins a day will get you faster progress and improve productivity than 3 hours once a week. The more the better, but in the real world life goes on and I get that if music production is a hobby for you (like it is for me) other things get priority. If you can get 30 minutes to work on your skills then making sure to use the time wisely is even more important.
Don’t focus on the little things to improve productivity
This was a real key learning point for me. I spent too much time trying to get a snare sounding fatter that I lost all focus on getting the whole track completed. I then had a boring track with a great sounding snare and nothing else with any real value. Keep your eye on the bigger picture and the rest will fall in to place. You will never improve productivity when you keep going over the same things.
I hope these tips will keep you interested and make music production fun for you. The priority is keeping balance between real life and music production. Don’t let one make the other suffer, but also keep a firm eye on the bigger picture and where your priorities lie.