Doing The Unnecessary

When it comes to making music there many unnecessary things we do that end up being more of a distraction from the goal than something constructive. Agonizing over every sample or preset in your library is one example or aching over 1/2 of a db in volume on one instrument. If you aren’t able to make a decision, you’re better off flipping a coin and moving forward instead of sitting in limbo.

This post is not about those types of unnecessary actions…

It’s the Little things

This post is about those actions you don’t take. The things that are just as easy to do as they are to not do.  In fact, they are so easy to do that they may seem unnecessary at the time.

Actually make all the difference between success & failure.


Just one day

How many times do you put something off for “just one day” only to find that “just one day” becomes a daily habit of putting things off?

After a couple days you notice that nothing bad happened by slacking a little, so you let more and more things slide “just for a day”, only to find that a year has passed and you have nothing to show for all that time.

How is the year looking for you so far? Did you accomplish what you hoped to? If not, it’s probably because you were avoiding the unnecessary.

It’s important for you to see that the little things either add up to improve your life or subtract from the important goals in your life.


Massive action vs baby steps

Understand that I am not pointing blame here. I have been as guilty as anyone. I went through long periods where I thought that it was only the acts of massive action that mattered and that I could take or leave those little daily 15-20 minute sessions. I soon learned that most of my results were actually from the compounded effort of several small actions done daily, with 20% or less coming from the sporadic moments of “inspiration”.

How often do you avoid the studio because “I don’t have any ideas” or “I don’t have enough time to accomplish anything”?

Because you don’t perceive the value of this baby step, you consider it unnecessary & instead take no step at all.

“What difference does it make?” You might ask. Quite a lot.

Now let’s add up those steps not taken….0 x 365 = 0. Interesting

let’s add up 15 minutes x 365….

5475 minutes

91.25 hours

That’s equivalent to more than two 40 hours work weeks!

… and we aren’t ever counting the days you are inspired to work longer than 15 minutes.

It’s also not counting all the ways you are learning to solve problems more quickly & are incrementally getting more efficient with your music making.


The 1%

If the daily habit improves you only 1% per week, in a year you would be 52% better at producing. Actually if you consider the compounding of 1% every week, it would be even more than that. In 5 years you would be 5.34 times better than you are today instead of 2.5 times.

That might seem like a long time, but the time is going to pass either way. How would you prefer to look back on it?

Would you prefer to continue to get better week by week or go in the other direction & get incrementally worse?

Don’t assume you are just going to stay the same. These skills need to be exercised to keep at your current level.


“Do the thing & you will have the power” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you truly want to know the difference between the successes and failures in life, it’s these daily steps that most people find trivial or unimportant. Just like a penny doubled every day seems laughable for the first 15 days, but by day 30, it’s worth over $1 million dollars.

So do the unnecessary & watch it build & compound with interest. The results of each day’s work might seems too small to notice in the beginning, but when you look back after a year of 2 of this, you’ll be mind blown by what a difference it will make in your music & your life.

Happy music making,


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