Building consistent creative habits can be a bit of a challenge at first. You might think you just need to lock in a specific time daily to finish tunes, and you’re not entirely wrong.
The issue comes down to making your new habit stick. Almost anyone can create a habit for 2 or 3 days in a row, but 30 days and beyond is accomplished by far fewer people.
So, how do you actually make a new habit stick?
That’s where the real challenge starts. Your brain, as amazing as it is, loves sticking to the familiar, even if that routine is holding you back. Any excuse the brain can make to stick with the old habit, it will. It’s not that your brain hates you, it’s simply trying to reserve its resources by keeping on a tried and tested routine. New habits require more mental energy than old ones that are now running on autopilot.
Now, we’ve all been there – the interruptions, the updates, the world is always demanding attention. Life has a knack for pulling you away from your music at every opportunity. So, how do we combat this?
Keep it simple.
Actionable Step 1: The 10-Minute Rule
Let’s debunk the myth that your goal is to dive straight into creating music & finishing tracks left and right. That’s like trying to juggle 10 flaming torches on day one having never juggled before.
See, this whole finishing songs thing has a lot of moving parts. You need to know your DAW, be organized for productivity & then understand how to build your grooves, process & layer your sounds properly, design the sounds in your head, arrange your looped idea into a song and then mix it professionally.
When you stack other tasks on top of “just showing up” too quickly, you run the risk of getting overwhelmed & letting your old habits take over.
Instead, you’ll want to break it down into bite-sized goals. Start with the one that’s often overlooked – just showing up.
Your mission: Dedicate a sacred 10 minutes daily to be at your studio desk. Open your DAW if you can, but the main focus is to steer clear of distractions for the full 10 minutes. No Facebook, no YouTube – just you, your thoughts, and the music you want to create.
Actionable Step 2: Consistent Commitment
Ideally, pick the same time every day to show up. But hey, life happens – if that’s not feasible, promise yourself those 10 minutes before you crash out for the evening.
Remember, in the beginning, you’re not mastering the art of music-making; you’re mastering the art of just showing up. If you can’t nail this, your music goals don’t matter. Seriously.
Actionable Step 3: Embrace the 1 Pushup Mentality
If you want to do 50 pushups a day, trying to hit that target from day one invites resistance and excuses. But what about the habit of just doing 1 pushup daily? Much more doable, right?
Likewise, if you can consistently show up for those 10 minutes, time will start expanding for you. You’ll organically find yourself diving into new skills every time you sit down.
Actionable Step 4: Tame the Information Beast
Now, challenges will come your way – write them down, but save the problem-solving for after your session. No mid-session internet binging, okay? Set a timer, give yourself 15 minutes max to find a solution, and put it into action asap.
Remember, the goal is doing the work, not getting lost in a web of information. Keep your sessions focused on creation, and let the learning happen outside those sacred 10 minutes.
Actionable Step 5: The Unmistakable Urge
Here’s the magic: at some point, it’ll feel wrong not to sit down and open your DAW. That’s the sweet spot. Once you’re there, the rest will follow suit like a perfectly orchestrated symphony.
10 minutes will become 15, then 30 & beyond. Just remember, you promise to yourself is 10 minutes every day. Even if you do a 4 hour session on a certain day, you are still obligated to 10 minutes the next day.
Nail showing up & watch how much more productive you become.
Happy music making!
If you are benefiting from these posts, you will absolutely love my 2 bestselling books:
The Mental Game of Music Production
The Process for Electronic Music Producers
To level up your Ableton Production Skills: Ableton Courses & Instruments
If you are looking for personal guidance with your music production or Ableton, you can set up a free chat with me to go over exactly what your best next steps are to create the best music of your life. If it seems like a good fit, we can move forward from there. https://musicsoftwaretraining.com/private-coaching
Happy music making!