26 Oct 2015
5. Creating music with no motivation
Last week I explained how working under pressure feels productive, but the reality is that your quality suffers due to the excitement and less time available to listen back and objectively check your work.
The problem is not necessarily pressure, but why you have put off the project to the very last moment. Often this comes down to motivation but just like hit records, motivation seems to be some magical force that just happens at unexpected time.
How can we harness the power of motivation?
The truth here is that motivation is not magic, in fact I would go as far to say, it doesn’t even exist. It’s just an excuse we use to feel comfortable with ourselves when nothing is happening in our lives.
The trick is to learn that motivation does not create productivity. Productivity creates work.
Try this, think of a song or project that you haven’t started. Sit down for 2 minutes, put your pen to paper, pick up the guitar, open the software and play.
There, that’s it. You’ve started!
If you’re still reading at this point and haven’t lost yourself in creativity then I can tell you a few more tricks to harness productivity.
It all comes down to a psychological effect called priming.
Priming is about altering your environment to favour your situation.
Some of this will be obvious, some of this will have you thinking, “why didn’t I do this earlier?”
First, if you want to create, then have a room or place where you do so, that’s separate from any thing else that matters to you.
A studio, a quiet spot, a local coffee house are all good places to write, produce etc, just make sure you don’t use these space for anything else such a social media, networking, phone calls, relaxing etc. You need to have this place where, as soon as you’re there, you know it means “productivity time” and nothing else.
Time is the next important factor. Commit to yourself by writing a time and date in your diary in advance. It’s hard to commit to something magical such as creativity, but by putting in your diary you at least stop other less important tasks taking it’s place. Better to have the chance to be creative then to feel creative but not have the chance right?
Why stop there, the clothes you wear affect your mood, so pick something where you feel most comfortable. Business people wear suits for a reason. So your favourite artistic frock may be all you need to get in the productive zone.
Of course creativity and inspiration can strike at unpredictable times, and you don’t want block these out because you’re not at your favourite cafe wearing your special hat. In these cases you want to have things in place so that you don’t miss the magic moment. So always have a pad/pen, dictaphone with you. You can then use your allocated studio time to turn these ideas into a reality.