One of the hardest things to do is start something. Whether it is recording, editing, writing, cleaning, there is just so much effort in rolling up your sleeves and taking the first steps to getting it done. So what do you do?
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but here are some of my tips.
- Schedule the time: I live by my Google Calendar to organize my personal and professional schedules now. Blocking out a couple of hours for a specific project is helpful. I get a reminder email and on my phone that I’m supposed to be doing “blank”. Others who I share my calendar with can also see that I am “busy” and generally don’t bother me. The phone feature also lets you hit snooze and puts your phone into airplane mode. This brings me to tip number two.
- Reduce/ remove distractions: For the time that you have scheduled, put your phone in airplane mode or out of sight entirely. If you’re working on your computer, only have up the windows that you need like your word processor, recording/editing program, etc. For me, that also includes putting my dog in her bed, so that I don’t get sucked into playing with her when I’m supposed to be productive.
- Ride the productivity wave: If you perchance get on a roll and don’t want to stop doing what you’re doing, ride that wave, provided that it does not exhaust you or keep you from your other responsibilities. Being inspired to keep going is something you should encourage yourself to embrace.
- Don’t overdo it: Unless it is life or death, or your job is hinged on it, try not to force yourself too much. Pushing yourself to get started is one thing, but if your throat is raw, your eyes are tired, or your brain is scrambled, you won’t be putting out quality work. For me, this is especially important because of my Behcet’s Disease. If I over do it, there could be consequences that put me out of the recording game for a week or two. And no one has time to be sick/injured, so avoid it by taking care of yourself. It is okay.
- Find what revs you up: If you’ve got a song you listen to in order to kick start your mood, blast it in your eardrums. If you need to jump up and down to get into character, bounce. Do what you need to do to get your heart racing and your mind in gear.
- Find your cheerleader(s): Friends and family are great, but if you have just one person actually saying “I believe in your ability to (insert your talent here)” is specific and will help you want to do more. I have to give a shout out here to Mike Stokes of Cool Audio Productions. He is the reason my work over the last year has sounded so good. I go to the studio and record with him for a couple of hours at a time. He is also teaching me more about the audio program Reaper so that I can learn how to do more in depth audio production.
- Track your productivity: This is especially important if you are building a portfolio of your work. This is why I have a past projects page. I am going to be doing what I can to keep it up to date this year. Programs like Habitica also can make it fun by making your to do list a quest (I’m a level 16 rouge). It may not feel like you’ve done a lot but, once you look back at what you have done for the day it can give you a sense of accomplishment.
Do you have any additional tips? Leave them in the comments below. I hope you all have found this post inspiring. Now go do that thing you wanted to do, and know that I believe in you.