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Best habits & hacks to get more done as a producer

As a music producer in the industry of today, you're probably trying to do more and be more productive in order to reach your goals. In this blog you will learn 6 habits / hacks be more productive as a producer!

Table of Contents:


1 - The two minute rule

You might have heard of the two minute rule. In short, the two minute rule says that every task that takes you less than two minutes to complete you should do immediately.

Here is an example: You are currently in the studio producing music. Then you get a message from your management asking you to send over the master for your next release that you have on your desktop for a week now. All you have to do is drag and drop the file in your mail and send it over.

This task can be done in less than two minutes. If you schedule this task, it would distract you later or even during your current work since you think about it again and again.

2 - Multitasking myth

Multitasking is probably the biggest myth when it comes to productivity. Multi-tasking will get you out of your focus mode. Switching between tasks increases levels of distraction. Distraction makes focusing on singular, assigned tasks more difficult.

You will end up doing everything just 50% as well because you can't focus on the one task you have to do. In the end, your work will take even more time because of the constant switching. Try to avoid multitasking and start doing one thing after the other.

This will enhance your focus and allow you to dive deep into the current task, leaving you with the best possible result.

3 - To-do list

The mind and its memory are very untrustworthy. You think you will remember something, but often you will forget things or misplace things. The mind isn't as organized as you might think. This is why writing things down can not only improve your ability to get things done, but also help clear your mind when you're feeling down.

The best way to create a to-do list is day by day. It doesn't matter where you do this, whether it's in an app, notebook or just a piece of paper you found. Whatever works best for you.

Write down everything you need to do today. After that, think about which tasks are more important, which tasks need to be done as soon as possible, and which tasks are less important. This will help you a lot choosing which tasks to complete first.

After you've done this you'll realize you feel a lot less stressed about everything you need to do. The mess in your head is transformed into an organized list outside of your head, leaving space in your mind to focus.

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4 - Routine

Studies show that 40 to 95 percent of your daily activities are habitual. Let's say we pick 50 percent. This means that half of the day you are operating on auto pilot. Have you ever parked your car and asked yourself "how did I get here, did I drive here?". Your driving was habitual, with your subconscious mind actually doing the driving.

Now you might ask, what does any of this have to do with music production and productivity? Well, the answer is simple. Your habits decide your future. It takes about 21 days to make or break a habit. Try to look at your daily schedule, discover your habits and see where you can improve.

The Cue-Routine-Result Process (ref.)

When we are in the habit mode, our subconscious mind directs our behavior using the cue-routine-result process. Your subconscious mind reacts to a certain cue, let's say you're hungry. You start a routine, like making a sandwich.

Now let's say you have the habit of playing a lot of videogames when you know you need to finish that track. You're not happy with the result: the track is still not what you want it to be. Now, the next time when you experience the cue that makes you want to play videogames, try to remember to replace the current routine with a new one: working on your track. Over time it will become a habit and you will get a better result.

Remember that you can't tell your subconscious mind to change its routines. Routines are created automatically by pairing certain actions with certain outcomes.

5 - Distractions

Distractions are things that interfere with your focus. We briefly talked about this concept before in multitasking. Distractions can be both external (phone calls, music, notifications) and internal (hunger, fatique, stress). In order to be able to work well and get things done, it is important to try to get rid of distractions if possible.

For external distractions there's a few things you could do to easily block them out. You could turn off your phone or its notifictions. If you use your phone for work, you could also use something like the Apple Focus mode feature, which only gives you the notifications you need for your work. Another great thing to do is to find a quiet environment to do your work, or, if you make music in your bedroom, use headphones or ask the ones you live with to not disturb you while you work. That might be difficult at first, but they will understand.

For internal distractions it could be a bit more complicated. Make sure you have eaten well before you start working, are well rested and in a good headspace. A great thing to do is create a morning routine. As you've learned in the previous section you can do this with the cue-routine-result process. Working out, meditating and writing down your thoughts/emotions can all help you get a clearer mind. With this you'll stand a better chance at getting rid of internal distractions.

6 - Start

Sometimes you just need to start. It sounds simple, and it is. There will be days where you don't feel like doing anything. Or, you're procrastinating. However, once you're working, it feels a lot easier and you can keep going and going. You might even not want to stop working, it is addicting. When you catch yourself procrastinating, remember that you just need to start. The rest will come. It gets easier.

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