Cultivating Discipline and Focus in Music Production | WhisperRoom, Inc.™

Cultivating Discipline and Focus in Music Production

By: WhisperRoom™

January 29, 2024

Young man at recording desk and woman in vocal booth in a studio, illustrating discipline in music production.

They always say you can’t rush art, but dragging your feet and getting bogged down by distraction is a surefire way to end up with an unfinished project and a ton of stress when producing music. Whether you’re struggling with a lack of inspiration or can’t seem to bring your vision to fruition, task avoidance and subsequent delays in production can be avoided with a firm set of proactive solutions. Below, you will find a few ways to become more disciplined both in and out of the studio, increasing focus and leading to a final product you’re proud of.

Get Organized

Compartmentalization is essential for music production. Creating a schedule, setting goals for your day or week, and setting it up noticeably around your living space will keep your tasks front and center, reducing opportunities to slack. You don’t have to crown yourself with tasks to be disciplined either – checking off simple, but relevant items, like creating one beat each day or responding to inquiries, phone calls, and emails by noon will boost your sense of accomplishment. It will also inspire you to do more, making it easier to stick to your daily goals.

Process mapping is another way to organize and delegate tasks throughout the day to increase productivity. Since many people are primarily visual learners, it can be easier to stay on track by using a map outlined with shapes, symbols, colors, and directions. Keep things simple and leave room for deviation and redirection so you do not become overwhelmed by shame or self-doubt when your schedule for the day gets a bit off track.

Process map for studio organization, showing steps such as equipment setup, track labeling, session scheduling, workspace maintenance, and recording backup.

Decluttering your environment is also incredibly helpful. Clearing off your desk, removing trash, and creating a set area for everything in your space alleviates stress and confusion, giving you less reason to shut down and seek distractions. Do this routinely, ideally at the beginning or end of each day. You want to start the creative process in a clean space so feelings of discomfort or aggravation don’t cloud your mind.

Make Health and Wellness a Priority

It is almost impossible to work when you’re feeling mentally or physically unwell. As a music producer, you’re likely working long hours, often well into the night. Lack of sleep has a huge effect on your body – it creates brain fog, slows down your metabolism, increases blood pressure, and can lead to depression and anxiety. Make space for rest, even if you have to fit in a midday nap to feel refreshed.

Woman experiencing studio fatigue, sitting at a keyboard looking exhausted during a recording session.

Eating well is a major part of physical health that is often neglected by creatives. Spending hours at your desk can mean lengthy periods of snacking or skipping meals altogether, increasing fatigue among other common health issues. Replenish your body by consuming plenty of protein — at least 30 grams per meal — to feel properly satiated and energized throughout your day. Increase your water intake to 2.5 to 4 liters of water per day and decrease your sodium intake to less than 2,300 daily to prevent headaches, bloating, and other distracting physical discomforts.

Reduce Substance Dependence for Boosting Creativity

The music industry is saturated with substance abuse problems — a topic that is often glossed over and glamorized. Drugs and alcohol have been misconstrued as creativity-enhancing agents, lowering performance anxiety or providing artificial energy necessary to produce music quickly.

Though it’s easy to get lost in the idea that these substances improve your work, the reality of the matter is that drugs and alcohol simply affect your perception of your work. You may feel a sense of euphoria that makes you more satisfied with your latest studio session, something that tricks you into believing these substances are the key to incredible work.

At the end of the day, substance abuse is not the reason why your work is successful. Though drugs and alcohol may have been a source of inspiration for many creatives, they are not a cure-all for lack of discipline and being stuck in an artistic rut. Once the high wears off, you’ll be left with lasting mental health issues, impaired cognitive function, and addiction issues that can ruin your career.

Alcohol is one legal substance that can be quite easy to abuse and has some of the most debilitating effects on the mind and body. Long-term alcohol abuse depresses your central nervous system, manipulating your feelings in a way that will distract from the creative process. Other health issues include acid reflux, heart disease, immunodeficiency, and nutrient deficiencies that lead to reproductive troubles. If you are spending an excessive amount of time trying to repair these issues caused by drinking and substance abuse, you’ll have less time to work on improving your craft and completing projects.

Seek Inspiration

As mentioned previously, some creatives have found themselves depending heavily on drugs and alcohol to conjure inspiration for their work. In reality, there are so many other ways to get inspired that don’t include multiple cocktails and a medley of unprescribed medications.

One way is to eliminate all sources of excessive noise so you can truly be alone with your thoughts. Sometimes, the inspiration we’re looking for is within us, buried inside of our own experiences. Getting rid of noise, such as unnecessary people in the studio or background television, can really get the creative juices flowing and help you determine what the real source of inspiration you’re looking for is.

Another way to get inspired is by going to shows or connecting with other producers to gain some insight into their process. Examining success makes you want to be successful, and often what you need is to see someone else’s working method and environment so you can enhance your own.

You can also engage in artistic hobbies outside of music to get inspired. Write a story, paint on a canvas, or create a sculpture. Ultimately, your talent and artistry being applied to areas that come to you with ease can be just what you need to get motivated and become musically creative again.

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