It’s easy to put things off when it comes to music-making. You tell yourself you’ll start working on that new song tomorrow. The next day turns into the next week, and before you know it, you haven’t done anything productive in months!
Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles for any musician, but there are ways to overcome it.
5 Ways to Overcome Procrastination when Making Music
1. Create Goals and Set Deadlines
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to set small, achievable targets. Rather than telling yourself that you need to write a whole album’s worth of material, start by setting the goal of writing one song.
Once you’ve completed that song, you can move on to the next goal. Small steps like this will help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Additionally, set deadlines for yourself to stay focused and on track. When you know what you need to do and by when, it can be easier to get started and stay motivated.
2. Reduce Distractions
If you find yourself easily distracted when making music, try to find a quiet place to work or set aside specific times of day for it. This can help you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked.
Reducing distractions can also mean taking care of other obligations before starting to make music. For example, if you know you need to respond to emails or finish a project for work, do those things first so you can focus on making music without worrying about other tasks.
Furthermore, try to avoid working on multiple music projects at once, as it can lead to feelings of overwhelm and make it harder to focus on any one task.
3. Find Ways to Enjoy the Music Making Process
Making music sure is enjoyable, but it can also be tough work. Often, this can make you procrastinate.
If you struggle to enjoy the process, try to find ways to make it more fun. For example, consider experimenting with new instruments, jamming with friends, or taking a break from serious composition to just mess around for a while.
On days when working on a song starts to feel like a chore, try adding a new element or changing the tempo. Sometimes, it takes a small change to make the task more fun and help you stay focused.
4. Remind Yourself of the Negative Consequences
While it’s important to find ways to enjoy the music-making process, it’s also important to remember the negative impact of procrastination.
When struggling to get started, remind yourself of the potential consequences of putting off your work.
For example, if you have a deadline to meet, remind yourself that the sooner you finish, the less stress you’ll feel. Or, if you’re working on an important project, remind yourself that the longer it takes to complete, the longer you have to wait to see the results.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
Finally, one of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend, colleague, or family member you check in with regularly. Having someone to answer to can help you stay on track and motivated.
When choosing an accountability partner, look for someone supportive and honest with you. You want someone who’ll encourage you to keep going when you’re struggling but also tell you if they think you’re slacking off.
Procrastination can be detrimental to your music career because it can prevent you from finishing songs or recording albums. It can also discourage you and make you give up on your musical goals altogether.
Make sure you set realistic goals with deadlines to stay focused. Get rid of distractions before you sit down to make music, and make a conscious effort to track progress and enjoy the process.
Having an accountability partner also significantly helps.
Best of luck!
Eric Dalius is The Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe, a music and content discovery platform designed to maximize artist discovery and optimize fan relationships. Alongside this, Eric hosts the weekly podcast “FULLSPEED,” discussing entrepreneurship with industry leaders. Eric also founded the “Eric Dalius Foundation” to award four scholarships to deserving US students. Follow Eric’s activities on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Entrepreneur.com.