16. Cut Out Distractions
Do not disturb sign on the studio door, phone on airplane mode in your drawer, Wi-Fi off, drinks and snacks handy.
Read Cal Newport's "Deep Work" to discover just how bad interruptions and distractions actually are. They physically rewire your brain so that over time you become unable to focus for longer periods. Train yourself to do deep work, which means longer, focused sessions with no distractions.
Make your studio time sacred and protect it's sanctity at all costs!
17. Save Your Sounds, Patches and Channels
Why reinvent the wheel every time you sit down in the studio for a new project? If you spend hours making a good bass patch or the perfect kick in one project then save it and have it available for your future projects.
The same goes for channels with plugin chains you'll be likely to use again. Save it and load it up when you need it.
18. Create a Favorites Folder
Do you often find yourself heading for the same sample packs and ignoring others?
Put all your most-used sample packs in one folder to load it up faster when you need it. This is a simple way that helps you produce music faster.
19. Forget About Outcomes, Focus on the Process
This is a bit more about psychology.
When you're focused on the goal of producing a masterpiece you could fall into the trap of getting yourself down because you're not there yet. So, forget about the final outcome and hone in on the process itself.
Do what's right in front of you with as much focus and intention as possible and before you know it the outcome is achieved by itself!
20. Develop Grit
Music production, like most creative work, isn't always fun. There's work to do if you want to produce anything of real value. So, sometimes you just have put your nose to the grindstone and tractor through.
This takes some grit. Good thing is you can develop grit. Do it!
21. Always Ask: "What's Next?"
You want to create momentum and keep it going to produce music faster. Asking yourself "what's next?" helps to do this.
Just glued your kick and bass together? What's next? Finished compressing your snare? What's next?
In fact, write the question on a card and place it where you'll see it until you've developed the habit of asking it.
22. Accept Good Enough
Perfectionism is often procrastination, fear or doubt hiding under a different guise.
Remember, most listeners won't be as obsessed with that second layer of your mid-bass as you might be.
So, learn to accept good enough and move on fast. Get as close to the the sound or effect you want and proceed to the next thing. See the previous point again.
23. Trash It!
Brick wall, meet producer, producer, brick wall. Producer will be banging head against you for an hour.
Learn to realize when something's just not working and trash it. Try something else and keep your momentum going so that you produce music faster and don't get stuck.
24. Steal Like an Artist
Use other tracks for reference when you do your song structure. Pull the track right into your DAW and just line up your sections with it. Make a few tweaks if needed.
No need to struggle when you can just borrow it!
25. Set a Release Date, In Public
Embarrassment can be a excellent motivator to produce music faster. So announce your release on your socials and see just how fast you'll work to get it done.
You don't want to be known as the producer who doesn't deliver on their promises do you? Make your deadline public and amp up the guilt/embarrassment/pressure factor to your own advantage.
26. Use Rewards as Incentives
Maybe it's playing games. Maybe it's your favorite drink. Maybe it's a cheat meal. Maybe it's an expensive purchase.
No matter what your secret pleasure is, tell yourself you'll get it only when your track, EP or album is done and released into the world.
This is using a carrot instead of a stick. A reward on the horizon gives you something to look forward to and this can be a good incentive to produce music faster. Try it!
27. Manage Your Attention
Your brain isn't good at reminding you about stuff. That's why it likes to remind you about the light bulb you need when you try to switch on the light, not when you're at the store in the electrics section.
So, if you have a lot of things going on and you sit down to produce music your brain decides to suddenly remind you of everything else you need to do instead of producing music. This type of internal distraction can prevent you from making music faster.
So, you need to clear your mind. The way to do this is to capture it all outside your head in a safe place. Only when your brain trusts that you have a system for storing, retrieving and remembering the important stuff will it relax and allow you to produce music without nagging interruptions.
The system I recommend is "Getting Things Done" by David Allen because it leaves nothing unaccounted for. Every single thing you need to take care of, every piece of information that comes into your world, has a place in your GTD system. Definitely check it out.
You may think it's a bit much but once you do the process for the first time you'll experience beginners mind, the perfect state for creative flow.
So, give it a good try. You might just love it, not just for music production, but as a way to manage your attention in every aspect of your life.
28. Use Pen and Paper
It's so easy to sit and listen to your track over and over and not do anything, especially in the last mile where it's so close to being done. Or, you listen, tweak this, tweak that, tweak this again and never bring the whole thing to a conclusion.
A good way to prevent this is to use pen and paper. Listen to your track through once and make notes of what needs to be done.
This means you end up with a list you can cross off as you complete each point you wanted to address.
Then, with all your tasks completed, repeat it. Your list should be shorter every time.
Keep doing this until there's nothing left to address.
Then, accept that you're done, print your final mix and move on to your next track.