Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Congratulations, you’re producing music! With this hobby, your free time will always be fully occupied. But what if you feel there’s not enough time to begin with? Follow these simple time management tips by Ableton Certified Trainer LNA and start finishing more songs in any DAW.
It’s easy to lose track of time when producing music. That’s why it’s also easy to put off the work and find yourself procrastinating.
“I’m too busy today.”
“I only have 45 minutes – it’s not enough!”
“I’ll have more time in a couple of days, I’ll do it then.”
For most of us, music is a hobby – a piece of life next to work, studies, friends and family. Work meetings, lectures, gym, even coffee dates are marked down in our calendars. So why do we often tend to think that music just magically creates itself?
In order to find enough time for music production, we should plan and be organised – just like we are in other walks of our lives. Here are LNA’s top 3 tips on how to do it and finish more songs in return.
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Write down your goals. Use Google Drive, a paperback notebook or Post-its on your wall – whatever feels most comfortable to you.
What do you want to achieve during a certain time span? How can you get there? Where do you see yourself in the future?
After defining your goals, set up some realistic steps to reach them. If you want to publish a song by Christmas, you’ll have to finish it first. In order to finish it, you’ll have to have something to work on. For that you’ll have to create ideas. But first and foremost, you need time.
After breaking down your goals, it’s time to start moving step by step towards success!
Create a time plan, just the way you had it at school.
Begin by blocking time for divergent thinking (creating ideas), convergent thinking (analysing and criticising them) and learning new tools. Ultimately, this leads to blocking time for arranging, mixing and finishing songs.
Even if they seem to be short periods of time every other day, sticking to them and repeating them regularly mounts up and works the magic!
Make the most of your valuable time by planning your workflows in advance. It takes some extra effort, but it’s worth it.
Following a step-by-step workflow divides the process into simple pieces, saves you from some useless pondering and eventually leads to finishing the song.
If you’re not comfortable enough to create your own workflows yet or you want to have a reference, use some of LNA’s ready-made examples. She has many videos on how to create tracks of different genres in 10 steps. You can even find cheat sheets on her website.
Extra Tip! Templates are a great way of setting things up beforehand, so everything’s ready whenever you are. They save you lots of time and also improve your production workflow. Learn more about creating templates and presets in Ableton Live on LNA’s video here.
In the end, remember to be kind to yourself. Plans can change, all finished songs may not be golden and it’s totally okay. Make the adjustments, trust the process, enjoy your progress and above all – have fun!
Photos: Karolina Grabowska, Pixabay, Hinterhaus Productions & Engin Akyurt