2x Your Productivity In The Studio With The Finish Line Principle

2014 May 30, 2014

What’s that you say? You don’t have a lot of time to devote to recording and mixing your music? Trying to squeeze in a few hours here and there?

How would you like to double or triple your productivity starting with your next session? I thought so. Read on my friend.


Via Andrew Hurley Flickr

The Best Runners Need A Finish Line

Have you ever seen a race with no finish line? Think back to the summer olympic games during the track and field events.

In my very (not so) scientific research I’ve concluded that 100% of the races have a definite finish line. Whether it’s 100 meters or 400 meters, the runners know when the race is over and how much further they have to go to get to the end.

And have you noticed how many of those runners speed up with a final burst of energy moments before crossing the finish line?

Do you think they would push that hard if they didn’t know they were about to hit the end?

The Simple Power Of A Finish Line

A finish line is a pretty simple concept. It’s nothing more than a defined ending to an activity (in most cases a race).

And yet, that definite ending is profoundly powerful. It’s what fuels the best runners in the world to push and push, and ultimately push some more, beyond what they are normally capable of.

Why? Because they know they are moments away from completion.

Without a finish line, without a defined point of completion these runners would never run as fast or as hard as they do. They’d keep pacing themselves in fear of running out of energy and power.

And ironically at some point they WOULD run out of gas and have to stop, because no one can run forever.

And yet, that’s what we do in the studio all too often.

Creating Music With No Finish Line

A typical home studio session is an undefined period of time leading to an undefined and vague result: create more/better music.

No wonder we aren’t accomplishing as much as we want to. We’re running in a race with no finish line.

Instead, before we get into the race (studio) we need to establish our finish line (written goal that is measurable and achievable). That way we have something to race (work) towards.

For me, the finish line can sometimes be to write and demo a new song. Other times it’s to mix an entire album. Tied to these goals is a set date in my calendar so I can tangibly see when I will have reached the end of this pursuit.

2x Your Productivity With One Change

I’ve seen my studio sessions more than double in productivity and efficiency when I use the finish line principle to work towards a defined completion point.

Just like the runners who know when it’s time to push and reach for the end, and in the process break world records and clock faster times than they thought possible, you and I can get more done in less time because we are pushing ourselves to reach a destination.

That end goal drives us to naturally ramp things up. And I’m not simply talking about working faster. Rather working on the things that MATTER.

When you have a finish line in place that’s getting closer each day, somehow things like choosing which EQ plugin to use or which monitors to buy become less important you and focus on the big wins.

Set A Finish Line For Your Next Project

The best way to learn this principle is to experience it for yourself. But start simple.

This week, I want you to write down one specific goal (finish line) for your music. Write it down, tape it to your computer or desk, and look at it often as you spend time in the studio. I have a good feeling you’ll see productivity (and creativity) sky rocket.

And to prove that you’re serious, share your finish line with everyone here so all can see. There’s something powerful about accountability, even with strangers.

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