Deadlines: The Key To Productivity

2010 May 13, 2010

I love home recording. I love the freedom and flexibility that come from producing music far away from the rigidity and confines of the traditional studio environment. I’m assuming you do as well since you’re hanging out on this blog. But I have to be honest with you guys. Of all the negatives people attribute to home recording, the one that really carries wait in my mind is the lack of accountability and deadlines for projects.

Via i_yudai Flickr

How Commercial Studios Do Things

When I use to work in a commercial studio there was a constant air of pressure. Clients had booked certain blocks of time, were paying for those blocks, and expected their music to be completed in that time frame. We even had a secretary who organized and scheduled all of the bands and artists along with the required time for mixing/editing after they were long gone. All of this helped us as the engineers and assistants get stuff done.

The same is usually not true when you’re working on your own music in your own studio at your own pace. Not that you have to churn projects out at a certain rate, but the reality is more often than not home studios aren’t that productive of environments and many of us wish we would make more music.

Create Your Own Pressure

The key is setting your own deadlines creating a false sense of pressure. Starting today, you need to take a look at your current project, set some goals and deadlines (make them realistic), and then get to it. It might be you just need to finish recording a few songs and you just keep putting off laying down the vocals, or the lead guitar, etc. Instead you need to schedule an hour here and there this week to make it happen.

The same goes with mixing. Many of us drag on mixing our music for ever because we’re never satisfied and we think it could always get better. Well news flash for you, all mixes could always be better! Mixes are never truly done. You just need to stop at some point, bounce it down, and move on to the next song. Plus that’s how you learn to mix anyway. If you never actually complete a mix for fear of a bad mix, you’ll never actually get any mixing experience. Make sense?

Want To Get Started?

What some help in goal setting for your music? A great place to start is by taking my One Song One Month Challenge. This 5 week video series simply breaks the song production/mixing process into 5 simple goals and gives you some tips and insight into how to make it happen. Another great post to read is by my good friend Joe Gilder over at He wrote an article recently about the one hour challenge. I actually took this the other day and wrote a brand new song in 60 minutes!

Remember, if you care about your music then you will want to share it with others. If you want to share it with others then you actually have to be productive and finish what you start. The key to doing that is to set some deadlines and then get after it. You’ll be glad you did.

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