They say that the biggest problem with depending on caffeine to get you going in the morning is that you have to have to get out of bed to get to it. Joking apart creative people don’t need a lot to distract us from our efforts. There is something to be said for daydreaming, for taking time to let your mind run wild with ideas, but that’s not the same as filling you time and you mind with pointless activities. Here are 3 things I found were stopping me from getting that song written or that track mixed and 3 things that helped.
- Turn Off Auto Notifications
One reason I find Mavericks a bad upgrade for OS X is Apple’s desire to notify us of everything on the planet, the same is said if you leave your email turned on when working. Turn off auto-notifications on your computer. If you are using Mavericks then simply ALT CLICK on the notification icon in the top right of your Mac screen, it mutes all the silly notifications. Start dealing with email 3 times a day, first thing in the morning, lunch time and in the evening - no one will die, unless of course you run an emergency medical service via email.
- Stop Using Facebook For A While
Some of my friends will know that some months ago I stopped using Facebook for personal use, it was for various reasons, one of which was I wasted so much time watching videos of squirrels twerking, reading e-petitions, as well as getting caught up in silly discussions about stuff that doesn’t really matter. Until I did stop using Facebook I was a prolific user, then I stopped. Now I hardly use Facebook, most of the time I use it to read pages I’m subscribed to from brands and causes I care about, for all the other stuff I decided to try and have a real life. I dabbled at using it again a little bit in the last couple of weeks, it confirmed my worst fears about what it does to me and my time. Try it, you might be surprised how many hours you get back and how much better you feel for not being plugged in all day.
- Stop Watching As Much TV
On Friday my wife and I saw the West End production of Matilda, amazing stuff. The whole story has a thread running through it where Matilda’s family think TV is all you need to get an education and edification, Matilda and her teacher care to differ think this is found in books. TV is not evil, there’s some awesome stuff to be found, but if you live in a country like the UK then there’s a lot of rubbish you can spend time watching then before you know it you’ve killed several hours watching crap. My wife and I try and only watch the stuff we record, the rest we’ll pass on, it wastes so much of our precious time.
- Listen To Some Cool New Stuff
There’s nothing like some new music to inspire you - Spotify and other similar services get a bad rap, but the chance to listen to stuff you don’t normally get exposed to is priceless. I’ve said this before but try listening to stuff that’s nothing like the stuff you normally listen to or make, there’s every chance it will inform your future work. For example listen to the recent track ‘Hey Brother’ by Avicii , a country track underpinning a dance track - who would have thought it? If you dismiss music simply because it does not fit your particular genre then you’re going to miss out big time. Love or hate that track it’s genius.
- Learn Some New Tricks
Watch a few videos, read a few manuals, or magazines - only a fool thinks they have nothing left to learn.
Switch some stuff off, tune into some new ideas and go get creative. Discuss