How to break your procrastination pattern and make music today instead of “tomorrow”…
You want to write songs, you want to practice your instrument, work on your vocal technique or learn to play new songs…
But you’re not doing it!
You’re not making music, you’re just making excuses.
Here are 3 steps to break your procrastination patterns so you make music today!
After the video there’s a summary of everything I discuss and additional songwriting resources to help you get songwriting today…
To Write or Practice Songs Today
You need to solve 3 problems by answering these 3 questions
1. When will you write?
2. Where will you write?
3. What will you write about?
Choose in advance, imagine it and you’re more likely to do it…
Write it down and you more than triple the likelihood that you’ll do it!
When You Write Songs
What time today? Think about it… on your lunch break, first thing after supper, after everyone else is asleep?
You can pick a clock time or a trigger event, after X I’ll start songwriting.
I like “as soon as the supper clean up is done”
I’ll also use my morning break at work and part of my lunch break.
I’m a night owl so “after everyone else is asleep” also works for me.
Pick a time and say it out loud…
I didn’t hear you, say it louder….
Bonus: Imagine Writing Today
Take a moment and imagine yourself doing it. Set the intention in your mind and think about it for a minute. What does it look like, sound like, feel like? Imagine some positive feelings about the work you’ll do.
Bonus: Schedule Your Writing Time
Set an alarm in your phone or put it down in your schedule. It can be as little as 5 minutes, so stop the hesitating and the mental battle going on in your head, pick a time and write it down.
Where You’ll Write Songs Today
I assume you have a music cave where you can shut out the world and work without being disturbed or bothering others. There are times when you might write on the move, like stealing a few moments on a work break or taking some time in a park or a coffee shop… where will you write?
Bonus: Set Up Your Space
What gear or supplies do you need set up or on hand?
If you’re songwriting do you have your instrument, pens and paper, computer/phone ready?
If you’re working with your D.A.W. (Digital Audio Workstation) and recording are your microphones set up and ready?
If you can take a few minutes to set something up it’s easier to get to work when the time arrives!
What You’ll Write About Today
When and Where just get you there… then it’s time to do something!
What will you do?
If you decide in advance you can avoid the entire “what do I do?” waste of time.
- For songwriting with a new song: What’s the inspiration (Subject, Title or Songwriting Prompt)?
- For instrumental practicing: What song are you learning?
- For instrumental technique: What instrumental or vocal exercise?
Bonus: Choose a Starting Point & a Goal.
Knowing what to start with and why you’re doing it makes you more productive and helps motivate you to do it:
- What will you start with?
- Why are you doing it… what’s your goal?
Practicing Framework (Extra Bonus)
If you don’t have a regular practicing routine start with this framework and add to it to organize your time.
Settle in and focus your attention and creativity. I use Brainstorming as a songwriting warm up, especially if I’ll be writing lyrics.
I have specific exercises or warm ups for each instrument I play and for my voice.
If I’m writing vocal melodies, I’ll also warm up my voice.
If I’m writing chord progressions, I’ll include warm ups for guitar or piano.
Play and sing a song you’ve already written, preferably in a similar style that you’ll be writing in. Use something easy or a song you’ve been working on recently. Use it to connect your session today to previous practices where you were relaxed and feeling good.
Write or play something new to keep yourself learning and interested. Push yourself so you’re slightly uncomfortable, that’s where learning happens! You can work on exercises for specific skills and you can work on your new songs.
Your goal is to remember what you’ve done, plan the first steps for your next session and dial down your creativity so you transition back to the world outside of your music cave. I have different cool down routines for songwriting and for each instrument I play.
For songwriting, I’ll make a quick recording of anything new I’ve written, either checking I’ve got the best version of the lyrics I’ve just written or make a rough audio or video demo of the music I’ve just written.
Additional Songwriting Resources to Get You Writing
It’s one thing to get yourself writing today, but it’s a bigger challenge to build a consistent daily practice. Click to enter your email address so I can send you a system to help you build the habit of working on your songwriting every day…