In yesterday's blog post, we looked at creating SMARTER Goals.
While creating targets that actually help, rather than setting ourselves up for failure, is amazing, that's only half the process.
It's a bit like steering the wheel of your car, and expecting to get to your destination, without putting the key in the ignition.
You still need to turn the engine on, take off the handbrake, put the car in gear, and press the accelerator.
In other words, a goal on its own is not enough - you need a system to get you where you want to go.
The Systems behind great Art
Great artists all have a process. A way of working. A system of how they leverage their skills, insight, technique, ideas and craft, to fashion original works of art, almost out of thin air.
This is the practical, unglamourous, nuts and bolts everyday life of an artist.
We all love amazing music. How it makes us feel in the moment - as fleeting as that moment is.
Yet, we often fail to truly appreciate what it took for the artist to create that piece.
In short, it requires a consistent focus, creating a rhythm by turning up at the studio day after day, and building momentum that allows us to access our greatest creative gifts, and tell great stories with our art.
How do we create a system that works?
That's what Stephen Pressfield's landmark book The War Of Art is all about.
1. We Turn Pro
This book taught me that we need to 'turn pro' - that is, we need to get on a regular creative schedule, where we make music in the studio at the same time, every single day (or at the same days / times every week), whether we feel like it or not.
This really is the only way. To get locked in on our work, no matter if we are inspired to do so or not.
You'd be amazed at what happens - i have often written some of my best music when I'd rather still be in bed, or indulging in my guilty passion for really good professional wrestling!
2. We Eliminate Distractions
In a way, our ancestors had it easier than we do - Mozart never had Instagram notifications bombarding his iPhone every 2 minutes every day.
So, turn your phone off altogether when it's creative time - hell, even turn off the wifi in your studio.
Get focused - meditate for 10-20 minutes before you start if you have to.
Close the door.
And start - because the discipline really is in getting your ass in the chair to begin with - the rest is easy.
3. We get on a Regular Schedule
Simply put - what gets scheduled, gets done.
So, work out when you're at your most creative (your 'golden hours'), or when the most reliable days and times of the week are for you to make music, so you can ring-fence that time for creativity, every single week, without fail.
This allows you to build rhythm and momentum, and the progress you'll make within a couple of weeks will astonish you, I can guarantee it.
4. Every Session Has A Name
Assign a purpose to every studio session. If you do 3 sessions per week in the studio, make Session 1 your 'Starting Tracks' session.
Make Session 2 your 'Finishing Tracks' session.
Make Session 3 your 'Sound Design' session.
This gives every session a reason to exist.
Let Go Of The Outcome - Fall In Love With The Process
We all got into making music because we love the music, and the craft of production. Yet, so many of us lose sight of this as we strive toward 'getting signed' or 'making it'.
Focusing so hard on making your goals happen, is the number one way to guarantee you'll never achieve them.
It truly is the road to wreck, ruin, and all sorts of mental health issues (trust me, I've been there).
All of the greatest artists I've worked with, whether it was Sasha, JunkieXL, or any of the others I could mention, they all have one thing in common - they just love the process of making music, to the point that nothing else really occurs to them.
They love it so much, they'd be quite happy to never release anything.
Great artists let go of the outcome - their focus is entirely on their creative process. That's where the greatest works of art come from.
You'll notice in our Goal Setting Toolkit that we have left a space for you to create a schedule, and give you pointers on how to create an easily repeatable workflow system, that allows you to get the most out of your creative gifts in the time you have.
Tomorrow, in our final email, we'll be talking about the power conducting an Annual Review, and how it can supercharge your momentum for the coming year