Author Topic: Work Ethic - Time vs Results  (Read 2205 times)

Lydian

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Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« on: March 26, 2016, 05:09:52 pm »
Hey guys so I've been thinking. Which one do you think results in a more productive work ethic? Do you think it's more productive to focus on results. (Today I'm gonna finish the arrangement) or the amount of hours producing? (Today I'll produce for 8 hours).

I quit my full time job a month ago (My business supports me) and one thing that I kind of got used to was the the 8 hour shift. If I could dedicate 40 hours a week working at some shitty job then I figured I can do the same with music. The only thing is that sometimes those 8 hours aren't always the most productive.

The other day I just made it my goal to focus on specific aspect of the new song I was working on. (By the end of the day I want to have "this" done.) Within 2 hours I found that I was more productive than when I spent 8 hours on something. I still feel like a halfass though if I don't spend at least 8 hours working because I've gotten used to the working at that old (shitty) job.

Which one do you guys think is more productive? Focusing on results or time? Also, how long do you think one can spend producing before they start seeing diminishing returns?
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Mussar

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 06:25:44 pm »
You can get as much work done in 1 hour of intentioned, focused activity as you'll get in 10 hours of working while checking facebook/twitter/text messages/youtube tutorials/webforums or otherwise distracting yourself while working. Humans cannot multitask, the concept is a myth. We simply divide our attention between two tasks, which lowers our efficacy at both. So it's not even a matter of focusing on results over time or time over results, but focusing on the task at hand that is important. Unplug your internet every time you want to produce or use some sort of blocking program like AntiSocial or Focus - do whatever you can to prevent yourself from succumbing to temptation and WORK!

That being said, you probably shouldn't shoot for a specific timeframe of production unless you're working on a restricted schedule, because you'll never know how long any one particular production session will take and it's easier to be productive when you're not just wandering aimlessly through your DAW. Personally, I work with what I call "Fix Sheets" - A written list of everything that I think needs to be added, removed, changed, or fixed in my current project file.

I start my production session by listening to the song from start to finish, and writing down little notes based on how I think the song should be fixed. "Add shakers to second half of drop", "change lead synth melody to jump around less", "move white noise lower in mix", etc. I don't make any changes until I get to the end - and I either work in the order they were found or in order of what I feel is most important to least important. If I find something else I need to fix while I'm working, I add it to the list instead of changing my focus and allowing any distractions in. Every time I finish everything I've written down, I go back to the beginning and repeat the process until I just can't think of anything else that day, which means I'm probably at mental capacity and are hitting those diminishing returns you're talking about. If I'm not at mental capacity, and I've already done due diligence in referencing the track against what's commercially available, I can take that as a sign to just consider the song done and move on.

This can be 3 hours, 6 hours, or 12 hours, depending upon how much I identify, how close. I do try to stymie things by using the Pomodoro technique to let my brain decompress, but what I've found is the more comfortable I get with making music, the longer I can go in each individual session. So comfort in your own skills might play a part!

Lydian

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 08:03:23 pm »
I've downloaded the pomodoro one app on my computer which I think has been helping a lot lately. I still haven't completely gotten over the distractions though. I feel like if I focus on something and I'm able to rise up to the challenges then I can do it for a longer period of time. However, if I'm working on something and for whatever reason I can't figure out what's wrong then I have more of a tendency to give in to distractions. Which is bad because I basically start procrastinating from the issue in the first place.

The "fix sheets" thing sounds like a really good idea. I used something like that in the last track that I finished. What I did is I bounced the track out and listened to it in my ipod at night. For some reason my ears are much more in tune to mixes right before I fall asleep. It's usually easy to notice which elements just sound "off" so I wrote those down and worked on them the next day.

Quote
it's easier to be productive when you're not just wandering aimlessly through your DAW.

THIS as well. My goodness this couldn't be any more relevant to my situation atm. I like to do the arrangement and mixing separately sometimes switching in between the two so sometimes I'll skip certain mixing issues to focus on something else. Kinda like the way you skip questions on a test if you don't know the answer. Sometimes I forget which problems I skipped though so writing them all down on a piece of paper would make it easier to just do it instead of wandering in my DAW.

I use something similar to focus and antisocial known as "self-control". I may switch over to one of the other two though. I like how antisocial comes with a preset of websites already enlisted.

I honestly can't wait to incorporate this into my workflow. Thanks a lot mussar. Really great post.
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Marrow Machines

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 04:53:37 pm »
I know i've said this before to you, but, i almost always start with my drums first. and then buildup from there.

Getting sounds i think that would fit while generating musical ideas along the way. The sound is kind of like, picking the strings for your bass or guitar. Or the type of piano you want to play for a given melody.

I try to section things off until i am satisfied with my sounds, and then move on to writing music, arranging, then mixing.

I've gotten pretty stream line about my sound creation process, but i try to spend most of my time writing, arranging, and mixing. That's where most of your problems will come through when making music it seems like.


Also, about your sleep thing Lydian, quincy jones once said that the best time for him to be creative was in between sleep and being awake. People have made jokes about him sleeping, when he was just in that transition state thinking.

Something to consider as you listen along the way.
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Lydian

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2016, 05:20:18 am »
Also, about your sleep thing Lydian, quincy jones once said that the best time for him to be creative was in between sleep and being awake. People have made jokes about him sleeping, when he was just in that transition state thinking.

Something to consider as you listen along the way.

Interesting because now that you mention it I recall some famous person with a similar habit. I can't remember who it was but basically after working hard to solve a problem they would nap on it by holding some sort of coin attached to a string. When they fell asleep the the coin was meant to fall from the string and wake them up. Somehow this resulted in this specific persons answers or ideas coming to them. Bugs me that I can't remember who it was.

I don't know whether it has to do with the state of mind I'm in while I'm sleeping but for some reason it's much easier to focus when I'm in that relaxed state.
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Marrow Machines

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2016, 05:39:36 am »
Also, about your sleep thing Lydian, quincy jones once said that the best time for him to be creative was in between sleep and being awake. People have made jokes about him sleeping, when he was just in that transition state thinking.

Something to consider as you listen along the way.

Interesting because now that you mention it I recall some famous person with a similar habit. I can't remember who it was but basically after working hard to solve a problem they would nap on it by holding some sort of coin attached to a string. When they fell asleep the the coin was meant to fall from the string and wake them up. Somehow this resulted in this specific persons answers or ideas coming to them. Bugs me that I can't remember who it was.

I don't know whether it has to do with the state of mind I'm in while I'm sleeping but for some reason it's much easier to focus when I'm in that relaxed state.

Yea it's a trance in some ways.

You gotta figure out how to activate it at certain times, and not only when you're about to go to sleep.
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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 03:51:46 pm »

The other day I just made it my goal to focus on specific aspect of the new song I was working on. (By the end of the day I want to have "this" done.) Within 2 hours I found that I was more productive than when I spent 8 hours on something. I still feel like a halfass though if I don't spend at least 8 hours working because I've gotten used to the working at that old (shitty) job.


I think you just answered your own question right there. It seems like what works best for you is to set a goal and then accomplish that goal within X amount of time. Now with those 2 hours being that productive, you can continue on with focusing on that one aspect or move onto something else with your 8 hours. Honestly, if you produce for 8 hours every day for the next 3-4 years, you'll be good enough to get on some pretty good labels.
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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 02:29:18 am »
Also, about your sleep thing Lydian, quincy jones once said that the best time for him to be creative was in between sleep and being awake. People have made jokes about him sleeping, when he was just in that transition state thinking.

Something to consider as you listen along the way.

Interesting because now that you mention it I recall some famous person with a similar habit. I can't remember who it was but basically after working hard to solve a problem they would nap on it by holding some sort of coin attached to a string. When they fell asleep the the coin was meant to fall from the string and wake them up. Somehow this resulted in this specific persons answers or ideas coming to them. Bugs me that I can't remember who it was.

I don't know whether it has to do with the state of mind I'm in while I'm sleeping but for some reason it's much easier to focus when I'm in that relaxed state.

Yea it's a trance in some ways.

You gotta figure out how to activate it at certain times, and not only when you're about to go to sleep.

It's called flow state by some people, and I am a believer in it. Sometimes I get to working on a track, and it just starts to come together and before I know it, I've been working on it for 5+ hours.

Lydian

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Re: Work Ethic - Time vs Results
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2016, 06:30:16 am »
Quote
It's called flow state by some people, and I am a believer in it. Sometimes I get to working on a track, and it just starts to come together and before I know it, I've been working on it for 5+ hours.

That's something a little bit different. From what I recall regarding the string and coin thing it was something regarding brain waves and neuroscience. When we are awake our mind only has access to the conscious side and is usually filled with a plethora of different thoughts. When we're falling asleep though thinking begins to cease and the subconscious begins to take over.

Well anyways, apparently the "subconscious" part of our mind is capable of working on ideas in the back of our mind and in order to access those ideas it's necessary to silence the mind from incessant thinking. That "silence" usually happens in the stages right before we're awake and asleep which is why that inventor/scientist did what he did. He claimed to have discovered some of his greatest ideas/solved some of his greatest problems by taking short naps and intentionally waking himself up with the coin right before he fell asleep.

Don't know whether any of it is actually true tbh.
A young 14 year old me with a really bad haircut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eMbftWV75w