Tony Robbins

Do You Suffer From Musical ADHD?

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- Are you a home studio owner or professional audio engineer who is struggling to find clients?

- Do you want to build relationships and find more artists to work with?

- Are you struggling what to say or write to bands to make them come back to you?

When you write music do you find yourself not being able to finish your idea? Perhaps the initial idea became something else or you got distracted by something around you?

You might not actually have ADHD but It’s a pretty common problem these days and I’m not sure if that has to do with our limited attention span people keep telling us we have.

ADHD, short attention span or not, being able to stay focused and finish the work at hand is important. It will create less clutter from folders with unfinished music and unfinished mixes.

It will also let you pitch more music to publishers or labels, get more fans and listeners.

So, what can you do to combat a cluttered mind?

Don’t do too many things at the same time

Duh, obviously…

However, if you think about it, it makes sense.

Instead of trying to do 3-5 tasks simultaneously, break it down and focus on one thing. As Tim Ferriss says in the video below, “Don’t be a donkey

Makes sense, right?

Focus On What You Can Control

In a short article titled, Why Your First Decision Is Focus, by Tony Robbins he (or his employee) writes:

What do you tend to focus on more? What you can control or what you can’t control? What you have or what’s missing? The past? The present? Or the future? The honest answers to these questions will reveal your true pattern

It can be worth thinking about some of these questions when we sit down to make music.

For example, for you to be able to stay focused and do the work, what can you control to make that happen?

Turn off your phone, wifi, the mail app?

Or, why not just stop going on the internet altogether? This is what the author of Confession of a Teenage Gamer, Nicolas Cole, did for about 4 years to write his book.

Now, 4 years is a long time without the internet. But it must have cleared all the distractions he could have had.

Check Cole’s article, 10 Ways To Stay Ridiculously Focused On Your Goals, for some more tips from the man himself.

What could you accomplish if you took a break from the internet for 4 years?

What could you accomplish if you took a break from the internet for 4 years?

Make It Easy

This is a personal favourite of mine because you want to make your work as easy as possible. You don’t want to have to go through all the pain with setting up a new session, creating tracks, routing things, etc., which can cause you to lose your focus when you just want to lay down some new ideas.

The solutions for this is to have templates ready.

For example, I have a few templates (for mixing and writing) and for my current writing project, I have created a template which I can just open up and start making music within a few seconds.

In it, I have my instrument-tracks such as drums, synths and a few tracks for guitars. This is all I need to be able to make music but it saves me probably 5-10 minutes every time I open a new session.

My Pro Tools writing templates, what do you call yours?

My Pro Tools writing templates, what do you call yours?

Priorities

Being organised and having priorities can also help you stay focused on what’s at hand. For example, if you have a lot to do, perhaps sending emails, mixing for a client, write your own music, etc., it’s easy to jump between tasks and not complete one task at a time.

This can leave you feeling even more stressed because the tasks you have set out to do never get finished.

By writing down what you have to do for the day, or for the week ahead (my recommendation), you can easily follow what you have to do and check the box for “complete” when you are done.

This will help you stay more focused and feeling less rushed because you have a plan and a system for how to complete your tasks.

Now, let me know if this is something that is bothering you or if you have any other solutions for this problem in the comments below!

How To Priorities Your Spare Time To Achieve More

I recently got this question from a reader who was wondering how he can spend his spare time to develop relationships in the music industry, he asked: “I have a little (not a ton) of time outside my job but I’m not really sure what to do with it: go push boxes with the local crews? Try to meet engineers at shows? Or online?”

It’s a great question and probably something we have all experienced, or are experiencing, whether you are trying to pursue live-sound or a music/studio career. However, there are so many options/tactics you can try that it can easily feel overwhelming, leaving you confused and passive.

In the case above, they are honestly all great tactics to pursue to further build your relationships within the live industry or any other industry for that matter.

But which one should you start with?

As stated above, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with thinking you need to do all of them, therefore, instead of looking at it as a big list of to-do’s, break it down to smaller tasks and spread them out. This will not only make your goals look easier to accomplish but it will also make you realise how you will accomplish them as well as reducing the stress that you have to do them all at once.

So, going back to the initial question, which ones should he do with his limited spare time?

All of them.

I say this because they can all offer an opportunity and you never really know where an opportunity can come from, especially in the music industry. Again, there’s no need to stress out about it, thinking that you have to do all of them at once, instead, dedicate a few weeks to try them all and start figuring out which one of these tactics works best for you.

Maybe you will find that all of them works, or if you do one or two really well they will yield a better return.

In my own experience, I have found that booking personal meetings with people in the industry and continually nurturing relationships with artists/engineers/producers have given me most of my opportunities. Therefore, I focus my energy on these two tactics.

Organisation Is Key

This is something that I talk more in the guide, How To Find Work And Become A Freelance Engineer, and this certainly applies to this.

For example, without you being organised, as in, scheduling in days to meet people, which shows to see, which people to talk to, it will be very hard for you to measure any success you might have, or not have, therefore allowing you to focus on the tactics that actually work.

So, do your homework beforehand and schedule in at least a few days for the next couple of weeks where you will try a few tactics and see which one works best.

Important note - even if you don’t have any success the first time doesn’t mean you should not try it again. It might take a few times before something happens.

The Power Of Asking Different Questions

This is a tactic I learned from Tony Robbins, the life coach, author, entrepreneur, etc., who has worked and helped people such as, Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, Bill Clinton and many others.

In his teachings, Robbins encourage you to change the quality of your questions to get different results, for example, instead of asking yourself, “Why am I so unhealthy/fat?”, making your brain come up with all the various reasons as to why you are fat, instead, ask yourself, “What can I do to become more healthy?” This will give your brain completely new answers and better solutions to change the issue at hand.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

The same applies to the very same question in the beginning, “I have a little (not a ton) of time outside my job but I’m not really sure what to do with it?

This question will most likely give you some confusing answers, leaving you uncertain of what to do and what the best way forward is.

Instead, if you changed it to, “How can I make the most out of the little time I have left over to develop more relationships in the music industry?

Notice how that change in question will give you a whole new set of answers and probably more answers that you can work with as well as answers that you can work with and put into action.

I can highly recommend that you try this out and please let me know the outcome!

I hope you found this article useful and if you did, please share it with your friends and let me know what you think in the comments below!