As a combat vet turned singer songwriter producer, and entrepreneur in the new music business – i’ve struggled with doing what i love and developing my crafts full time… Namely, because there is just so much to do as an independent artist going the DIY route.
Defining what you need to be focused on, prioritzing the most important things, dodging distractions and staying motivated, while staying sane, and on top of everything that needs to be managed to keep myself growing, afloat financially, as well as mentally…
SHEESH… It’s exhausting!
First the issue has to do with being responsible for so many more things than just being a writing songs and producing my ideas.
I have had to develop my entrepreneurial skills and the many specific areas which includes marketing, business management, business on the internet, and the list goes on…
But starting with the difference in what i was doing when i was operating at full capacity, id started by identifying, comparing and contrasting noticeable parameters of my day now from when i felt there was more cohesiveness, structure and flow to my day… I felt, relaxed, focused, unstoppable. I think i’ve recognized that the keys are…
Things were much more simple… I had a mission. I knew my role in that mission, i did it the best i could and while i was on mission there was no option to think about anything other than just living, doing my best in that moment, and all that i could that day. Period. No wasted time, thought, or energy. And even though i was in very real danger of being killed, or seeing my buddy killed, i was without fear.
I felt locked in.
Problem now, i think, is that the mission today is nowhere near as tangible.
We are dealing with DATA. DATA. DATA. Information overload is very real, and the amount of data to process, organize, and take action on has become immense.
If you haven’t read the book Getting Things Done, (GTD) by David Allen, I highly recommend you do so.
One of the best things i’ve done to increase the efficiency in my workflow is in creating systems for capturing, organizing, and doing.
A system for capturing and developing ideas?
Yes. We need a system, or a way of not only capturing and organizing the idea but helping develop the idea as well.
Since im a content creator…. my ideas can be produced through writing, speaking, and experimenting….
Since the computer does not have a mind… we are left with storing and developing tangible things… i.e words, code, equations, etc.
Since we are the content creators our system facilitates the development of our
ideas through notes, sequence, and organized accessibility.
I am launching a business. The launch of this new venture requires many specific steps. There are a ton of great tools and best practices for particular facets of the launch.
Since there is virtually no way i can remember all the specific ideas, methods, strategies, best practices i’ve come across during the learning, planning, & preparation phases its absolutely critical that i write these things down…
But, writing them down isn’t enough. They have to be where i need them to be, and effectively placed with consideration to the form and functions for the next stage of its development.
For example… a strategy like “create a custom rss feed for youtube account”
Scribbled on a napkin is not very secured. But the same note stored in my tools/ideas/features to integrate list within my “backend strategy” section within my folder for that business, that is stored in the same database as all my other pertinent data, businesses, projects, etc… makes life so much more efficient.. And virtually no chance that i’ll accidentally throw it out or lose it.
Not only is it digitized… Available directly on ALL of my devices and across my network, it is redundantly backed up.
I cannot tell you how much easier this makes life. And how much less stress this puts on my mind.
Even as a singer songwriter producer. But especially as an entrepreneur.
There is no way i would ever be able to do, manage, and effectively coordinate the amount of things at the highest standard of quality that im able to do.
Song lyrics, reference material, notes to contacts next time i speak to them, records of what i get done in a day, checklists and review questions, reminders of problems to solve, recurring alerts, and it goes on and on.
Doing this inevitably means more forethought, specific question asking and answering, of even some very basic basics, systematic thinking, and applied strategy.
And in conclusion…
At the end of the day… The key here to our strategic method of capturing, organizing, and developing ideas all leads back to the thought process. Which is the most important piece.
What is the idea…? Where does it go…? Whats the format, and whats the intended purpose… ?
These are it.
We want to embed this intuitive thought process into our unconscious habits and when we do this… We can see the whole puzzle. The bigger picture, and use all of our brain to solve problems, create solutions, MAKE value, and create music.
Happy music making.