Saturday, 30 January 2016

Removing tiny barriers

Every person who sets out to create something in the world sets out with the best intention. The problem is that soon after, for most people, those creative tasks become increasingly difficult to find the motivation to work on. For me this has always boiled down to an issue involving what I call "tiny barriers". You can think of these as the barriers to entry, the gatekeepers of your ability to work on something.

A prime example for me involves my computer in my 'man cave'. If I have my computer on, I will be tempted to sit down and work on a track, maybe pick up a guitar and record some parts or even start a new track. If my computer is off, I simply walk past it. The act of having to turn the computer on to actually do anything with it is enough to put me off. This might sound lazy but consider another scenario.

You are lying in bed. Its cold outside the bed, you are comfortable, but you know you have to get up. You don't have work to go to and there is nothing particularly important to get done but you know you really should get up today as you will need to eat at some point and getting dressed is normally a good thing. This builds and you want to get up but still you don't get up. At some point you break through this mental fog and make the decision to actually get up. Something in your brain made you get up, but only because it was an eventuality that you weren't going to avoid. The barrier that you overcame was the lethargic feeling of not wanting to get out of bed. Now imagine if you had woken up outside of the bed, having already had the discomfort of leaving the warm bed and getting out into the cold air. That tiny barrier is no longer there and the decision to start your day is much easier to make.

With this in mind, I have my studio machine on most of the time now, but just left in sleep mode. I have a project open so I can work on that if I want. The mental difference is quite pronounced. Instead of avoiding working on tracks, I actually want to. That tiny barrier being removed makes the whole task seem less daunting.

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