Today’s post is kind of a “well, duh” post… most of you are already doing it. But, I changed my thought process a little, and it’s already helped me double my practice time!
A little bird told me (well, actually it was a big bird, Garrett Bowers) this incredibly easy trick to help motivate us to practice more. I have implemented it the past few days, and BAM, my practice time has doubled! It as easy as being lazy, and it goes like this.
Don’t put your stuff away.
Now some of you are probably already doing this. I am not great at doing it, but I have taken steps towards creating a space that isn’t always so shiny so that I can create something as soon as inspiration touches me.
Most of you will respect John Mayer’s opinion over mine, as well you should, I’ve heard him say a variation of this. “Keep one space (ONE – that’s the trick for you messy mother f***ers ) that you can feel free to create uninhibited by your desire to clean up your mess.”
Wait, maybe I’m the only one that feels that way. Most creative types are pretty freaking messy. Is that a stereotype? I don’t know. I wonder what a poll would determine?
Whatever the case may be… cleanly or messy, one easy trick to get you more active in your craft is by keeping your instrument in the open and easy to grab. Don’t put the guitar back in its case. Don’t put your canvas in the back of a filled closet. Maybe you’re trying to record? Have a corner of the room set up and ready to roll.
It’s the easiest hack you’ve probably already halfway done.
A Common Question:
Where is it appropriate to have your spot?
In the front room of your house? No.
In your roommate’s room? No!
Are you able to get in and out of the room without CRAWLING over things to the door? No?! Then you are doing it wrong.
Be real with yourself. Your house is NOT your messy corner. Let’s not go crazy here. I’m not even talking about being messy, really. I’m talking about having a space to leave the stuff you use out and is immediately accessible.
How accessible is “immediately accessible” – Well, it is instantaneous. If you cannot grab your guitar/pen/brush/donkey the second you think of it, you should adjust. – Okay, maybe not right now. But you get it, right? It should be on a stand; you shouldn’t have to unpack it.
I feel like drummers get this concept more than anyone else. Can you imagine putting your drumset up every day?! At that point, I wouldn’t be a drummer—too much work.
Treat this like any minor inconvenience will stop you from practice. Because most days it will. Be a diva, make it as easy as possible for you to get into gear. If you’re a guitarist, buy cheap stands and place them around your place. Writing lyrics, you have the note app on your phone. It is as easy as unlocking your phone and tapping that app.
The Test: Write out literally (in the boomer sense of the word) ANYTHING that keeps you from practicing.
My example: When I think of practice at my house, I know it sounds stupid, but I don’t want to have to get my pedalboard out. So if I write it out, I can see what’s the silly little thing that’s stopping me.
What makes it hard to practice.
- Getting my pedalboard out
- I don’t know what to practice
- I am afraid of being loud and annoying my roommates
- I don’t want to put it up
Now I address those issues. If I have my board out and ready to go, then my first issue is gone. For number two, if I plan out what I should be practicing (Scales, songs from upcoming shows), then that shouldn’t be a big deal. Where number three is valid, most of the time, my roommates aren’t home, and even if they are, they usually don’t mind when I practice. If they do mind, then I can move my schedule around and play when they are not home, or I could have a conversation with them and ask when it’s okay if I practice, which helps with this issue. Finally, number four, if I have a dedicated space, then I DON’T HAVE TO PUT IT UP!
Where is there a balance between the conservative cleanliness and the creative clutter? Hell yes, and I encourage you to find that sweet spot in your life.
Today’s lesson, be intentional in making it easy for yourself.