A Month of Supercharged Doing

How about starting 2014 with a bang? I’ve decided to take up on a challenge, and I’m inviting you along if you dare.

In the past couple of years I’ve been learning a lot about focus, motivation, productivity and creativity. Human potential fascinates me and in the recent times we have started to understand more and more about it on all fronts.

I recently stumbled upon a blog post by Simon Hørup Eskildsen called “30 days of super productivity” (which was inspired by this post by Sebastian Marshall). Simon and Sebastian asked themselves the question:

What if I were to commit to the most productive 30 (or 90) days of my life?

I like the idea of testing my limits in something useful so I immediately knew I wanted to do it too. And now is the perfect time, as many of us are evaluating the past year and setting our sights for the next.

What would this mean for me though?

I’m already pretty busy. I don’t want to work on more things. If anything, I need to simplify. I want to improve my focus and direct the extra productivity on finishing current projects.

I’ve chosen two simple goals:

  • Finish my ebook about mixing.
  • In addition, finish as much unfinished music as possible.

It may not sound like much, but coupled with a full time job, time spent with family, client work, the website, running my company, and other things that life inevitably brings…  If I can pull off working hard on those two goals for an entire month, I will be extremely happy. Above all it’s an exercise in focus.

In order to pull it off I need to set up a good foundation. It all comes down to habits. I only have one month (and I’m starting immediately) so I am not going to fool myself by trying to create new supporting habits. Creating new habits successfully takes time and you should never take up on too many at once (remember this when making new year resolutions).

Instead, I am going to reinforce my current good habits and invigorate some that have been left on backburner. These include things related to:

  • Reducing distractions
  • Proper eating
  • Sufficient exercise
  • A healthy sleep rhythm
  • Planning time

I have my ups and downs but I’ve been working on these things for a long while by now, so I am on a pretty good track with them. With some sharpening up here and there I will get a good boost from these supporting habits.

Accountability also helps to boost motivation. This blog post will hold me accountable. Now that I’ve made it public, I really want to give it all I’ve got.

Time to get ready. I can’t wait to get started. When the month has passed I will write another post with results and lessons learned.

How about you? Feeling inspired to take up the challenge?

Have a think about what are the most important things you would like to achieve. Don’t pick too many, and be realistic when it comes to creating new habits. One or two new habits a month is a good rule of thumb, as most of us simply can’t handle more without failing!

Your goals and methods could be very different to mine – that doesn’t matter. What’s important is to commit, and show yourself you can do it!

Let me know if you’re in so we can cheer each other up along the way. 

(PS. If you’re reading this later, that’s fine, I am still challenging you to go for it! There is no reason why you should be only thinking about this stuff close to the new year. Any other time is just as good.)


Accept responsibility of your success. We Spin shows you the rest. Join me there:
  • Eugene Eugene

    Had such sprint some time ago. Was aiming to finish my first “serious” track before vacation. I had a month and a half. Sadly, results are 40 different versions of the same breakdown, and track which isn’t good enough, still unfinished. However, those are new heights for me, and the whole thing wasn’t meaningless, — I still like some parts and still am gonna finish this track. So, okay, I accept your call! Will start after NY holidays again. Let’s do it!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Great!!

      It sounds like your problem the last time around wasn’t related to putting in the work – clearly you’ve tried and worked hard. Being able to do that is a success in itself.

      It sounds like you are stuck on that track big time (I definitely know that feeling). If you think it helps, feel free to email me the unfinished track (ilpo@resoundsound.com) and I’ll give you my opinion. Maybe a fresh perspective will give you some new leverage.

      • Eugene Eugene

        Thanks big time, sent you an email!

        • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

          Nice, will get back to you about it soon.

  • FRHNR

    Less thinking, More doing – Im trying develop this overall habit. This whole year Ive tried fighting overthinking and over-tweaking as a result developing a negative attitude and hence major stuck ups and disappointments in music production. Im gonna try to enjoy it more rather than think of it as serious. So hopefully this mantra should help me be more productive and achieve more in music and overall things! Really gonna take this challenge and see the results!

  • Fabien

    “If anything, I need to simplify”

    +1

    The trash-can is my most valuable creative tool (don’t hesitate to throw your TV and your half ass ideas into it! It sounds easier than it is). Eugene, maybe that’s an option for you? (no pun intended)

    • Eugene Eugene

      Nope, this is exactly the case when things faced should be dealt with, I feel it. I believe it is time for me to finally break some barriers with stubborn brutal strength

      • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

        Sometimes you need to do that. Other times you need to change course and come back from a different angle. Sometimes I get stuck so bad, I end up completely flipping the track upside down in order to finish it. The way I see it is – if that’s what it takes to finish it, then that’s what needs to be done.

  • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

    Excellent, Rich, that sounds great. Let’s do it!

    • Rich Raw Wyatt

      Ok so a quick update on my super-productive January… I’ve sorted my tax return (phew!) I’ve finalised the release schedule for the first half of the year (up until June/ July) and i know which tunes to finish for the rest of the year. Plus i’ve been using my virus everyday alongside Rob Papen’s excellent synthesis techniques book. Big up Ilpo for this idea. I’m really pleased with how things are going!

      • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

        Niiiice! Good stuff Rich. You’ve done well. Love to hear that. 2 more weeks to go. Hopefully these habits will stick too!

  • slope

    Good post!

    I just recently started with upgrading MYSELF to version 8.0. This was after I found out I was very unhappy. I am at 7.4 at the moment thanks to cutting the drinking (havent been drunk since august), just an occassional beer or whisky. I started meditating almost daily. I intensified my cooking. No more powders that need water, but reducing sauces myself. Walks in the park, I even jogged a few times already. I smoke a few cigarettes a day instead of tons a day

    Recently I put my day job (my own company) on a break, so I can give the music the attention it needs. Music is not last in line anymore, but I decided to build my life around the music and my girlfriend , instead of the other way around. And it shows. Oh…and no more joints, especially not when producing music. It works a lot better!! At least for me

    I only have 1 short term goal for now: Find back peace of mind, back to my intended frequency. Back to the butterfly I was once. I am confident all will fall into place when I reach MYSELF 8.0

    :)

    All the best to All!!!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      That is GREAT. Makes me so happy to see this kind of discussion take place here.

      I am on a similar path myself. It’s all about gradual changes. It’s exactly like mastering. Little tweaks here and there make all the difference on the end result.

      Keep going all have a great 2014!

  • Sam Chills

    I’m in buddy. Currently reading about habits too so this will be a perfect conditioning period to kick start things. I plan to exercise daily to help not only my health but my productivity. Great shout on the public accountability, you must be an ‘obliger’ like myself. Let’s do this.

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Nice one Sam. Let’s go for it. Daily exercise is on my list too. I’ve been getting into bodyweight training recently, doing all sorts of weird pushups and balance stuff. I think it’s only a matter of time I hurt myself. All the signs are there. Anyways, yes, it does help productivity a great deal!

  • stephen connolly

    Im in, have spent the last 6 months getting my head round some new workflows and stuff, now it time to get some tunes finished.

    Will be good to get a couple under my belt in the first month…. then hopefully i will keep it up and get my EP made in 2014

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Welcome aboard Stephen. Sounds good.

  • Nicolas Camargo (nCamargo)

    Totally in. Im currently working on an album, and definitelly started to get focused on that and on some other plans for my life. I’ve been on the army this year (obligatory year here on Brazil), and if there is one thing i learnt there, is to evaluate our time!

    2014 going to be an year of evolutions, not just on music, but on life as a whole!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      The forces are getting stronger! Good stuff Nicolas. We start tomorrow. I’ve done the army too in the past. Really makes you appreciate a lot of normal things, such as having some time of our own, like you said.

  • Kytkönen

    Sound advice. Keep on rolling out those supafat basslines bro!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Cheers boss. Happy new year!

  • Josef

    :-) Glad that I found your Blog accidentally. Exact the stuff I need here!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Good stuff Josef, thanks for letting me know.

  • Diego

    This is a good book about this subject: STEVEN PRESSFIELD – The War of Art

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Cheers Diego I checked it out and looks like a very interesting book indeed… I will get to it at some point.

  • Bryan Wilder

    Hi Ilpo :-) I’m In! I thank you for all your posts! It’s very helpfull to have a knowledged comrade outthere! Let the creativity begin :-) Greetings from DK

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Cheers Bryan! Thanks & all the best.

  • Rifosi

    Very wise subject, buddy. I usually plan to do a lot of things at the same time, and tend to lose focus and get things incomplete. As an amateur musician, a hobbist luthier, a retired computer programmer, a wannabe music producer, and an avid reader, it will be a challenge to me to organize and priorize my activies in order to get something in the end. But blogs like yours makes things A LOT EASIER for everybody. Your essential plugin list is a must for anyone interested in digital music production. Very generous, thank you very much for that. This kind of thing makes me keep the faith in human race.

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      Yeah that sounds very familiar. I’ve always had a lot on my plate as well. But fortunately I’ve discovered that with the right kind of learning (and unlearning) it’s possible to steer yourself. Reading habit is invaluable.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • bradley blalock

    I’ve been successful at creating my own music style with vocals, percussion (primarily marimba) and I really want to create amazing sounds to balance via abelton 9 live which I am learning. I really want to get over my techno phobia and produce sounds I hear beyond what I’ve heard working in some of San Francisco’s biggest nightclubs in the late 90s. The music is in my bones and I want to give other people permission to fully be themselves while getting creatively inspired through the music, movement, & art. I am with you in taking on this challenge DOING a month of super-charged work-play. Now that I am in Helsinki, I am looking for like-minded souls to support each other with our goals. I am game!

    • http://www.resoundsound.com/ Ilpo Karkkainen

      That sounds GREAT. Would be cool to hear some of your music. Ableton Live is a great tool for expressing creativity, it’s like a sandbox for music producers and almost makes me feel like I’m a kid again sometimes.