There is a great post by Merlin Mann of 43 Folders about the “Procrastination Dash”. The technique is that you do 10 minutes of work, take 2 minutes to rest. Do this 5 times and you’ve worked for an hour.
The purpose is to force you to get something done you’ve been putting off by making the amount of time you have to spend on it too little to matter. Hate cleaning out the garage? Well you only have to do it for 10 minutes. Has “write a blog post” been sitting on your to-do list for over a week? Just spend 10 minutes on it, and you might even make more progress than you’d expect.
A way I’ve found this useful is for pumping out sketches and ideas for themes. I set up a timer for 5 sessions of 10+2, and then I set up a clean Logic session. After hitting go I start hunting for an idea, perhaps by playing around on the piano or by loading up a patch I’ve never used before.
After the 10 minutes are up I use the 2 minute pause to catch my breathe and load up a new session. Then it starts over and I work on a new theme. An hour later I have 5 fresh ideas that can be developed into cues, and usually they’re all useful.
10 minutes is just enough time to start coming up with some interesting ideas, but not enough time to overly self-edit or start writing a full piece of music.
I’ve always found it MUCH easier to “continue” writing than to “start” writing. This means that if I have a cue half done at the end of the day, chances are pretty good that it will be almost effortless to finish it up the next day. It’s coming up with new ideas that’s the hard part, but the procrastination dash is a great way to make that happen.
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