I’m a believer that focus is the new genius. When we block everything else out, it’s amazing how quality improves and how much we can get done in a short amount of time. Curious about what creatives use as their focus routines, I asked three people to share what they do when they really need to concentrate and get shit done. Here’s what they told me.
To focus, I shut off all social media, and I put paper next to my computer, so I can write by hand if I need to, and then type it up. I also make sure to have coffee and water nearby, so I have no excuse to get up. I sometimes put up pictures on my desk, little objects, candles, or other things to inspire me for what I’m working on. I set very concrete goals, like a page or word count and sometimes I’ll set timers.
I like to have a proper outfit while working. As a freelancer, it’s easy not to care about what I wear because I’m home a lot. But for some reason, wearing something that makes me feel good and professional helps me get into that “work mode”. And I don’t necessarily like listening to too much music when I’m working because I tend to get distracted by the composition or lyrics. But I like having a movie on, something I’ve already seen plenty of times. It’s background noise, and somehow, it helps me to focus.
When I’m writing a song I usually have a melody, beat, tempo, or time signature in my head. I sit down at the piano and write. Recently I was having trouble writing on the piano and switched to ukulele. Putting yourself in front unfamiliar instruments really helps spark creativity. Since I write in midi I have a lot of different instruments available for me to sample from. I tend to team up with other song writers to write lyrics and finish songs. After I finish something I don’t listen to it for a few days to get fresh ears on it.