Productivity for Creativity – Advice #2 Use your Collection

Why this may be helpful for you

This is about why you need boring productivity techniques when you want to be spontaneous creative. Here, I want to give solid advice about what techniques you might try, because they are working for me. With post number 2 I will declare this as part of a series of articles, we will see what I still have to offer. I hope you give this train of though a try and it would be awesome to hear/read from you about this. This second article is about a trivial thing which may be useful. For more introduction, check the first article.

Tip #2: Use your Collection, respect your Prep

Right now, I’m in the middle of cleaning up my Ableton Live Library. I’m trying to get rid of all the unneeded attention killers, the cheesy samples, the lame instruments. After installing packs I go through all the new and shiny stuff and copy the best ones into my library than delete the pack. The intention is to have only the best and best of best in the lib for that moment when you need something. When I look for the next precious gem to include in my best creation ever I should not wade through the mud of not so good material, but to choose from elite resources only (yeah, right). To support this idea I invented a tagging favorites naming convention to find them even faster (a thing for a later post).

But this is not the topic for today, but something that backfired on me: While cleaning up the library I found lots of stuff which was really awesome and which I never used. I asked myself why that is and found that I just don’t use my collection when I’m looking for something. Sounds absurd, but when I’m looking for inspiration a tend to use other sources, like pure imagination (= head / mind) or internet and NOT the libary. There it is, all the good stuff, but I tend to ignore it.

The other thing is Evernote: When I stumble upon inspiration I add a note to my Evernote. When I’m stuck, I check the “.idea” tag and bamm there it is, right? No, sorry. I tend to ignore Evernote in this moment, too.

I’m sure you have a download directory with tons of free and other cool stuff you’ve downloaded and never used. That’s a kind of prep, too.

So, the tip is that easy: “Respect your prep, use your collection”. Use the stuff, dummy! Don’t google for new stuff, don’t buy new stuff, don’t watch youtube tutorials, just use the stuff you already have.

Maybe you’re better than me thinking “what a cheesy tipp, what a waste of time. I’m doing that already”. Maybe you’re more like me: hoarding, preparing, collecting for the perfect song you will create tomorrow. Stop that! Instead work on the (not perfect) song today/now with the things your have already. Go, do it!

-mE

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