Happy New Year everyone! 2014 flew by, but I'm already super excited about 2015. Those who know me know that I'm a planner and an obsessive organizer, so I take my New Year's resolutions very seriously. I write them down, put them on my fridge, and stare at them for hours. Maybe not hours. But now it's time to write some new ones! When you're done reading my recommended list, tell me what your resolutions are in the comments.
Everyone deals with organization differently, and no system is perfect, so it's important for you to figure out what works best for you. Whether it's a file system on your computer, a physical filing cabinet, or a bulletin board on the wall, finding a way to organize your files and clients can reduce the time wasted on searching through clutter.
Personally, I have a folder on my computer with all of my current project session files, another with my mastered soundtracks, a folder on an external hard drive for old projects, and a filing cabinet where I keep physical copies of contracts, invoices and other paperwork. I also use Gmail folders to keep track of all of my current and past project emails, and iCal to keep track of all of my project progress and meetings/events.
Get Backed Up
I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your computer. It's never a good day when something happens to your computer or you find your session file is corrupted; it's even worse when this happens during crunch time. Get an external hard drive with at least a terabyte of storage, or you can use an online backup service.
I use both. I use Carbonite and Google Drive for online backup, and a separate external hard drive. Carbonite is nice because it automatically backs up so you don't have to worry about scheduling time to back up. I will say that it can cause some CPU problems, but you can pause or choose lower priority backup.
Get Out (Network)
It's easy to get stuck in the studio day in and day out, and if your studio is connected to your home, you can go days without leaving your house. It's important to get out and meet people, whether it be with friends, clients or colleagues. Humans are social beings (even though many musicians are not); we need interaction to be healthy, and on top of being mentally and physically healthy, this is also good for your career.
I'm a member of NARAS (the GRAMMYs) and the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) and although there are many events I have to pass up, I try to get out and meet new people whenever I can. I've met some incredible musicians, clients and friends this way.
Get Away From The Computer
In today's tech world, we're in front of our computers for most of our day. New DAWs, plugins and sample libraries make it easy to do a lot of what you want to do with music right at your desk, but let's not forget that music is an organic experience that originated on physical instruments with other physical people. Make it a goal to take a few minutes every day or ever week to step away from the computer and play an instrument or write music the old fashioned way - pencil and paper!
Get Some Sleep
I, like many composers, suffer from severe workaholism. I can easily go all day without eating if I'm too focused, and I'll work into the wee hours of the night if I don't tell myself it's time to clock out. Now, it's said that if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life, and while that's true on paper, in practice your body can't tell the difference between working all night and "doing what you love" all night.
Bottom line = it's unhealthy, and statistically it's not even very productive. Find the time of day that you're at your peak performance, and make sure you get work done at that time, then decide when it's time to clock out and try to give yourself a good 7-8 hours of sleep if you can.
What are your New Year's resolutions for 2015?
Film | Music
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