Digital DJ Tips reader Mathieu writes: “I have got a question about being a ‘lifestyle producer’. I do my music work must of the time from home (producing tracks, finding new music, making podcast, working on my mailing lists…) but I find that sometimes it can be a ‘lonely experience’ (less contact socially due to working from home), and I also find myself sometimes getting distracted. How should someone like me manage a typical day?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Firstly you’re very lucky to be doing what you’re doing, because I’m sure lots of readers would love to be in your position!
Regarding motivating yourself, I’ve many times worked out of my home in the past (writer, DJ/promoter), and I’ve always found that having a routine helps a lot. Also setting long, medium and short-term goals, and being held accountable to them by someone (a best friend, a partner). That way, there’s someone who knows what you “said” you were going to achieve.
From those goals, you can write a weekly or even daily to-do list that contains the next step or couple of steps to take in all of the areas you listed; then each day, you only have to look at your to-do list to know what you should be getting on with. I haven’t forgotten that music making is a creative thing, not number-crunching in a cubicle, but as another creative person (the writer, Peter de Vries) famously said: “I believe I can’t write unless I’m inspired but I make sure I’m inspired every day at 9am.”
Regarding isolation, the “internet age” has led to an awful lot of people working from home with less social contact. You don’t need me to explain how social networks work, but you should try to meet up with other electronic artists who are at your level in your area regularly too: Hang out, go and see a show or two, forge connections. These will help you achieve those goals you set out – because truth is even if you’re a home worker, nobody ever did anything big in isolation.
Do you produce music as a job from home? Have you ever had to motivate yourself in a job where it’s “just you”? Do you have any tips to share? Please do so in the comments.