Initially, when I started releasing music regularly, I found consistency to be really easy and within few weeks, I would not only produce my songs regularly but also write my blog and post videos on YouTube and the best part is that I was also seeing results. But with consistency comes experimentation and growth and sometimes, growth can disrupt the work you do regularly. My consistent habits completely came to pieces when I moved to a different country, leaving my equipment behind and then had to move several times in the next few years. Over the next few years, I time and again tried to fall back into the momentum of my habits and going through various disruptions in between but every time I worked on something regularly and saw progress, I found the ultimate peace. Here are some techniques to build consistency:
Learn from other's consistency and flow with someone else: When I first moved to NYC, I did not know anybody very well and everyone seemed busy in their own lives, without the community of a professional network or a University, I found myself vacant with many hours on my hands. I realized just how long a day can be if you spend day after day on your own and that is when I stumbled upon Caveday, a community of people who get together and form a focus bubble to improve their relationship with work. I started with doing 3 hour sprints and these sprints made me realize just how much work I could get done in an hour. There are many times when I am going through a transition phase or a stressful time or just a phase where I've fallen out of flow that I'd lean on Caveday again to reset my flow.
Time block on Calendar: Time blocking is honestly a life hack! Blocking out a patch of time to work on something and putting it on your calendar can really give you the time to be mentally prepared for focusing.
Leaving visual cues for yourself: When I was at University, I would prepare my outfit the night before and leave it out. When I woke up in the morning, I was often excited to get dressed for the day and go to Uni. Leaving a to-do list, or a visual reminder of the work you are doing somewhere where you see it in plain sight first thing when you wake up can be a really good way to trigger consistency.
Giving yourself enough time and setting a deadline into the future: I think a lot of times as humans, we just do not give ourselves enough time to work on something specially when starting out, sometimes things take much longer than we expect and it is good to give yourself enough time, if you finish before your set deadline it will give you a confidence boost and maybe next time you can challenge yourself to work even quicker!
Leave space for emotional health: Currently, we live in a world where hustle culture is trending. The drive to create more and do more can be tempting and it isn't always a bad thing as it might teach you efficient techniques but it is important to remember, we are human beings who also need regular sleep and rest. While you sketch out a regular routine, make sure to put time in to chill in there as well.
Break your bubble, but carefully: Sometimes I could be working on something regularly and then someone gives me feedback or makes a comment (and it could totally be something positive) that can make me re-think my work. Setting an intention to grow and learn from feedback and to keep creating is a good idea, if someone gives you feedback use it for your next project. If someone leaves a negative comment, thank them for their time and move on. Remember, at the end of the day, you have put in the time and energy to create your work and while it may not be perfect right now, you will improve over time and that is why it is important to keep going despite any feedback that you may receive.
Create a schedule and use scheduling tools: I have phases where I feel really productive and happy and these are the phases where I can create and share but then there are days when I have to work on more projects than usual and I have found scheduling to be a great tool for compartmentalizing and focusing on one thing at a time. Working on a regular schedule for a few weeks or months is probably a really good way to over come overwhelm and keep the excitement going. I am a huge fan of scheduling tools like scheduling emails and sessions, and they make me feel like I'm in motion and allow me take healthy breaks in between.
Until next time, happy building!