A few years ago, I read an article about “getting organized” that left me curious. They mentioned three famous musicians who kept their work environments meticulously organized:
- Michael Jackson
- John Lennon
Why were they so particular?
You need to create a physical environment that allows you to produce organized thought.
Your physical environment is a reflection of your thoughts, and physical clutter translates that you’re having difficulty making sense of thoughts and ideas. To sum it up, if your mind is cluttered and unorganized, the physical space around you will be too.
Watch this video:
That’s why the FIRST rule of your practice space should be…
1. Avoid Clutter
The musicians from that article did not want clutter to affect the quality of their work, and I think we should do the same. So I reorganized my entire practice space and it made a big difference in my productivity, music, and creativity.
(I explain this in more detail later—keep reading).
2. Create a Creative Environment
You want your practice space to stimulate your brain, make it easier for your mind to do its job, and ideas will effortlessly flow out of you—most of the time.
There are two things that will help you do that in your practice space.
- Natural light
This might seem totally stupid—I get it—but I did find some facts to support it.
How light helps:
According to WebMD, natural light synchronizes your brain and body—improving your motor skills, and hand-eye coordination—it sharpens your mind and body.
Light improves my playing. It feels like my mind and body work more closely together. My brain shut’s up and my body relaxes, and things begin to just “flow” out of me. And flooding my practice space with light helps to facilitate that.
How a plant helps:
An article in the Huffington Post claims that “plants help shift our minds to more effortless engagement and attention.”
Basically, plants improve your focus. I’ve found that to be true. Having a plant in my practice space is relaxing.
3. Visualize your Ideas
The third and final thing you need is a planning and visualization tool.
This is the most important piece of your practice space.
The human brain is a crappy filing cabinet. To keep ideas in your head, and rely on memory to reference them, is exhausting. You’ll spend most of your mental energy trying to remember old ideas instead of on generating new ones.
That’s why you need to relieve your brain from the burden of being a filing cabinet if your write things down. Do that, and you will never have to worry about “losing” a thought—or waste energy trying to find it.
There are two ways I recommend you do that:
- Get a whiteboard
- Use a wall calendar
Another benefit of having this type of tool is that you can hold other musicians accountable.
For example, take 15 minutes at the beginning of every rehearsal to discuss what’s on the calendar and write things down on the white board. This will unite everybody under one clear goal, improve communication and enhance focus.
Remember, there are three easy ways to improve the “vibe” in your practice space. They are:
- Keeping your space organized and clutter-free
- Creating the right environment to stimulate creativity
- Getting your ideas out of your head
That wraps it up. Until next time – rock on and prosper.