One of my perennial question stems from an observation. How can my friends stay in the practice room for so long, stay focused, get through so much repetoire when I’m crawling through my routine, constantly get distracted, and the procrastinisation monkey becomes captain of my brain? My quest for the answer to this question has taken me on an epic philosophical journey. It’s not over by any means, and I think I will never arrive at a statisfying conclusion. It’s one of those cases where the journey is its own end.
Will and motivation is such an interesting area of study, and part of my solution has to do with puzzels and games. Almost everyone is drawn, captivated and transfixed by games and puzzels that are in one way, laborious to be honest. Sudoku expends brain power like an accountant pouring and cross-matching numbers yet one is voluntary. Mark Twain I believe said that once you pay a man to ride his horse, he will stop enjoying the task.
Another aspect is prioritisation and procrastination. One way I tend to procrastinate is to over-prioritise my activities as to delay me from actually accomplishing anything. I’ve found out that once you just do, things roll along and you forget why you didn’t want to do the thing in the first place. Just like going to the gym, you give yourself excuses but once you’re there, you start to enjoy it.
Plus sometimes, we tend to work well under pressure and deadline. I was just watching Adam Neeley compose an entire album in 24 hours and the challenge alone is what seems to drive the massive amounts of productivity. I’ve experienced this – when I’m given an hour to compose somthing, it stops you from thinking too hard on peripheral things like will it make me look silly or bad and forces you to push ahead.
Applying this, I want my teaching to be fun like playing a game, do some clever mental manipulation to overcome the initial barrier of the doing, and shed and streamline any mental blocks by forcing productivity. All these will be dependent on sensitive push and pull as to not overly tax students but rather find that sweet spot where they are engaged just the right amount.
To finish this stream of conscious, here’s my 1 hour composition on ableton