Digital Workload and Mental Health

I recently read an interview in Tape Op about the producer of the band Fugazi.  He spoke about their photographer transitioning from film to digital, allowing for thousands of photos to be captured at each shoot.  That change meant that the new enemy (from the photographer’s point of view) was the difficulty in committing to a change.  With thousands of digital photos to choose from, he was no longer limited by the cost of film, 36 exposures per roll, etc.

This made me think about how the digital transformation can be paralyzing.  I started recording audio in the 90’s when analog tape was still the dominant format.  Digital was too new and expensive at the time.  Now, the opposite is true.  I still love tape, but good luck finding used Ampex 456 at a decent price, let alone a reliable machine to record and playback with.

With digital bringing so many options to the table, where do you draw the line in terms of commitment to a decision?  You can Control-Z in your DAW to your heart’s desire, but you eventually have to decide.

This month I would like you to ask yourself if there are ways the digital transformation is hindering your progress.  When recording, do you find yourself unable to find a satisfactory take, let alone the perfect one?  Would you change your approach if you knew you only had one chance to get it right?

It’s worthwhile to consider how this “paralysis” extends to other areas of your life, especially as it relates to your music business.  Is your mobile phone “computer in your pocket” constantly reminding you to look at it?  If so, is that really necessary?  Minimizing disruptions and distractions can have a tremendous impact on your productivity and improve your mental health.

You may have heard about “digital detox” before.  This can help us detach ourselves from these devices which have a tendency to consume too much time in our lives.  When we disconnect, we’re able to focus on the present moment and think more clearly and deeply about our business.

Today’s Recommended Action: Start a Daily “Detox” Meditation

This month I’d like you to consider carving out 10 minutes per day with no distractions in order to think about the direction of your music career.  In these sessions, think about what’s going well, and what could be improved.  Picture yourself 1 year from now, 5 years from now and possibly 10 years from now.  What do you think you’ll be doing?  Is the work you’re doing now building that vision?  If not, what should be changed?

The conscious and subconscious brain patterns that are developed from this practice can lead to a greater understanding of your purpose in music and will help you become more successful in your approach and execution.