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The Power of Time Limits in Creativity ⏰

This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, 296. The Power of Time Limits in Creativity

We LOVE challenges around here, so it’s no wonder that the idea of limiting the amount of time we have for a creative project caught our eye.

Check out the episode for the full discussion.

Here are some benefits to using a shorter time limit for creating:

1. Sometimes you simply don’t have more time

For the guy who wrote the blog post, he wanted to make sure that he could take advantage of the opportunity to participate in writing and producing a song on the customer’s time frame. So, learning to use the time given—instead of the time you would NORMALLY have taken—in order to allow yourself more opportunities. After all, we’ve said it before, but the more songs you can get done and out, the more chances you will have to be considered for more projects. –ALSO, even if you are simply writing for yourself, the more at-bats you get, the more chances you have to get your music released and into potential fans’ hands, right? So, take the challenge of writing within a SHORTER window of time to avail yourself of this benefit.

The better the gear, the better the performance?

2. Moving quickly helps focus your concentration

Another benefit of collapsing the timeframe that you create in is that having a set amount of time gives you a framework to focus on. The author explains that, in a world with SO much choice in it—from the demands of social media posting to trying to get the attention of playlist curators to whatever the heck else you could be doing with life—so, by blocking off shorter periods of time to write, you are committing to putting all of focus into THAT time. You will need to cut off ALL other distractions in order to really accomplish anything in your sessions. By knowing that you ONLY have a short, finite amount of time, you will have even more motivation to stick to the script; and NOT get distracted by answering emails, notifications on your cell phone, or whatever else normally becomes your distraction.

I will never buy an MPC plugin!

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3. Working with a limited amount of time gets you out of your own way

Because you KNOW that you ONLY have a short amount of time to work allows your ideas to flow more freely and doesn’t give you time to nitpick. If you have ANY of those delusions of perfection, you are probably NOT going to be able to indulge them when time is tight and you KNOW that this project needs finishing. This gives us time to get the idea out with LESS editing than if we have all the time in the world to work it. –And, let’s face it; MOST creatives admit that, even when we THINK something is “perfect” in the moment, when we go back to listen to it later, we find ALL manner of things that we’d love to tweak about it. –By keeping the timeframe short and tight, you will learn to work more efficiently, get the MOST important aspects of the idea down, and to leave the nitpicking behind.

4. Time is a limited resource

Finally, whatever profession you are looking to participate in and to improve upon, learning to use your time better is a worthwhile creative and an all-around basic life skill. And, if you’re like us—who waited WAAAAY too long to take our artistic enterprises as seriously as we should’ve—you realize the weight of getting as MUCH done as you can in the shortest amount of time. So, when you’re ready to kick your creative production—or ANY activity where you want to amass content quickly—you will consider what we’ve discussed.

—Speaking of writing in a short timeframe, Bruce has started the Idea-a-Day Songwriting Challenge! 😳 We will definitely share more about this as the summer unfolds, but his goal was to see if he can generate one, working song idea each day. –He says the motivation is simply to express himself more often, but you can imagine the treasure trove of material that we will generated from this method! 💥 –He gives himself 24 hours to complete it and has been engaged in this challenge for about a month now. I can testify that he is committed to this practice and we are SURE that some of those weekly song clip ideas—shared on many of our social media accounts—will be taken directly from this vault.

Unboxing of Akai MPC One+:

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The Takeaway

As you can see, there are all kinds of reasons for setting a shorter, time-based challenge for songwriting. That BMI post just highlighted some ones that we thought might help convince you all to give it a shot to see how it benefits you.


So, will we do it again? HELL, YEAH! 🙌🏾 In fact, our NEXT livestream is scheduled for Friday, July 28, where we will debut for Bourgeoisie Paper Jam’s next single “It’s Gonna Be Alright.” We will also premiere the music video live and on-air—unless you are a member of our Patreon community. (If you’re in our Patreon, you will see the video one week earlier. Join here.)

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Need Contest Ideas for D.I.Y. Rock Stars?

Let us know about a time when YOU have had limited time and have created work that was BETTER than you could have ever imagined.

Leave it in the comments below.



Did you know that along with putting together our next album, we are working on our first book?

Here’s the link, if you want to pre-order:


Here’s what we’re into now:

· We’re featured in Variety Magazine!

· The video for “Every Heartbeat” is doing well in Indonesia!

· The Tony Webb "Funkalicious" video is going crazy in Honduras, y'all!

· One of our videos for our song, “Tell Me What You Want,” is going gangbusters in Vietnam!

If you like this, you might enjoy:

· Basic Recording Studio Setup:

· What to do when real life interrupts your artistic process?

· 7 Strategies for rebounding from creative burnout:

· How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to give better live performances:

· How to collaborate better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to write quicker, but better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· Should you ever play for free?

· 17 Tips for taking better band photos—ESPECIALLY if you taking them yourself:



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Until next Monday, here’s wishing love, peace, and chicken grease!




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