This is a big one for me. In the beginning, I felt I was not moving forward as fast as I wanted, and that I didn’t get the amount of work done that I had in mind. I later realized that this was because I didn’t set specific enough goals. Cause when you’re making music, there are a lot of ways to get lost, to sit and noodle around, and in any way be “busy” instead of “productive”. What helped me a lot though, was to write down specific goals for the week, and for the day.
Things changed when I started using a technique I learned from Tim Ferriss, writing down 3 of the most crucial things to execute that day – and sticking to it. This could be “finish the intro of X”, or “export stems for track X, Y and Z”, and “finish and send first demo sketch for score X”. My productivity skyrocketed, simply because I wrote down the super specific steps towards my goal, and attacked them one by one, day after day. I might have limited the things I did during the day to 3 rather than 100, but I moved forward at a much higher pace.
Try this out. Before you go to bed, write down 3 things that you want to accomplish the next day. Or even better, write down the ONE thing that you can do the following day, that will move your work and career a little step forward, and make all the things that you could do easier or unnecessary.
Then focus on that 100% the next day, and complete this task. Is the task completed and you have several hours free? Then you got the perfect possibility to just noodle around, get lost, and experiment in the studio again (as this is a very important part of being a musician/composer too, in my opinion). But if you only do this without any clear goals and checkpoints, you might find yourself moving forward much more slowly than if you set clear goals, execute them, and then play around.