What Parkinson and Pareto Can Teach You About Audio Production Efficiency

pareto parkinson mixing

Ever since I read the “4 hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss I’ve sworn by two simple rules.

Parkinson’s Law and the Pareto Principle.

Parkinson’s Law simply dictates that the amount of work needed to finish a project will expand to the total available time until completion.

So if you have a week to mix a song, you’ll use the whole week. But if you only have a day, you’ll only use that one day. But the funny part is that you won’t necessarily do a poorer job.

If you had a week and went back and forth in your mix, tweaking every little thing until you’ve sucked the life out of it, maybe you’ll actually end up with a worse mix. By only having a day to mix you work faster and more efficiently. You won’t spend hours on tiny, unnecessary tweaks. You look at the big picture and make the most important decisions right away.

That brings us to the Pareto Principle.

I would bet that you can mix 80% of the song in 20% of the total time. That’s the 80/20 principle right there. Put in 20% of the effort and you’ll get about 80% of the results. So in effect, by having less time to work on things you’ll actually concentrate on the most important things that will get you results.

Obviously, getting to 100% requires a bit more work, but having less time filters out all the unnecessary perfectionism that might decrease your workflow.

Simple steps to a faster session is something that I spend a LOT of time on in both Recording and Mixing Strategies(www.audio-issues.com/strategies). Whether it’s having fool-proof recording techniques that make your life easier, or setting up a fast mixing routine that encourages great mixing with minimal amount of headache, it’s all in there.

Check it out. Let me know what you think.

I guarantee that reading them will cut the time it takes you to get a better mix by at least half, if not the whole 80%.

Get your proven techniques right here:


Image by: kevin dooley

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