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How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

Move with the music, think with a tune, bop with a beat — at the office and on the job!

Did you know that listening to music while working helps you be more productive? Well, it’s true. You can literally boost your productivity with the beat. There are several reasons why this is true, but suffice it to say, the most important benefit to listening to music while at work is that it causes you to feel pleasure, and that puts you in a good mood and makes you calm and able to stay focused on your work tasks without your mind wandering. So, now that you know the main benefits of working to music, see how it’s done.

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Step 1: Make sure your workplace allows you to listen to music while working.

If they don’t, then listen to some tunes while on your break. This will allow you some moments of pleasure and calmness that hopefully will last through to the end of your work session.

Step 2: When listening to music at the workplace, keep the volume down on your ear buds.

Do this for two reasons: 1) to protect your hearing, and 2) to keep from being a distraction to coworkers.

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Step 3: Select music that is upbeat and is more instrumental.

We tend to listen to what is being sung when there are vocals, and while working this could cause us to become distracted and off task. By listening to instrumentals, we listen to the music in the background of our minds and remain focused on our job tasks.

Step 4: Bop to the beat without tapping to it.

While staying focused on your work, listen to your music without participating in the making of it by tapping your foot, dancing, or drumming on the desk. Remember, this music is to soothe you and not stimulate you.

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Step 5: Be aware of your surroundings.

Even though you are in the zone with your tunes, there are others around you that may require your attention. So (in the case of working in an office) look up once in a while from your desk or step out of your office and be ready to interact with your superiors or subordinates.

Step 6: Take your music with you on an exercise break.

Many people take a walk during their lunch break to get some fresh air and clear their mind. An added benefit to this exercise is pleasure when you listen to your music while taking your walk. This maximizes the benefit of your lunch break.

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Step 7: Balance your work with your music.

You may not want to listen to your music all the time while you are at work. Sometimes it becomes necessary for your brain to operate in a less pleasurable and less calm state. This might be the case when (as part of your job responsibilities) you must do something not pleasurable, such as anything having to do with delivering bad news. For the time it takes to prepare for these moments, it is best not to listen to music.

Even though scientific research has time and time again proven there is a correlation between the level of work productivity and the music listened to at work, following these seven steps does not guarantee you will become a wiz at the office. Neither does it guarantee your productivity will increase at all, but there is a good chance that you will have a better experience at work. When listening to music, you will have an upbeat approach with a dance in your step that everyone around you will notice and appreciate. You may also find yourself smiling more often because of the pleasure and calmness you are receiving from the rhythm in the tunes you are listening to. You might even find yourself enjoying your job and the people you work with even more!

Featured photo credit: Valley With Wild Forest And Lake In Alaska via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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