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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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