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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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