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25 Of The Best Albums To Listen For Increased Productivity

25 Of The Best Albums To Listen For Increased Productivity

It is so true that music really does soothe the savage beast. It can also help you to be more productive at work. It doesn’t matter what type of music you listen to. As long as it is something you enjoy, listening to music can make the work day go a lot faster. A good beat can get you into a rhythm, and popular lyrics you can sing along to help to keep you in a great mood all day long. Just remember to sing under your breath so you don’t bother your co-workers.
There are many different genres of music, and everyone likes something different. Some of the most popular styles of music you will hear in many workplaces include disco, rock and roll, classical, country/western, and jazz. Here are some of the most popular albums within those genres:

Rock & Roll

There are many different sub-genres within the rock and roll genre, and any of them are great to listen to while working, as long as they are what you like listening to. If you work at a job that requires you to be on your feet and moving around, you can add a few fun dance moves while listening to your favorite rock albums. Here are some excellent options:

1 (The Beatles)

beatles 1

    This album is nothing but number one hits from the Beatles. These songs stand the test of time, and are easy to get down to while you are working.

    Glass Houses (Billy Joel)

    glass-houses

      Listen to some excellent toe tappers, including It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me and You May be Right. This album is great for the middle of the day when you need a bit of a pick me up.

      The Wall (Pink Floyd)

      wall

        Who doesn’t love to sing along to Another Brick in the Wall (We Don’t Need No Education)? This album is a genuine classic, and a great album to listen to when you are just starting your work day. It’s not too heavy, but just rocking enough to get you going for the day.

        The Cars (The Cars)

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        the cars

          This self-titled album is the first from the band, and has some hits that are still popular today, including Just What I Needed and My Best Friend’s Girl. These are songs are great to work to.

          Appetite for Destruction (Guns & Roses)

          guns_n_roses_-_appetite_for_destruction

            If you are a fan of heavy metal, this is one album you need to have in your playlist. The songs are all danceable, but have an awesome hard rock edge.

            Rap

            Today, many people like the hip hop beat, and there are many great artists to listen to. This is a good type of music to listen to if you have a job that is really boring. If you can listen to music at work, rap can get you more excited, because it gets the blood racing. Some albums you may want to check out include:

            The World Is Yourz (DDS)

            dds

              This rap album deals with a lot of the issues that many people struggle with every day. You can really relate to the lyrics. If you’re doing repetitive work, there are some great beats to work to so you can really get into a rhythm. Darick Spears self-produced, mixed, mastered and wrote the album himself. Songs on this album include Risen (We Comin Up) and The Rebel of tha Church.

              When Disaster Strikes (Busta Rhymes)

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                This is the second, and undoubtedly the best, Busta Rhymes album. It has some pretty memorable hits, including Dangerous. This album may be old school, but it stands the test of time, and is a great album to get you in the mood to work.

                All Eyez On Me (2Pac)

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                2Pac-All_Eyez_On_Me

                  This album from Tupac Shakur is definitely a personal piece of work. It was released almost as soon as he was released from jail. This is a good album to listen to while you are on a break and want to have something that really pumps.

                  Ready to Die (The Notorious B.I.G.)

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                    This rapper only made two albums, and this may just be one of the best rap albums of all time. Get into the beat and start working up a storm.

                    Get Rich or Die Tryin (50 Cent)

                    50-cent-get-rich-or-die-tryin

                      Every song on this album is awesome, and will really get you into the mood to get moving.

                      Disco

                      Everyone makes fun of disco, but secretly, most people really do like it. After all, it is great music to dance to, and there were some pretty fantastic albums from the disco era. This is a great type of music to listen to at work when you need a good energy boost. Some great disco albums to download into your playlist include:

                      YMCA (The Village People)

                      village people Y M C A 13

                        This album is going to put you into a happy mood, and you can work to a really great beat.

                        Parallel Lines (Blondie)

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                        blondie

                          This is a good album to listen to near the end of the workday when your energy is waning.

                          Saturday Night Fever

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                            Listen to songs from one of the most popular musical movies ever produced. Enjoy your favorites, and use this album to relieve stress, with a mix of fast and slow songs.

                            Dynasty (KISS)

                            kiss

                              While KISS is best known for being a hard rock band, they broke into the disco scene in 1979 with this album. Hits like I was Made for Loving You will really get you into a great mood, and you will want to get up and dance.

                              Disco’s Greatest Hits (Various Artists)

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                                The best disco songs can be found on this album, from Disco Inferno to Ring My Bell to The Hustle and many more. These songs will make you want to tap your feet and move around.

                                Classical

                                Many people don’t want to listen to music that is going to get their adrenaline pumping. For instance, someone who really needs to concentrate doesn’t need lyrics that will distract them. Classical music provides the sounds they need to relax them, but no lyrics. Early in the day, you may want one of the more quiet albums, and you may like something powerful like Beethoven’s 5th later in the day. You will also find great lyrical classical music in some amazing operas. Check out such composers and albums as:

                                Jazz

                                There are many different types of jazz, and much of it is really upbeat and fun to listen to. A great example of fun jazz is the Dixieland sound. There are some great songs within this jazz sub-genre, and you can enjoy vocal and instrumental albums. A word of warning, some of the vocal tunes are so catchy you won’t be able to keep from singing along. Here are some of the best jazz albums to listen to while you are working:

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                                Kind of Blue (Miles Davis)

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                                  This is one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and for good reason. The album showcases some legendary jazz musicians, the songs are simple and easy to listen to.

                                  The Essential Charlie Parker (Charlie Parker)

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                                    This artist was one of the creators of bebop, and was an instrumental virtuoso. You can really get into these instrumental hits that highlight the best of jazz.

                                    Incredible Jazz Guitar (Wes Montgomery)

                                    the incredible jazz guitar of wes montgomery

                                      Guitar lovers will enjoy this album, which obviously features pretty much nothing but guitars. You’ll be tapping your toes, and before you know it the day will have flown by.

                                      Head Hunters (Herbie Hancock)

                                      head-hunters

                                        While maybe best known for his electronic music in the 1980’s, Hancock was a huge influence in jazz, introducing the synthesizer to the genre. Enjoy a steady, rhythmic beat and electronic sounds that will keep you in a perky mood.

                                        Playlist: The Very Best of Louis Armstrong (Louis Armstrong)

                                        best-louis-armstrong

                                          If you love Dixieland jazz, you will adore anything from this artist. This album will having you bopping around the office to tunes like Mack the Knife and other great jazz hits.

                                          Featured photo credit: Spry via flickr.com

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                                          Jane Hurst

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                                          Published on January 16, 2019

                                          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                                          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                                          We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                                          You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                                          You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                                          That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                                          Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                                          1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                                          Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                                          We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                                          To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                                          At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                                          The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                                          2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                                          Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                                          The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                                          In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                                          It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                                          It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                                          So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                                          • Are you a great strategist?
                                          • Are you an effective planner?
                                          • Is Project Management your strength?
                                          • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                                          • Are you the ideas person?
                                          • Is Implementation your strength?

                                          Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                                          3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                                          One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                                          Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                                          Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                                          Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                                          4. Take Time for Planning

                                          “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                                          One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                                          You can take the time to think about:

                                          • What’s the purpose of the project?
                                          • How Important is it?
                                          • When does it need to be delivered by?
                                          • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                                          • What are the KPIs?
                                          • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                                          • Who is working on this project?
                                          • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                                          • What tolerances can I add in?
                                          • What are the review stages?
                                          • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                                          Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                                          5. Focus on Priorities

                                          Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                                          Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                                          One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                                          1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                                          2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                                          3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                                          4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                                          James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                                            The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                                            If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                                            If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                                            6. Take Time Out

                                            To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                                            If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                                            Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                                            In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                                            Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                            7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                                            Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                                            I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                                            Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                                            If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                                            8. Stop Multitasking

                                            Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                                            So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                                            When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                                            If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                                            9. Work in Blocks of Time

                                            To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                                            I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                                            Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                                            Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                                            Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                                            Then take another 10-minute break.

                                            Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                                            By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                                            10. Get Rid of Distractions

                                            Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                                            “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                                            Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                                            If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                                            11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                                            You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                                            Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                                            Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                                            12. Take a Time Audit

                                            Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                                            Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                                            You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                                            Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                                            Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                                            At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                                            If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                                            13. Protect Your Confidence

                                            It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                                            When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                                            Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                                            When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                                            Final Words

                                            A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                                            The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                                            If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                                            Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

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