Your surroundings are an often overlooked factor to your success and productivity in the workplace. How often have you felt overwhelmed, frazzled, or stressed only to look around and realize that you were internalizing the chaos of a messy desk? Or, switched to a more comfortable chair and noticed your body language improve?
While we often focus on the physical surroundings, we forget that our auditory surroundings can be just as impactful– especially music. After all, they say music is food for the soul. No matter the situation, mood, or task, you can bet that someone has the perfect song to get you going. Below are some of my personal favourites to help get me out of the funk and into the groove.
Looking at your to-do list first thing in the morning can be daunting, and it seems like you’ll never scale the mountain of work you have to get through. In these instances, I look towards a song’s lyrics to pump me up. Working in communications, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I gravitate to songs that tell a story. It’s the lyrics I turn to for the inspiration to boost my confidence and perseverance to tackle any obstacle, and there certainly isn’t a shortage of #BossBabes I can turn to when I need it the most.
…and one male artist, because you know, #diversity, #equality.
We’ve all had stressful days at the office and any number of factors can be the culprit. It doesn’t take much for one incident to throw off your entire mood. In that case, all you might need is a minute or two to decompress, and music can help you get there.
If I’m feeling stressed I tend to lean towards acoustic songs with slower tempos to help me relax. Boyce Avenue and 2Cellos do great acoustic covers of pop songs. Some of my favourites include:
So this one doesn’t technically count as music, but ambient noise can be a useful tool in helping you concentrate. Sometimes you need something to drown out the distractions around you – whether it be chatting coworkers, the sound of printers and other office machinery, or simply the thoughts in your own head.
I often find that I associate songs with particular feelings or moments in my life and if I’m already having a hard time concentrating, music will trigger a train of thought that takes me away from my work to a place where I’m suddenly reliving and analysing parts of my past. On the flip side, there are times when the silence around me seems deafening and causes me to get restless. Ambient noise is the perfect middle ground. There have been countless studies proving that ambient noise can have a positive affect on productivity and creativity.
Anything from the sound of rain, to nature sounds, to the sound of a fan blowing can provide just enough noise to get you focused. There are plenty apps you can download, or if your phone is too filled with selfies, you can simply do a YouTube search for ambient noise and pick whichever video speaks to you.
What are your go-to songs to help you get through the 9 to 5?