How to Get Your Workday Back on Track

Have you ever gotten into your workday and realized that the day was half over and you barely got anything done?

It’s a common trend with a lot of my coaching clients. They are creative types that just can’t get off to a fast start. Believe me I still have my days where the words aren’t flowing or I can’t seem to stay on task. These days are frustrating and when this happens I always turn to the greatest tool that the working man and women have turned to for decades.

Music that fits the mood of the task.

For example I love to write while listening to jazz. There is something energizing about jazz. When I put it on I know that I’ll have a good writing session.

Next time you are struggling to get your work accomplished try putting on some energizing music that helps lift your spirits and improves your focus.

The one catch is you can’t just put on music and let your thoughts stay distracted. You have to purposeful with what song you pick and how you expect to feel as you listen to the music. By setting this intention before you turn on the music, you are setting yourself up for getting back on track.

What type of music do you like to listen to while working?

Comments

  1. At work I will often listen to music when I am doing data entry and filing. I don’t want to listen to anything with lyrics that will distract me (especially with data entry), but I discovered an online radio station that plays Epic Soundtracks from movies (Lord of the Rings, the Matrix, Batman, etc). It makes data entry and filing feel more exciting.
    I am participating in National Novel Writing Month right now and one thing that people do a lot to help them focus and jump start their writing is word sprints. You set a timer for 15 minutes and write as much as you can. The goal isn’t to write perfectly, just to get words on paper that you can edit and perfect later. Word sprints often help me when I am having a hard time getting going. Often once the timer is done I am in it enough that I can keep writing for a while after. Your post just made me realize that I should try this out at work when I am having a hard time focusing.

    • Karl Staib - The Work Happy Guy says:

      Hi Nicole, It’s funny how we forget about simple work happiness techniques that help us. It’s part of the reason I wrote this post. I was stuck on a blog post and I got up to get a drink in frustration. I didn’t want to go back to my computer. Then I opened up YouTube to distract myself, I opened up my favorites and saw a song from Of Monsters and Men. As soon as the song came on I felt better. I opened my Word doc and began to write. The music put me back on track. A tool that I must remember to use more often.

  2. I find that if I want to listen to music while I’m working (especially if it’s something like writing or working with data), I do better either with instrumental music or devotional chants in another language. I mostly listen to Deva Premal who, along with her partner Mital, have set traditional Vedic chants (in Sanskrit)to some fabulous melodies.

    In the past when I’ve had writer’s block, I would listen to music that is evocative (i.e., evokes some kind of mental imagery) and just start writing about the mental pictures that popped into my head. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a fabulous piece of music to work with. David Arkenstone also writes very evocative music.

    • Karl Staib - The Work Happy Guy says:

      Hi Sue, I’m the same way. When I’m writing I only like to have instrumental music. There is something special about certain melodies that put me in the right frame of mind when writing.

  3. Martha Goff says:

    I really appreciate the comment about word sprints…as Nicole says, this same concept can be applied to my tasks at my work desk. How many other frustrated creatives are stuck in dull clerical jobs to pay the bills but then find that when the day job is over, there is no time or energy to follow your real dreams???

    • Karl Staib - The Work Happy Guy says:

      Hi Martha, There are a lot of frustrated creatives. It’s a shame. They really need a plan that helps them keep their energy at a high level so they can do their creative work when they get home. I’m actually working on a online course to help people with this. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.

  4. Hi Martha,

    I was just reading your comment. It’s sometimes tough to feel creative at the end of the work day. Have you thought about scheduling some time for yourself at the beginning of the day? Maybe 2o minutes or half hour in the morning, although that might mean getting up a bit earlier. You might want to check out some of Eric Maisel’s books on living a creative life.

    • Karl Staib - The Work Happy Guy says:

      Hi Sue, You make a really good point. Learning how to create systems that prioritize actions that meet our needs is the key to creating happiness. Something as simple as doing creative work early instead of later can make a huge difference.

  5. Layla normes says:

    It is true that music is a great way of rejuvenating yourself. When ever I feel very low or have a bad day at work, then I listen to my favorite songs and mostly find myself refreshed. I would really recommend music therapy to people suffering from depression.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] If only he could have seen the magic in what he was creating when he created it. He would have saved himself a lot of worry. It’s this process that we can all use to help us to bring happiness to our struggles. [...]

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