Music is Key

Music is Key

Music is the key to focus…for me anyway!

Sitting on a plane, opening up your laptop seems like an ideal place to get some work done!  The movies make it seem so simple and something to strive for when flying out for business or pleasure. Today, I sat down in aisle 29, seat B and slowly watched as the nightmare next door neighbour passengers made their way in front, behind and next to me!  An extremely excitable bride in the back who’s voice could rival any loud talker, a mom of 2 young children (they watch their children’s shows on their iPads without earphones and their mom sings, poorly, to try to soothe them—this does not work). And then, a gentleman who’s already complained to another passenger that he’s squishing his luggage in the upper cargo compartment in a very aggressive, tone that’s uncomfortable to everyone else.  This does not seem like a productive environment and feels hopeless until that ‘seat belt fastened’ light comes off! Faster than you can say “go”, I’ve got my earphones and my laptop out. I plug the earphones in, select my favourite playlist on iTunes and get typing.  What first seemed like an impossible situation slowly develops into the ideal pod for 4 hours of complete productivity!

While not for everyone, music provides the perfect arena for me to find razor sharp focus. Music is my go to and I know I’m not alone! I’m brought back to an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where McDreamy’s requests for his favourite music to be played as he performs complex surgical procedures is central to the plot line. Truth be told, that’s not reality, but on August 6th, Vice published an article describing actual studies that listed positive outcomes (relaxation, accuracy…) and concerns (distraction, need for repetition between nurses and doctors…) of music played during surgeries.  A whopping 16 out of 20 surgeons played music during one of the studies, confirming that it’s a preference among the profession. The study and the article conclude that it’s likely not a matter of if you listen to music or not that’s linked to negative effects but the type of music you listen to. White noise, ambient music and classical tend to be ideal. For me, I opt for my favourite Songza playlist: Acoustic Versions of Pop Songs.  My favorites from the playlist include the following (give it a listen – it’s free if you’re connected to wifi, or download any of them on iTunes):

  1. Stay With Me by Jasmine Thompson
  2. I Won’t Give Up by Lennon
  3. Let Her Go by Jasmine Thompson
  4. Into The Dark by Spencer Barnett
  5. Dancing Queen by Frank Turner
  6. XO by John Mayer
  7. Chariot (Stripped Version) by Gavin DeGraw
  8. Crazy by Daniela Andrade
  9. Mirrors by Andrew Ripp
  10. Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow
  11. Watcha Say by Michael Schulte
  12. Ignition (Remix) by The Wind and The Wave
  13. Call Your Girlfirend by Lucy Wainwright Roche
  14. The Girl (Acoustic) by City and Colour
  15. Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready) by City and Colour
  16. Not Over You Acoustic Cover by Collin McLoughlin
  17. When I Was Your Man (Feat. Fifth Harmony) by Boyce Avenue
  18. Mirrors (Feat. Fifth Harmony) by Boyce Avenue
  19. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Jasmine Thompson
  20. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay by Sara Bareilles
  21. Kiss Me by Jason Walker
  22. Princess Of China (Acoustic) by Coldplay & Rihanna
  23. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping At Last
  24. Nothin’ On You / My Love / Rocketeer by Boyce Avenue
  25. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Jason Mraz
  26. How To Save A Life (Live From Soho) by The Fray
  27. Use Somebody by Laura Jansen
  28. Bad Blood (Live Piano Version) by Bastille
  29. Wonderwall by Ryan Adams
  30. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
  31. Billie Jean by The Civil Wars
  32. We Can’t Stop (Feat. Bea Miller) by Boyce Avenue
  33. Chasing Pavements (Live At The Hotel Cafe) by Adele
  34. Latch by Daniela Andrade
  35. Never Gonna Leave This Bed (Acoustic) by Maroon 5
  36. Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  37. Boom Clap by Lennon & Maisy
  38. Time After Time by The Wind and The Wave
  39. Titanium by Jasmine Thompson
  40. Dancing In The Dark by Ruth Moody
  41. Shots (Acoustic (Piano) / Live From The Smith Center / Las Vegas) by Imagine Dragons
  42. All Of Me by Spencer Barnett
  43. Skinny Love by Birdy
  44. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Jack Johnson
  45. We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Ella Eyre
  46. Chandelier by The Wind and The Wave
  47. The Scientist by Jenny & Tyler
  48. Demons (Acoustic Live In London) by Imagine Dragons
  49. Hallelujah by Spencer Barnett

For you, it might be different or it may be nothing at all. My point is this: any environment can be the perfect work setting, you just have to make it work for you. For someone like me who prefers a quiet work environment, have your headphones ready, download a relaxing playlist and hit play.



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