This article was written by Evan Stiger, Marketing Coordinator at Pocket Nurse.
I started my career almost two years ago. After graduation, I wasn’t sure how I’d function in a 40-hour work week. It was difficult to adjust at first, especially to the long periods of sitting still.
The most helpful tool on analytics days and endless Friday afternoons is my music, but I learned early that not all music helps me work. Here are three ways I use music to keep up with my demanding workload.
- Music to sharpen focus: Usually I listen to music that cancels noise and limits distractions. The stations, songs, and artists I choose during everyday task are not my favorites. Sometimes I even choose genres I outright dislike, making my work an attractive outlet for my focus. Genres with few or no lyrics help to sharpen my focus like classical, jazz, and Latino pop. Stations like “Today’s Hits” recycle the same songs common on the radio and in commercials. Familiarity makes them easy to ignore.
- Music to expand focus: Tedious recurring tasks take time but not necessarily attention. For example, I pull data from Pocket Nurse’s social channels every month. It isn’t difficult to manage exports and adjust spreadsheet cells, so I take the opportunity to expand my focus to my favorite songs, marketing podcasts, and even comedy stations. By expanding my focus, I keep my mood up and mind engaged.
- Music to shift focus: Everybody hits road-blocks in projects. Taking two or three minutes to rest your mind can provide much needed perspective. A dozen songs can entirely absorb my attention. When I’m stuck, I’ll search songs like “Lose Yourself,” by Eminem, “Shout!” by the Isley Brothers. I return to my work refreshed, and sometimes the challenges I left don’t seem quite so insurmountable.