I was really unmotivated yesterday, sitting on the couch after lunch seriously considering turning on the TV instead of getting back to work. I felt drained, uninspired, and my whole body was a lead weight sinking into the couch in a way that felt like it might be permanent.
I was meant to be writing content.
Now, I’d love to tell you that my incredible work ethic kicked in, but really it was guilt that made me drag myself up to my standing desk.
Honestly, I thought I was just further procrastinating when I opened Spotify and put on “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”.
But what if it wasn’t just procrastination? What if I instinctively knew that I needed the energy that song would give me?
The other day I was listening to the Hustle & Flowchart podcast (full of loads of good business and marketing tips) and their guest Angelo Siso was talking about doing exactly this.
He called it “being the energetic DJ of your life”, using music as an “energetic frequency” to put you in the right place energetically for different types of work. He creates playlists that are suited to the energy of different types of tasks, including a playlist to transition him from work-mode to home-mode on his drive home.
I had actually come across this technique before – in acting circles.
Music can act as a very handy shortcut into the energy you need to perform a scene as an actor, because screen acting involves a LOT of waiting around on a busy and distracting set.
You may have to be ready at the drop of a hat to do an intense emotional performance for just a few minutes. Then more waiting. Then the same energy again.
So some actors will compile playlists that are appropriate for what they’re shooting, and zone out all the busy activity of the set by listening to music while they wait. Then, when they are called to shoot, they’re in the right emotional state to play the scene, thanks to the music.
Even though I’d used this trick for performances, I’d never consciously thought about it outside of acting… but maybe I was using it instinctively…
When I used to do a lot of web design it could get quite repetitive, building out all the pages of a website. And even though I usually love music with vocals, I would listen to a lot of instrumental electronic music while doing this task.
It kept my energy up, my cognitive brain wasn’t distracted by any lyrical input, and the repetitive beats suited the nature of the work.
So when I put on “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads, maybe I knew it was the energetic frequency I needed, because almost immediately my foot started tapping. And then my head started nodding. Pretty soon I was singing along (sorry neighbours) and moving to the music.
By the time the song was over I felt ready to write.
It was like I’d been given a pep-talk by David Byrne.
And you’re reading the result.
So, just for fun, if you had to pick a song to get you in the mood for the next bit of work you have to do, what would it be – and why? Let us know over on Instagram!