Procrastination. We've all been there. The time we spend thinking about 'doing the task' is sometimes longer than it takes to actually complete the task.
It goes something like this... I need to do some work (man, I'm hungry), I should start the work (why is the AC making that noise), ok opening my laptop (right after I check my Instagram.) It's a story we're all familiar with.
In the words of Mark Twain, "The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
And while we agree, often getting started is the hardest part. However, there are some things you can do to let productivity win over procrastination.
One thing we recommend when aiming to complete tasks that take concentration like: email writing, presentation writing, research, proofreading, creative writing, etc. is to listen to classical music through headphones. The belief is that the lack of lyrics in classical music, combined with the soothing melody helps to drown out distractions and refocus the psyche. Kind of like a white noise machine for the mind.
It's actually called The Mozart Effect - a researched theory that suggests listening to Mozart's music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks such as concentration, focus and spatial-temporal reasoning. Furthermore, it’s believed that classical music puts people in a heightened emotional state, making them more receptive to information.
Streaming classical music through headphones, for some, is better than just playing it in the background as it helps to drown out distractions of your surroundings, especially in the ever-popular open workspaces. On the contrary, listening to music with lyrics is said to be somewhat distracting - so we say reach for the Mozart or Bach vs. Eye of the Tiger (no offense Survivor, that’s our gym go-to.)
Don't just take it from us, TheGuardian.com agrees stating, “Music is a very useful tool in such situations. It provides non-invasive noise and pleasurable feelings, to effectively neutralize the unconscious attention system’s ability to distract us. It’s much like giving small children a new toy to play with while you’re trying to get some work done without them disturbing you.”
There are many quotes on the subject which we find amusing. Check out these two...
“My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, “Just wait.” - Anonymous
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. - Pablo Picasso.
We’re going to have to go with Picasso on this one because well, he’s Picasso.
So give classical music in headphones a shot and let us know if it helps you concentrate. Also, it won’t hurt to dab some of our Rosemary Oil from Spain on your wrists while you’re at it. It’s been used for centuries for its natural stress-reducing qualities and its ability to help focus the mind and enhance learning.
Not sure about you - but we’ll take all the tricks we can get.
Until next time, be well.