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In every job I’ve had, from internships to full-time employment, I’ve listened to music at work to pass the time and avoid being crushed by the day-in day-out monotony of working for a living. I’ve bounced all over the musical spectrum, from hard rock, to rap, electronic music, a slight dabble in classical, and I’ve been left with an eclectic collection of music and playlists. However, I’ve recently noticed that I can’t seem to focus when listening to music. I don’t know how this happened, but with seemingly no warning, I’m virtually incapable of working and jamming out at the same time.
Initially, I panicked. Depending on how quickly modern medicine progresses, I’ve got at least 30-40 years of work left, and a minimum 200+ to live. How am I supposed to pass the time and still be productive if I can’t listen to music? That’s when it hit me. I thought back to studying for an advanced finance course in undergrad. In an effort to focus harder and enhance the effects of an undisclosed amount of Adderall, I decided to play the album Get Rich or Die Trying by 50 Cent on repeat. In an amphetamine and hip-hop induced trance, I began to crank out work and memorize complex formulas at an astonishing rate. At the first commercial break I deemed commercials unacceptable and bought a premium account without a second thought. I was unstoppable, and I ended up acing the test.
This brings me back to the present day, where my access to music has remained the same, but my Adderall access and usage has waned due to a combination of availability and acceptability in the workplace. My former stimulant has been replaced by black coffee, and thinking back to that moment gave me an idea. What if the reason I was able to focus was because I was repeating the same songs over and over again, and no longer distracting my mind with a constant influx of new music?
I put my theory to the test last week and haven’t looked back since. The song may change day to day, but it’s the same routine. I plug in my headphones and select a song, move it into a new playlist, hit repeat, and I’m off. Even though I don’t understand it completely, my productivity at work has skyrocketed and to say I’m “crushing” it would be an understatement. I’m a god damn juggernaut in the office, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Maybe it’s something scientific, maybe I’m hitting this thing some self-help people and psychologists call “flow.” I don’t know, but what I do know is that this little trick has elevated my game, and management is starting to notice.
Are there drawbacks to this move? Of course. Any song that’s been in the repeat playlist for a few days will be listened to at least a few hundred times, drastically reducing the time it takes for me to get sick of a new song I’m a fan of. Plus, if for some reason I hear that song outside of the office, I’m almost immediately thrown back in the zone, and can think of nothing but work until the song comes to an end.
Overall, the pros in my little experiment far outweigh the cons, and I don’t foresee myself stopping this anytime soon. Also, lucky for me, my coworkers can’t hear that I’m listening to the same thing over and over again, otherwise they’d probably think I’m a psycho. This of course, begs my question to you, PGP readers. Am I an insane person, or have I discovered the next big thing in workplace productivity?.
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