The MAGIC formula:
It applies to:
The Power of Music
I step off the bus at the central bus station in Heathrow facing a long walk with two wheelie cases to Terminal 2: Endless corridors, lifts and travellators.
But then the transformation.
I put on my noise-cancelling headphones and fire up Forty Licks, the best of the Rolling Stones
A smile comes on my face.
With “Street Fighting Man” in my ears, It’s all I can do to stop myself strutting like Mick Jagger, with a spring in my step. And the tedious journey suddenly becomes a pleasure. I’m a rock star!
I get to the queue for check-in. A big grin on my face with my feet tapping. I have to reign it in a bit, so the other passengers don’t think I’m mad.
Music is a marvellous thing.
All humans have loved it since time began. It has magical power to change our moods.
Why not use it intentionally?
I suggest that you can use music to improve your work and life by using it to:
– put you in the right mood for the activity at hand,
– inspire yourself
– help you to concentrate, and
– help you connect spiritually.
Getting In the Mood
Five minutes before chairing a challenging Zoom meeting, I put on my headphones and crank up “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’Roses, and dance around my office, juggling and jiggling like a crazy thing. Suffice to say, I begin the meeting energised!
When entering a national speech competition, I realised that my speech needed to hit a higher tempo in the rhythm of my words. I wanted to get more energy into it and to make sure it lasted precisely the right amount of time. I discovered that the beat I needed was exactly the same as “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees. So I played that to myself before I went on.
I love cooking. I love cooking even more when I have Radio 2 on in the background. Chop, stir, dance, sing, chop. I’m showing my age, you will have your own special music and favourite station.
Music can energise you, it can motivate you. It can change your mood.
Let the Choir Inspire
Music can be inspirational. If you listen to lots of different music, especially music with lyrics. It will give you new ideas, new poetic phrases that may inspire your work and your life. I encourage you to listen to music outside your typical tastes. It will give you an insight into how others think and feel.
I love all sorts of music and make a point of listening to a wide range: heavy rock cheesy pop, folk, 80s hip hop, and even a bit of classical in extremis(!)
Concentration Now Begins
It seems counterintuitive, but much of the time having music in the background actually aids concentration rather than splitting our focus. I found this intriguing article in The Guardian, which explains why.
I have indeed found this true from experience. Putting some music on enables me to focus on a task when I would otherwise be demotivated or vulnerable to distraction.
And finally, music can help you to connect spiritually. You may or may not be religious. If you are then you will be familiar with worship music, and how this plays a massive role in both personal and corporate devotion.
But, even if we are not religious, we all have songs that mean something to us.
And we all know that certain songs can de-stress us and calm us down. Some pieces can move us to tears, others can inspire us.
Think about how you can use music intentionally to improve both your work and your life.
Music may be the food of love, but it is the food of so much more as well. Play on.
Download my free eBook “Be Kind to Yourself” and learn how to:
- Adapt to new ways of working
- Harness the power of habits
- Optimise the use of space in your home
- Use clothes to boost productivity
- Focus on what matters
- Plan for the future amidst uncertainty