Just Whistle While You Work


To be honest, I have a hard time getting motivated to start projects. When there’s a big deadline looming, I’m at my most productive. The dishes are done. The e-mails are sent. The bed is made. The car oil is checked. I’m current on news, sports, and weather. I’ll do anything except for that darn paper. Motivation can be difficult for a lot of things, whether it’s getting that load of dishes washed, dried, and put away or finishing that 5,000 word paper. One of the best ways I’ve found to put myself in the working mood is music.

I listen to my iPod when I’m on the bus and the radio when I’m driving, so I tend to be pretty burned out by both these music options by the time I’m supposed to be getting work done. I used to use Pandora, and I know that a lot of people like the spontaneity and new musical options that that website affords. However, I like my spontaneity in measured doses. Enter YouTube.

Did you know you can make a playlist on Youtube? It’s awesome. I currently have 17 playlists, titled everything from “Huge Final Paper Playlist!” to “Cleaning Playlist 4”. When I open YouTube and put these playlists on, I know it’s time to get down to business. Right now, I have my “Fabulous Female Singers” crooning in the background (thanks, Ingrid Michaelson!) and they provided the boost I needed to get this blog post written. Sure, there is the occasional advertisement, but that’s no different than listening to the radio. My playlist also features a “random” option, so that the songs I’ve chosen don’t always play in the same order.

The other unexpected side effect of these playlists is that the specific songs on each list tend to become so familiar that they start to function as white noise. Sure, for the first week I had “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen (yep another Canadian making it big) on my playlist it was a little too catchy, but now I barely bat an eye when it comes on. The YouTube playlist is also totally free to create and it allows you the ability to skip as many songs as you want, unlike many music players. Of course, to avoid getting distracted by the videos that accompany the music, I recommend opening YouTube in a separate window and then minimizing the browser, because every time I see that girl in The Band Perry come on I am totally fixated by her hair. (How does she get such bouncy curls?!)

What are some of your favorite songs to do work to?

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Filed under Academic Advice, My Experiences

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