Not many individuals would accuse me of being cool, hip, or well, cool. This blog post is probably going to cement that fact if you were on the fence. But, I have found some things, one very trendy right now, that really help me get through my day, help give me focus in my work, increase my productivity and help my mood, emotional bandwidth and general sense of well being. All great things right? (And all reasons you read this blog, admit it, I see the search terms).
The first thing is EDM. To show you how uncool I am, I actually had to look the term up. And, as usual, Wikipedia is there to help this 40 year old CEO. I recently started listening to the Tim Ferriss show podcast. I’ve been a reader of Tim and following him since Adam Veiner of IMWave told me I should read the 4HourWork Week (I’m pretty sure Adam recommended the book, it’s been 10 years since then). Anyway, Tim recently interviewed Justin Boreta, founding member of The Glitch Mob. It was a fascinating and lengthy episode. Tim interviews people who excel in many different areas. I was drawn to this topic simply because I had no idea what EDM was or who The Glitch Mob was and I love learning about new things. So what is EDM?
Electronic dance music (also known as EDM, dance music, club music, or simply dance) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres produced primarily for dance-based entertainment environments such as nightclubs, raves, and festivals. The music is largely produced for playback by disc jockeys (DJs) and is generally used in the context of a live DJ mixes where the DJ creates a seamless selection of tracks by segueing from one recording to the next.
Having to look, and then post, the definition of EDM has no wiped away any remnant feeling of cool you may have had of me before this post. I embrace it. The podcast was great and I love that they showcased some of their music. It didn’t suck at all. During the discussion they chatted about how they, and many others, use this type of music to increase their focus at work and in other areas. Interesting article about that here. That really intrigued me. I had stopped listening to music (country and 90’s grunge tended to be my thing) because I would get distracted by it and the lyrics. It actually made me work less efficiently. But they said that this stuff helps you focus, so why not.
And it does. In fact I’m listening to Fortune Days by Glitch Mob as I write this blog post. And yes, my employees are wondering what in the world I’m jammin’ out to. I’ve been listening to EDM for a few weeks now and I can report that it has been tremendous. I’ve been more productive, less distracted by emails and Slack and all around have been really enjoying my work day. So, grab some EDM and give it a try. I’m no where cool enough for it, but who cares right? Thank you again Tim Ferriss!
The other things I’ve re-introduced into my day is a daily walk. I had been doing this the end of last summer then suffered a foot injury. Note – if you are going to walk and listen to podcasts during your lunch hour, bring in running or walking shoes. Wingtips, loafers and other dress shoes will put you down for a while. I’m sure I could find studies that show the effectiveness of changing your surroundings, fresh air, exercise and taking an extended break during the day, but you can find that on your own. I’ll tell you how it feels.
It’s great. I have a capacity to push through for about three hours on something before I’m ready for a change. But I don’t always recognize that. I just start to get more distracted and less focused. By getting outside I’m able to reset, re-energize and just re-prime my brain and gain some emotional bandwidth to just kill the rest of the day. I only take a 30 minute walk and always listen to an audiobook or a podcast. Something unrelated to the work at hand for the day.
It’s been tremendous for my work productivity. But both of these things have also been amazing for the rest of my day. Being more productive and focused while I’m at work gives me a much larger sense of accomplishment. I go home feeling I really got some things done. The walk during the day re-energizes me so when I get home, I’m not exhausted.
Two really simple things. I challenge you to give them a shot this week and tell me below how they work out for you.