I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more and more of a sound girl the older I get. My theory is that this tendency has become more prominent with age, because the body, obviously, slows down with age. And, some of those activities that were effortless back in my youth take a little more work to accomplish in the here and now.
So, I need some extra motivation (at times) to do certain tasks that take more effort to bring results to fruition. So, let’s backtrack a bit to those days of youth and take this discussion to the beginning of a person’s timeline. Shall we?
At our earliest stages in life, isn’t it fascinating how we’re drawn to sounds?
As infants, we hear the sounds that come from our mothers as we float around in the baby baths that our mothers’ wombs provided for us. And, we were even exposed to other voices and noises from the surroundings of our mothers as they took us everywhere they went before we entered this world.
Once we made our way into the world, we noticed all the stimuli around us: louder and clearer voices talking, cooing, and singing to us.
Then, we laid down in our beds at night and met the sounds coming from the strange dangling thing above our heads that had such a soft, melodic tone that put us to sleep fairly quickly.
And, if it wasn’t that dangling thing-a-ma-jig that put us to sleep, then it was a small electronic device somewhere in the room that emitted such a sweet melody that calmed us most times. But, for those few times it didn’t work, we were put in our baby carriers and driven around town in a car that had sounds of its own. Between the car noises, the outside noises, and the radio that was playing, we were bound to drift into Sleepyland.
Sounds . . . voices . . . music . . . can be very therapeutic, can’t they? As we got older though, our tastes changed. Instead of sound to go to sleep, we used sound to get our groove on.
Well, we eventually graduated to floor time and were determined to put our motor skills to the test. We rolled, we crawled, we waddled, we walked, and we ran. Those exercise floor mats, baby play sets, handheld rattles and squeeze toys literally had all the bells and whistles, visual appeal, and audio stimuli that we could possibly want. It was free-for-all! We may have irritated those around us, but those genius distractions kept us busy, kept us from crying all the time, and kept us from getting into the kind of trouble that only infants and toddlers could possibly drum up.
And once we got our leg bearings and music was involved, you better believe that some baby bogeying was going on. As babies, we innately knew how to move to a beat, a melody, a rhythmic sound of instruments playing. How’d we do that? Well, sound is a natural motivator that makes you move. That’s how.
I won’t continue to go down memory lane, because I can imagine that you get the direction I’m coming from. And if not, here’s the meaning behind my baby talk. We react to sound. We did as youth and we do it as adults
Last week, my focus really wasn’t on the idea that sound is a great motivator for helping you get things done. (Albeit, it is.) More so, the post was somewhat of a mindset switch discussion, addressing the idea of thinking of inventive ways to pair less desirable tasks with activities you enjoy in order to get those less desirable tasks completed.
To provide some context, I’ll either refresh your memory if you read last Tuesday’s post, entitled Productivity Tuesday: Mismatch Pairs that Get the Job Done, or present this material to you for the first time if you didn’t catch the post. (And if you didn’t, feel free to take a few minutes to detour to last week’s post and then let’s meet up again.) Here are three mismatch pairs of activities that go well together and, ultimately, lead to GETTING THINGS DONE, if applied appropriately.
- I’ll put cleaning chores around the house with listening to an educational podcast. Why? Well, when doing mundane tasks like dishes, laundry, and disinfecting bathrooms, it helps to stimulate the old brain cells to keep me motivated in pressing my way through to the completion of such routine and less enjoyable tasks.
- I’ll put driving in my car while tired with listening to a YouTube episode that’s entertaining. Now, I can’t watch the episode while I’m driving; but if the video’s audio is entertaining enough, it’ll allow me to imagine in my mind what I’m not seeing and hopefully provide me the momentum to make a tiring drive more manageable. CAUTION: if you get easily distracted while driving, this may not be the best strategy for you. Music might be a better and safer way to keep your momentum going.
- I’ll put exercising with listening to motivational music that’ll keep me on the move. I haven’t yet trained my brain to enjoy exercising yet. I know it’s something that I need to do for my health, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to me at this point in my life. So, I’ve opted to use two tactics to make the workout perform its intended purpose while not seeming so drawn out. And, those tactics involve music that makes you move and/or having a workout partner providing visual and verbal encouragement. Time flies when you have fun music and company to go along with the activity at hand.
Guess what all three examples have in common? Answer: they all have a sound component at work. And, the beat goes on. We’ll never escape the importance of sound in our daily lives and we should never want to. It’s one of the most effective forces to help create, increase, and maintain productivity as well as develop efficiencies in your life.
And, since I didn’t leave you with a weekly tip in yesterday’s post, let me provide it to you right now. The tip below should sum up everything I’ve just laid out for you in a nicely-wrapped, succinct package.
Tip of the Week: Use sound in a way that allows you to perform at your highest level of output. If you’re an individual who looks at tedious, mundane, repetitive, and simple tasks with the evil eye, find a sound system that makes these tasks more appealing to you (since you know you’ve got to deal with them at some point). Try some of the options I mentioned in #1-3 (above). They’re great catalysts to get the ball rolling and keep rolling, until your pesky “undesirables” are out of the way.
If you’re an individual who doesn’t require complete silence in order to perform tasks, where thinking on a deeper level is required, let sound get you in the work mood and mode. I’ve seen this scenario play out for some content creators, who have difficulties in creating written work in the quiet of their homes. Sometimes, they create a little man-made background noise (through instrumental music, white noise recordings, radio/TV/Internet broadcasting, etc.). Others would rather go to their local bookstore, cafe, or park and crank out the work where they have some live-action background noise to motivate them to do their best work.