It's Friday. Let's have a little bit of fun. One of the things that makes me productive during the workday? The right audio. Sometimes the audio is training, most of the time it's good tunes. Here's some of what's on my iPod while the day is flying by. You'll notice that for the most part, I avoid anything with words in it - instrumental rules the day for cognitive psychology reasons. Few people can effectively process more than one language stream at a time, so listening to words in a song can conflict with trying to write words on the page. Hence, most of the music is instrumental.
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Music to work by
The Epic Score folks have some of the best music in iTunes for coding, drafting, and writing. If you need to boost your own sense of urgency, Action & Adventure is the recipe for you. If you need dramatic copy, Epic Drama fits the bill.
If you're a Blizzard fan (i.e. Warcraft player) one of the best albums to get, hands down, is the Echoes of War symphonic set. Echoes of War are all the familiar Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo themes you know and love, arranged and performed by a full symphony orchestra.
The soundtrack to Wrath of the Lich King is pretty good by itself, btw.
Looking for something a little slower paced and different? The Tibetan Master Chants album with Lama Tashi puts karmically useful sounds in your head, as various sutras and mantras are chanted. If you like that chanting kind of background ambience, this will deliver.
Finally, if you need a hefty dose of heroism, John Ottman's Superman Returns delivers.
If you're in any kind of organization that sells something, I consider Tom Hopkins training to be Sales 101. Yeah, some of it comes across as cheesy, but for a novice salesperson who needs any kind of framework to start being minimally effective, Hopkins' system is as good as any. Way back in the day when I was a technical recruiter, my firm sent me to his Boot Camp at the price of $3,750. Nowadays, you can get pretty much the same content for $18. Listen and learn.
If you're trying to wrap your head around new media and social media still, there are very, very few books as good as Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation. He narrates his own audiobook (which I view favorably - I'd rather hear the author unless they have a terribad voice) and it's worth it if you don't have the time to read the book.
There isn't a day when I don't use my Bose headphones. They're awesome for travel, sure, especially on noisy airplanes, but they're also awesome in the office for filtering out all the background crap that is subtly taking a toll on your brain via your ears. Air conditioning, fax machines, noisy coworkers and hallway conversations, laptop fans, all that ambient noise - it takes its toll. Using these headphones rocks, plain and simple. They'll cost you an arm and a leg but if you do any kind of work that pays you more for more productivity (via bonuses, commissions, etc.) then these headphones will pay for themselves easily and quickly.
Hopefully this set of resources will help you squeeze more juice from your day too!
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