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What’s your go-to productivity tip? Here’s mine.

We’re all in pursuit of better productivity, hoping against hope that there’s some mythical trick or tip out there that will motivate us to work harder, better or more efficiently.

Earlier this year, we encouraged you to #TakeBack60, utilizing productivity advice and technology like online meeting tools to reclaim an hour in your day by working smarter and saving time.

Now, we want to know what your go-to productivity tip is, but in the interest of fairness, I’ll kick us off!

Productively Creative or Creatively Productive?

While I certainly haven’t found any 100% sure-fire productivity silver bullets, I do have a go-to tip that is a must for when I need to buckle down and get work done. But first, a little background on my role.

I’m primarily a creative professional. If I’m not working on content strategies, I’m usually writing, like I’m doing at this very moment. Creativity is a difficult beast sometimes. I have deadlines just like everyone else, but I also can’t count on being able to sit down and force the words to come. I constantly have to play little tricks on my brain to get myself motivated to write within a set time frame, and my go-to productivity tip is one such trick.

The idea of putting in your headphones and cranking up your favorite tunes so you can tune your office out and get to work is nothing new. However, I’ve got a little spin on this technique that might help you out, and is absolutely necessary for me.

Create custom playlists for the type of work you’re doing.

I have a playlist that I always listen to when I’m writing, period. It’s grown and changed over time, but the type of music is always the same: guitar instrumentals. While that might seem oddly specific, I promise there’s a reasoning behind it: I happen to play guitar occasionally myself, and I can’t write with lyrics playing in the background as I find it too distracting. So over time, using music curation apps like Pandora and Spotify, I’ve created a writing playlist that suits my needs, containing unique gems like this:

And the best part of all? It’s self-perpetuating; by continuing to always listen to the same type of music, I’ve conditioned my brain that whenever it hears it, it’s time to get creative. It totally works!

Eventually, I extended the concept to other parts of my workday. The instrumentals are for writing, but what if I’m dissecting metrics in a spreadsheet? That’s a completely different skillset and part of my brain, which calls for a completely different playlist. When the spreadsheets come out, I eschew the instrumentals for some rock and roll, baby!

Again, it’s all about tricking my brain: by having an awesome playlist for my more menial tasks, I’ve added some excitement and enjoyment on what might otherwise be a drain on my day.

Now it’s your turn: what tip or trick gets you motivated? We want to hear from you. Comment below, tweet us @PGi or post on LinkedIn and share your go-to productivity tips today!

About Joshua Erwin

Josh is a content creator and strategist with a passion for all things tech, such as the latest gadgets, apps, games and more. Josh loves listening to and playing music and is a big college football fan, especially for his alma mater Georgia Bulldogs. When not writing for PGi, you’ll find him gaming or drumming on Sundays for the Atlanta Falcons.

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