Monk Hack: How to Program Yourself for Productivity and Super-fast Work

For the last two years, I’ve listened to exactly the same playlist, every morning.

It’s a selection of groovy funk music – my favourite – and while you may think the same thing every day is boring, the opposite is true.

Here’s the deal:

Music is known to trigger emotional responses, which result in all kinds of neurochemicals to be released which then influences your conscious and subconscious mind.

Don’t ask me the details, but the upshot of it is that by selecting specific music, you can cause yourself to enter specific emotional and mental states.

You’ve probably experienced this for yourself.

You likely have music you like for driving, writing, painting, cleaning, sports and so on.

And by playing that music, you trigger the state that goes with that activity.

This is one of the major reasons that I manage to write daily emails.

Because that’s when I put on that playlist.

After my morning ritual and when I get ready for work, I make tea and pull up the playlist.

I hit play, and nearly every single day I’m instantly in the zone.

Tappity tap go my fingers, and just 10 or 20 minutes later the piece is ready and sent.

It’s SO powerful, you can’t imagine it until you experience it.

And as for that boredom thing, you’ll find that if you connect that activity you want to perform at a high level, the music won’t be boring, but inspiring instead.

Don’t believe me?

Well, if you consider that normally I never listen to the same album more than twice a week or so – I really need variation – the fact that this playlist has been on for two years speaks volumes.

So that’s my tip for you today:

Pick an activity that normally is a chore, hard to start or difficult to complete, and select the most helpful or inspiring music you have to go with it.

Play it each time the activity comes up, and you’ll see the work going faster and faster, day by day.

It’s a simple, highly effective way to program yourself.

Take it from a guy who’s spent 20 years experimenting with optimising the self and the mind.



Also published on Medium.

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