These are the best free soundtracks for freelancing

Or so I think.

Working from home has some serious advantages, not least of which being that you can listen to any music you want, without headphones. But I dunno about you, but I find music with lyrics really distracting when I’m trying to read or write…the lyrics sort of get priority in my head and I lose the thread of whatever sentence I was trying to compose.

So if you can stand lyrics, then by all means put on whatever you like best! If not, here are a couple ideas that I really like:

 

  • Rainymood.com – this isn’t so much music as a set of relaxing background sounds. Load Rainymood and you have a mini thunderstorm in your home office. I also like to run Rainymood at the same time as Spotify or Pandora. It sounds weird, but thunder can really improve some music.
  • Coffitivity.com – again, not so much music as background noise. This site makes your office sound like a busy coffee shop, with other people getting work done next to you. It’s like a real coffee shop except you can mute it for phone calls and the Wifi is way better.
  • Sometimes, especially on days like today where it is cold and foggy, all I want is to be somewhere else, so I put on the sounds of the beach. Don’t like beaches? Try searching YouTube for waterfalls, rainforests, or whatever really floats your boat.
  • The “Mozart effect” may be overrated, but on the other hand, there may be something to the idea of listening to music with a regular, consistent beat — and one that’s not too fast, not too slow. Spotify, Pandora and Youtube are your friends here (as is the local library), or just livestream a classical radio station.

What do you like to listen to to get things done?

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You’re more productive and creative when you’re happy, so smile!

According to science, when you keep a positive attitude, you’re more likely to have great things happen to you at work.

Science has even quantified this likelihood: Studies say that positivity means you’re 31% more productive, you’re 40% more likely to receive a promotion, you have 23% fewer health-related effects from stress, and your creativity rates triple.

Now, these exact numbers seem pretty dubious to me but suffice it to say that being happy is good for your work.

Can you actually make yourself be happy, though? Slapping on a fake smile (or as countless moms used to suggest, holding a pencil between your teeth) does actually work a little. Other ideas: pinpoint the problem (having a concrete reason for your unhappiness gives you something to work on), think of three things you’re grateful for, and take one single concrete action, whether it’s making a phone call you’ve been putting off or choosing a healthier lunch. This can set off a positive “mental avalanche” to get you unstuck.

Also, if you can, get outside, if even for 10 minutes. The fresh air and change of scenery does wonders for your mood.

(h/t Harvard Business Review)