The 5 Songs that Set Up My Most Productive Days.

Peter David Smith
Sep 13, 2018 · 5 min read
Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

As an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) materials writer, I regularly have to produce large volumes of creative content (original texts and test questions) with extremely tight deadlines.

As such, it’s vital I start my day quickly and positively.

To cut through the fogginess of the morning, I use music to literally guide my actions as I work through my morning routines (breakfast, exercise, shower, dressing and power journaling) culminating in me being at my desk ready to go.

I trigger my playlist using my google assistant:

“OK Google. Play PDS Ultimate Morning Routine For Creativity.”

When the first track starts, I know the game is on, each track serving to scaffold a certain activity.

I choose tracks which have a sense of urgency or have lyrics that I want to embed in my subconscious e.g. I Love My Life — Robbie Williams, Best Day of My Life — American Authors)

Of course you are free to choose your own songs (that’s the fun part!) but here are five of the songs I use to kick off my day and why I love them so much.

1. Ride on Time — Black Box

I daren’t imagine how long this track has been part of my morning routine!

I love the concept of ‘riding on time’. Instead of being left behind by time as it passes you, why not work at such a pace that you are literally riding at the same pace as time? That sounds like the perfect flow state.

“Gotta get up! Gotta get up! Gotta get up!”

Nothing creates more urgency than this opening line.

Especially if I’m still in bed!

My favourite line comes next…

“And time won’t take my love away.”

A pertinent reminder that each day you can do what you love and give your love to the world through what you do, however the main obstacle is time, how you manage it and use it.

So don’t let time take your ‘love’ away.

2. Beautiful Day — U2

I imagine I’m not the only one who gets inspired by this track in the morning.

It’s a simple sentiment but so true.

Each day has its beauty. All you have to do is pay attention.

So don’t delay — seize that beautiful day!

3. I Like to Move It — Reel 2 Real (feat. The Mad Stuntman)

Okay, I know this is very cheesy and quite repetitive, but in the morning it’s so easy to just go slow, take it easy and take ages to get through simple things like making breakfast.

This song gives me the impetus to get through morning tasks and gets me dancing, which can’t be a bad thing (unless you are forced to watch me).

“I like to move it. MOVE IT!!!!!”

This song inspired this classic homework response which always makes me smile.

Brilliant!!! 😂 😂 😂

4. If Today was Your Last Day — Nickelback

If you are looking for inspiring lyrics, this classic is jam packed with motivational snippets.

Here are the lyrics in full:

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right.
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by.
That first step you take is the longest stride.

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day.

Against the grain, should be a way of life.
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight.
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try,
So live it like you’ll never live it twice.
Don’t take the free ride in your own life.

Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories.
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love.
If today was your last day.

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are.

So do whatever it takes
Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life.
Let nothin’ stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side

So much wisdom here.

Some days, certain lines resonate more than others but they all serve to remind you to take action now and remove those obstacles that are holding you back.

5. Push It — Salt-n-Pepa

It was tough to name only five, but I thought this track was worth mentioning as it accompanies the exercise part of my morning routine.

Usually I’m doing sit-ups while this is playing, so being encouraged “Push it! Push it! Push it real good!” is enough to keep me going through one of my least favourite exercises.

And that’s it. If you’re interested in seeing how these tracks fit into my morning routine and my other favourite tracks, check out my Spotify playlist.

If you have found this post useful feel free to 💖 it and share it. If you have your own favourite songs that get you into a productive state, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Best wishes


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