AlgoRHYTHMS for motivation

Report writing essentials

Report writing essentials

It’s been a busy few weeks for me in Manchester; an upcoming deadline at uni has meant a stressful few weeks in the lab followed by long, lonely days at home this week and last writing up the report. Stress, stress and more stress. If there’s one thing that can take the stress away in an instant though, its music. I’m sure you’d all agree! As a scientist I work a lot with computational algorithms but aside from my usual research, over the past few weeks I’ve developed a few algoRhythms of my own to use music to get me in the right frame of mind for what I’m doing. Stress just disappears! Here are a few problems that we face in the modern world and an irresistable latin song that will make the problem just drift away…

 

1. Your alarm has just gone off and you reeeeally don’t want to get up and face the day…

This is probably the hardest part of the day for most people! At 6 am Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 are my best friends, a bossa nova or mild samba beat is perfect to perk you up  without being too aggressive and loud to make you want to crawl back into bed. I like Batucada (the beat) but if you’re not awake enough to find a specific song, just press play, make some coffee you’ll be away!

 

2. You’re at the gym, you want to get fit but right now you can’t be bothered…

This is me all the time! In this situation I challenge you to blare Kalemba by Buraka Som Sistema through your headphones and not want to move around. In fact any of their songs on any of their albums make great gym tracks, urban kuduro with an addictive bassline. Your ass will thank me later.

 

3. You’re about to have a meeting at work that you’ve been dreading…

Before a meeting I like to listen to Orishas, their urban salsa beats are surprisingly relaxing and help me to focus on what I need to do at times when I’m feeling nervous. Everyone has heard Represent, it helps me to remember that my supervisor doesn’t rule my life, and that no matter what, I’ll always have salsa in my life. Just don’t forget where you are and shout ‘CUBA!’ in the office…

 

4. You’re at work, trying to work, but all you’re actually doing is staring blankly at your screen…

I do this without even realising; sometimes I go into the lab and just stand at my bench staring at the chemicals on my shelves because I can’t remember/can’t be bothered to do what I’m supposed to be doing! My lab likes to listen to the radio station Absolute 80’s (it’s got some great tunes) but at times like this, almost like magic, they play La Bamba by Los Lobos and suddenly I’m dancing around and motivated to do my work. It’s cheesy and old but sometimes you need a party track at work to remember that there’s more to life than the 9 to 5!

 

5. You’ve just got home from a looong day, you want to eat something but collapse on the sofa and can’t quite manage to reach the kitchen…

Tito Puente is you man here for some proper cuban salsa. I love to dance around my apartment and the kitchen has the biggest floor space. When Tito is doing his thing you’ll want to get up and dance so you might as well cook while you’re at it! Ran Kan Kan would be a good place to start. Just watch your fingers with knives when you’re dancing around…

 

6. You want to go out to salsa, but your bed looks so inviting…

For this I usually need some proper reggaeton to get me excited enough to actually leave my apartment. I love classic salsa tracks but if I’m honest I prefer dancing salsa to songs with more of a reggaeton beat. I have roots in hip hop dancing and I find I can express myself more to songs with a heavier beat. My favourite reggaeton song to dance salsa to is Ella Me Levante by Daddy Yankee, so next time you’re struggling to motivate yourself to go out, put this on and dance around for a bit, you’ll be in the mood by the first chorus I promise!

 

7. You’re trying to get to sleep, but all the things you couldn’t focus on at work are now whizzing round in your head and sleep is impossible…

Always the way isn’t it? For this situation I’ve chosen a song by Pink Martini. Pink Martini have been my favourite band since I was a teenager, if you have never heard of them look them up! They are similar to a cuban dancehall band of the 50’s and play a lot of latin rhythms but with elements of jazz and other cultures thrown in to create a really unique sound and almost every song is different to the last one. Before I go to sleep I like to listen to Aspettami to get my brain to chill out, but any number of their slower numbers would do the trick!

 

Hope this has given you some ideas! If you have any suggestions of any songs that you find motivating and inspiring, please let me know, I’d love to check them out!

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