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How Music Can Get You Into the Zone

It’s all about programming your body

Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

I’m once again listening to Bach while I write my next eBook for many days in a row and I’m currently in what you could call “the zone”. All thanks to consistently using music as a way to trigger my body into entering that state.

Being in the zone is a mental state that works like blinkers on a horse. Everything else vanishes and you only see and work on what’s in front of you.

Music acts as a blinker in this case.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to enter into this state effortlessly?

There’s a way to trick your body and program it to your specific needs.

Classical Conditioning

This technique should become your best friend. It’s easy to set up and your body will soon start reacting to it.

You might have learned about Pavlov’s dog at school and what classical conditioning is. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick recap.

During the 1890s, a Russian scientist discovered that his dog not only salivated when it was presented with food (who wouldn’t?) but reacted similarly when it heard a bell just before being fed. By pairing the sound of a bell with the act of being fed, the dog linked those two events and salivated whenever it heard that specific sound. It knew that the sound preceded the food every time so its body was conditioned to react to a stimulus that up until then was neutral to the dog.

Anytime you pair two events on a regular basis you are potentially creating a response that didn’t exist beforehand. You’re triggering your body to react in a certain way and develop an automatic response towards this second stimulus. This might be either beneficial or detrimental to you:

  • Whenever you have a cup of coffee you also awaken a need for a cigarette: Not good!
  • Every time the alarm sets off in the morning your body wakes rapidly for your daily jog: Good for you!

Imagine training your body to respond rapidly to what you need it to do. And on top of that, do it without you consciously doing any additional work.

Sounds great, right?

I’ve found that this is an effective way to program my biological response and make my body push me towards my goals. There’s the saying that we are our worst enemies, so why not make peace and become friends instead?

Conditioning Yourself with Music

I’ve been writing this eBook almost every day after work for quite some time and listening to music gets me in this focused state that I need for my writing.

I’ve trained my body to respond rapidly to certain sounds so now every time I listen to this particular set of Bach piano pieces while sitting in front of my laptop I get “zoned” (is that even a word?).

The key is to make this association regularly. Whenever I’m ready to write, I sit in the same room and listen to the same playlist.

I’m constantly making my body understand that whenever I’m listening to Bach, it’s because I’m on writing mode.

Same context same response.

I’m making my body work for me rather than against me (remember pairing coffee and cigars? that’s definitely against your well-being). And I like using music as a trigger. It’s easy to set up and it doesn’t distract my writing.

According to Harvard Business Review, there’s extensive research on the effects of music in the performance of athletes. Have you seen them listening to music right before the start of a race? Well, they’re getting zoned and ready to give their best.

Plus, music helps you block all other distractions too.

Get yourself zoned

Photo by Semen Borisov on Unsplash

It sounds like getting stoned, but in this case, you’re fully aware of yourself without any additional drugs in your system. Don’t get me wrong, I like the occasional effect of weed, but this is a state you can acquire on your own.

I feel prouder this way.

I use music to get zoned and maybe you might use it too.

Think of what would your stimulus be and pair it with your writing, reading, working, or any other activity you’d like to boost with this technique.

Did it work?


By Pavle Marinkovic on .

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If you were interested in this article, I recommend you follow this link: Psychology


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