Case of the Mondays: How I Focus, Get Hype, and Add Suspense to My Workweek

This post offers you some helpful ways you can re-focus your attention, and energize your workday.

The Background

Look left, look right, and you’re bound to see a couple hundred influencers romanticizing everything. I’m not mad at it. I think it’s delightful.

However, there’s one top tier romantic effort that has not been pushed enough. In general, coffee shop music and a minimalistic workspace do little for me (though I did have my phase of embracing what I call Seattle sad music…but I digress).

The Gist

No, what the world needs is ACTION! An action playlist to be exact. One filled with suspense filled odd meters and heavy syncopation, according to Arn Andersson an accomplished musician and co-founder of Evenant – an education platform for creatives.

“In general they feature high intensity, chaotic scenarios like car chases, shootings, runaways etc, with events and picture cuts changing rapidly. These are characteristics the music will usually mirror, and we’ll have a look at exactly how one may accomplish that using musical elements….This is usually achieved through high rhythmic activity, odd meters (5/8, ⅞ etc), frequent modulations and fragmented melodies. Chords are usually dissonant, adding even more tension to the scene, and melodies are often consisting of dissonant and uncommon scales – creating an even higher sense of instability and insecurity.

-Arn Anderson on action film scoring (

In the same fashion as using rap or rock music to pump you up for a great gym session, you can hype yourself up with some incredible heroic film scores.

3 Ways to Focus, Get Hype and Add Suspense

Commute Chase Scene

Yes weaving through morning traffic can be thrilling. Ok maybe not like a Transformers scene, but still close! I use this technique when I have a lot of racing thoughts. The songs that don’t have lyrics are especially helpful for keeping me energized, while not breaking my focus.

A Hero’s Arrival

Enter the place like a boss…or better like a hero! It goes without saying, a confident stride is nearly guaranteed with a Game of Thrones soundtrack or Avengers climactic crescendo.

Hacker’s Greatest Hits

Self-help books often recommend visualization and positive thinking. From time to time, I revisit Todd Herman’s book The Alter Ego Effect. He gives loads of practical examples on how to create a version of yourself that fits the reality you want.

Occasionally, I employ the hacker alter ego. It gives me laser focus and leads to a race against the clock. Particularly helpful options for this trick is to include video game score to your playlist (which I’ve included in the playlist below), and to set a timer on your desk or browser window like the Focus To-Do App/Extension.

I know the suspense is killing you. Without further-ado, BEHOLD, the action mode playlist !!!!

Yes, dear readers, here are the bops and bangers you didn’t realize you were missing.


Now the suspense is killing me! I must know if you have hacks of your own. Do you listen to hype music at work? Is this too cheesy? Let me know in the comments below. Get going heroes!

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