MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Listen to the music: Your tax season playlist

January 14, 2020  |  Kinzie Jensen

Listen to the music: Your tax season playlist "What the people need is a way to make them smile. It ain't so hard to do if you know how." - The Doobie Brothers

For more reasons to smile at work — especially during stressful, busy times like tax season — consider popping in your ear buds.

Studies have shown that music can improve productivity, reduce stress and boost your mood. There's also a "right type" of music for different tasks: Music with lyrics can help when you're working on something mundane, while instrumental tunes are best for tasks that require intense focus. Quiet classical music can decrease stress hormones while listening to your favorite music can indeed improve your mood.

Of course, what works for one person will be different for another, and we all have different musical preferences. As a starting point though, I've compiled some song ideas for different tax season situations.
And for those with a Spotify account, you can find most of these songs on this Spotify playlist. So go ahead — listen to the music.

When you need to energize

Whether you're just starting your day or need to get through an afternoon slump, these songs deliver a mix of energy, inspiration and up-tempo beats to help you power through.
  • “The Sound of Sunshine” — Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • “Ain't No Man” — The Avett Brothers
  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” — Whitney Houston
  • “Just Got To Be” — The Black Keys
  • “Come Alive” — Chromeo featuring Toro Y Moi
  • “Give a Little” — Maggie Rogers
  • “Learn To Fly” — Foo Fighters
  • “Paper Rings” — Taylor Swift
  • “A-Punk” — Vampire Weekend
  • “Listen to the Music” — The Doobie Brothers

When you're "in the zone"

When things are smooth sailing and nothing could ruin your mood, turn on some yacht rock and keep coasting!
  • “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” — Charles Givings
  • “Sailing” — Christopher Cross
  • “Take It Easy” — Eagles
  • “Peace of Mind” — Boston
  • “Mexico” — James Taylor

When performing complex tasks

When you have complicated returns that require total focus, you're better off with instrumental pieces that don't have distracting lyrics. Try Lotus or Tycho for up-tempo beats, Hammock for ethereal sounds or Yo-Yo Ma if you like classical music.

There are even apps that offer nature sounds and coffee shop din, which sounds strange, but studies have shown that ambient natural sounds can boost your productivity and your mood.

When dealing with tough client situations

Procrastinating clients not turning in their documents? Disgruntled clients who aren't going to be happy about the extension you'll need to file? You may relate to these choices:
  • “No Reply At All” — Genesis
  • “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” — U2
  • “What's Up?” — 4 Non Blondes
  • “Time Out of Mind” — Steely Dan
  • “It's Too Late” — Carole King
  • “Hide and Seek” — Imogen Heap

When you need a release

Working long hours, day in and day out, is tough. Take a moment and let it all out to these cathartic tunes:
  • “Cry On My Shoulder” — Bonnie Raitt
  • “Gravity” — John Mayer
  • “Helplessness Blues” — Fleet Foxes
  • “Breathe (2 a.m.)” — Anna Nalick
  • “Running on Empty” — Jackson Browne
  • “Don't Stop Believin'” — Journey

When you're filing state returns

Tune into local musicians while you're working on those Minnesota returns! Sure, you know Prince and Bob Dylan, but don't miss out on Trampled by Turtles, Dessa, The Minnesota Orchestra, Mason Jennings and J.S. Ondara. For more inspiration, check out Ranker's list of top Minnesota musicians.

When it’s (finally) April 15!

On Tax Day, you deserve feel-good vibes! Take time to appreciate the service you've provided to clients and reflect on why you do what you do. Celebrate and have a good time!
  • “Here Comes the Sun” — The Beatles
  • “Celebration” — Kool & The Gang
  • “Free Man in Paris” — Joni Mitchell  
  • “Good Vibrations” — The Beach Boys
  • “Dancing in the Street” — David Bowie and Mick Jagger
  • “Tax Free” — Jimi Hendrix
I hope you enjoy the suggestions and give a listen to the playlist. I also want to hear from you! What songs are on your tax season playlist? Tell me in the comments, and if you like this playlist, share it with others in your firm.

Happy listening!

Topics: Just for Fun

Kinzie Jensen

Kinzie Jensen is the MNCPA senior CPE marketing coordinator, working to ensure members know about the wide variety of CPE options available through the society. She spends her working hours writing and brainstorming ideas while quietly jamming out to the music of Steely Dan, The Avett Brothers, John Mayer, Genesis and The Black Keys. Kinzie lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters, and fills her free time with yoga, running and struggling to play the acoustic guitar. Her other obsessions include coffee, llamas, IPAs and sunshine. Kinzie can be reached at 952-885-5515 or kjensen@mncpa.org.

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