The Blog.

What’s on Your Pick Me Up Playlist?

17 Feb 2014 | Work Life Rhythm

What do you do when you’re feeling fed up? When you look at your to-do list and feel a bit ‘meh’?

Do you find yourself stuck in limbo land, trudging away halfheartedly, not really working but not not working either? Do you drag yourself to your seat, only to stare at the screen for an hour?

As I said to a client the other day,

If you’re going to procrastinate, you might as well procrastinate well.

Do something that picks you up and gets YOU back on track.

Something I’ve been encouraging my clients to do is to put together a Pick Me Up Playlist – a list of energisers that boost your mood, kickstarts your motivation, and gets you inspired and moving again.

They could be big things or little things. In fact, I find tiny things work exceptionally well. They could include, but is definitely not limited to:

Music – I have an actual ‘Pick Me Up’ playlist on Spotify of all the tunes that get me smiling and dancing. You know, the ones that come on in the car that get you belting away (and possibly driving that little bit faster…)

Fresh Food – instead of reaching for the nearest comfort junk. When I was feeling sorry for myself with half a voice last week, I stopped by the supermarket on the way back from the school run and practically stalked the staff with the reduced ticket machine down the fruit & veg aisle. Came back with loads of fresh fruit and about four punnets of cherry tomatoes to make fresh tomato soup. Even the act of putting it into my basket made me feel better, let alone eating it. Likewise, as much as I love my coffee, it’s water that gets my brain cells working properly.

Getting outside – for a walk, a run, or just a breath of fresh air. Last week, in between the ice storms, floods and tornados, there was a rare moment when the sun was streaming across the fence of my garden. I literally stuck my head outside, faced the sun, closed my eyes and basked – like the Disney character Wall-E – for a couple of minutes. Who knew you could sunbathe in the middle of February in England?

Activities – for me it’s conversations. Being a ‘people person’, inspiring conversation to me is like rocket fuel. Which is why ‘phone a friend’ is on my list of pick me ups. As well as connecting with people I’ve not even met – bloggers, writers and TED talkers – who inspire me. Taking a break to read or listen to something that inspires me can do far more for my muse than staring at a blank screen.

What about you? What would be on your Pick Me Up Playlist? 

Try starting with 10 minutes this week and let your mind play with the idea of a playlist. See what comes to mind. Start capturing your ideas, then add to it every time you notice something that makes your hear soar, wakes up your body or feeds your soul.

Because when you’re feeling fed up, that’s the worst time to try and come up with something inspiring. Start compiling your play list now, then when you need to, you can simply pick something and press play.

I’d love to know what you come up with. Feel free to share in the comments below.


  1. Amanda

    Fresh flowers on my desk do it for me – even a single tulip I found on the bus floor last week looked gorgeous in a blue bottle. And now Valentine’s is over they are much more affordable too…

    • Grace Marshall

      Great idea Amanda! I remember seeing one of the kids at school give a little bunch of lavender wrapped up in string to a teacher as an end of year present last year – so thoughtful, simple and really effective.

  2. Catherine Poole

    Reading your blog is always good for a pick me up, Grace! 🙂

    • Grace Marshall

      Aw thanks Catherine! Delighted to be of service 🙂

  3. Jazz

    Hey Grace

    Yet another excellent blog! Agree with all your suggestions.

    I remember one of my school teacher’s top tip for the night before that all important exam. She used to say, “Jazz, you know your stuff, just spend the evening dancing!”

    Thank you for continually inspiring, developing and improving me.

    Best Wishes


    • Grace Marshall

      Love that advice Jazz! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. naomirichards

    I go for a run or put on some really loud music. Both work for me.

  5. Richard Tubb

    Reading an inspirational blog is a good way to pick myself up! I maintain a list of blogs that regular inspire me on and read them whenever I’m feeling a bit “meh!”. No surprises that your blog is on my list Grace! 🙂

    • Grace Marshall

      Great idea to have a stock of inspiring blogs on tap Richard! I’m honoured to be on the list 🙂

  6. Sarah

    “Who knew you could sunbathe in the middle of February in England?”

    Me too, it’s sunshine for me definitely. I was feeling a bit slow and sluggish one lunchtime this week (the prospect of an afternoon of work was not filling me with joy), saw the sun was out and got out there, in about 4 layers but with sun on my face. Went inside, and the afternoon was no problem at all! Bring on the spring!

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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