Disclaimer: This is transcribed using AI. Expect (funny) errors.
Mindy Peterson: [00:00:00] I’m Mindy Peterson, and this is Enhance Life with Music, where we explore the ways music makes our lives better. Today we are talking about enhancing our productivity with music. I always especially love spotlighting areas where music overlaps with another topic that I’m especially passionate about, and I am definitely an efficiency geek. A couple of years ago, I discovered a podcast on productivity that I got hooked on, partly because the host of this podcast really got that. Our goal in being efficient is not just getting more done, but the goal is living fully and being intentional in living a meaningful life. That podcast is called Beyond the To Do List, and it’s hosted by Erik Fisher. As I’ve listened to this podcast over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that Erik is a music lover, and this was especially clear on a recent episode where he was interviewing an author, and Erik kept coming back to examples involving music. And I thought, yes, this guy really loves music and he gets the power of music in our everyday lives. I am so thrilled that Erik himself agreed to be a guest on this show and is joining me today from Indiana to talk about music and productivity. Erik Fisher has produced and hosted the Beyond the To Do List podcast for over ten years, which is longer than many of us have known what a podcast is. Erik brings to his audience all the productivity experts, along with their strategies, tips and hacks for our personal and professional lives. Welcome to Enhance Life with Music, Erik.
Erik Fisher: [00:01:45] Thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be here.
Mindy Peterson: [00:01:48] Well, Erik, like I mentioned, your affinity for music is apparent to anyone listening to your podcast And this show we talk about how music can make our lives better, whether we consider ourselves musicians or not. And a lot of times I’m talking to experts within the music field and I know you love music, but it’s not your day job. And so I’m really excited to talk about this topic. From your perspective and just starting out, can you tell us what your relationship with music is, whether you have any music musical training in your background when you became aware of and especially interested in music, how you discovered music can boost your productivity. Tell us about your background with music.
Erik Fisher: [00:02:30] Yeah. Oh gosh, I’m going to try and be as brief with this as I can because there’s a lot of as I was thinking back through my music superhero origin story, there were a lot of, you know, meaningful beats to it, figuratively and literally, I guess. And so I guess it starts with it’s in my genes, my grandparents, especially my grandfather. I grew up with he had a grand piano in the house and played it constantly when we were there. And it was, you know, I would hide underneath the piano while he was playing and just hear it reverberate. And, you know, I had no clue what music was. I just knew that it was something that was constant and it was always around. It was part of the atmosphere of that house and my grandmother played as well. They had different horns and things. They grew up, both of them as part of families that were involved with the Salvation Army and obviously then the Salvation Army Band. And so then my mom, she inherited that. And honestly, the first time I ever encountered the musical Sound of Music, I thought, Why is my mom singing on this radio? Why? And my mom had a at least a little bit of a similarity visual wise to Julie Andrews, but she definitely could sing like her. And and it was kind of almost an oppressive thing in some senses because it was like, Oh my gosh, that’s my mom.
Erik Fisher: [00:03:54] And she’s got that. Once I kind of came to terms with, Oh, she’s a really good singer when it comes to like this, like it was an undiscovered talent or tool or whatever. It was just it was very, very interesting. And so then obviously, as I grew up, my mom was very encouraging and often nudging somewhat forcefully to do, you know, musically inclined things like choir and church and things like that. Piano lessons didn’t really take. But we did. We all, you know, myself and my two brothers, we played a lot and learned different things on the grand piano at my grandparents. We had a piano in our house at some point for for a stretch of time. But none of us ever, the three of us, ever really felt like we could master or do the lessons that we were given. It just didn’t stick. And I don’t know, you know, that’s one of those things. You look back and you’re like, Man, I kind of wish I had stuck with that. That would have been really cool. You know, a lot of people have that regret, but whatever. But I did take the French horn in fifth and sixth. Raid and got pretty good with it. I was doing pretty well with it. And. Going into junior high, the awkwardness of being in junior high.
Erik Fisher: [00:05:09] That kind of went out the window fairly quickly. But by that point I was already recording songs off the radio and, you know, scrolling up and down the dial and hitting record when something would come on and I’d be like, Oh, this sounds cool. And just capturing it and then replaying it. And, you know, basically that over time morphed into making mixtapes of things that I recorded off either the radio or CDs that I borrow from the library and sitting in my room and poring over liner notes on different things like that. But yeah, that that is kind of the that’s kind of the foundation, I guess is the best way to put it is, you know, childhood up through junior high. And then I started to become aware of, Oh, I really like this. Like, you know, being a reclusive introvert that was in his room listening to music on CDs and just branching out into all these different directions. And and I think that was around the time I discovered The Beatles and realized, oh, they’re doing something on a whole other level here. And in fact, I’ve heard other people copying them without knowing it all this time. And it kind of became this key that unlocked everything. Up until that point. There is more, but I’m going to pause just to see if you have any comments or questions. Yeah, no.
Mindy Peterson: [00:06:28] It’s just so fun to hear everybody’s story. And when you mention your grandparents having that piano and hearing it when you’re in that house and music was just kind of infused in the experience of being a part of that house, You know, it just reminds me of how influential our behavior is on the young people in our lives, because you could have had parents and grandparents who forcefully nudged you, as you mentioned. I love that because that was me as a mother. But, you know, just experiencing how much your grandfather loved music and implemented it into his life was, I’m sure, hugely influential on you, maybe without you even realizing it. Now, I know you’ve mentioned in podcast episodes before how when you were in college, I think you had a semester off school and you mentioned this experience of working in a warehouse, I think, and using music to really kind of transform your perception of time. Was that sort of the first time that you remember or recall using music to sort of enhance your productivity or just your life experience of a certain, in this case, a job?
Erik Fisher: [00:07:41] That’s exactly right. I’m glad you brought that up because that really is kind of the next beat. There’s a little bit of a coda, not a coda like a pre, you know, preamble to that, which is So once I noticed and became aware of how much I liked music, I didn’t I kind of leaned into it, part of part of the gig of going to that warehouse every day was I would walk by the library on the way there and back. So in the morning I would be dropping things off into the the book drop. And on the way home I would stop and I would look more things up. And these were rudimentary days of the Internet. You could get them, but there was interlibrary loan. So if I found something I liked, I could request it be sent to this library. Things like that.
Mindy Peterson: [00:08:23] Yeah, you could be me talking right now. I am a total library nerd. Yeah.
Erik Fisher: [00:08:28] So I’m branching out. Like, at that point in time, I definitely was already a huge Beatles fan, branched out into U2. I, you know, I had a very big affinity for the oldies, which at that time meant the 60s and 70s only and some of the 50s. That’s what that meant at that time. Um, and so and so growing up in the 80s and 90s, I had some of that already. But yes, the warehouse for a while, for a few months there I was working in the warehouse and I was working packing up packages and that didn’t necessarily have any kind of enjoyment to it at all. And I thought, Oh my gosh, these days are dragging on. Well, luckily for me, I got to move off that desk and I got to be somebody who would restock shelves. And as I was going around, I was able to then I was allowed to use headphones. So suddenly I’m listening to music in a way that is changing my perception of the time passing. And it just felt like time travel, like the days would fly so much faster because I had the right kind of music. Now that’s the thing is like it depended on which music it was sometimes, but up until that point, I’d kind of, you know, used it to lift my mood or used it to find solace in different things, like, you know, all the different ways that you can use music that aren’t necessarily a productivity use. But this was the first time I had a clue that, Oh. Music can alter our perception of time. And that is a very powerful thing.
Mindy Peterson: [00:10:04] Sure. Well, and it probably was enhancing your productivity from the standpoint of you are enjoying your time more. I know I’ve had jobs that are so boring that it’s mind numbing. And you I just would get to the point where I felt like my mind was not functioning anymore because I was so bored. And if you can keep your mind engaged in other ways, then it keeps you sharp for when you do need to use your brain for your job, even if the job is boring in the sense that it’s mainly, say, manual labor that doesn’t require mental activity.
Erik Fisher: [00:10:41] Yeah, exactly. At some point I came across and you may have had somebody else bring this up on the show before, but there’s a there’s a couple Kurt Vonnegut quotes and one of them that I thought of while I was thinking about this was, he says, Music to me is proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic. And in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.
Mindy Peterson: [00:11:06] Uh, I have not had that come up on the podcast before, so I’m glad you mentioned that. I love that. I’ll have to look that quote up.
Erik Fisher: [00:11:12] Yeah, he has another one too that kind of ties in. He says, If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph. The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.
Mindy Peterson: [00:11:23] Wow. Yeah, I love those.
Erik Fisher: [00:11:25] So it was around this time that I suddenly found, Wait, music has power. And I was unaware of it. Up until this point. I was kind of playing with it. It was like, Oh, the fire kept me warm up until that point. But then I realized, Oh, I get kind of the science behind this, so to speak.
Mindy Peterson: [00:11:43] Yeah. So since that time, what are some of the ways that you have found that you can implement music in your personal life, your professional life? Do you have favorite ways to use music to enhance productivity or enrich your life?
Erik Fisher: [00:11:58] Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways, so there’s a couple of different directions I can go here. One is I love to drive and for a while there post-college, I had a job where I was a courier and would drive an hour a day, twice, five times a week and then do other things at that building and, you know, deliver packages, things like that. But that was like that was ten hours of drive time a week suddenly that I was like doing. I was basically doing Carpool karaoke. And it was super fun. And it would make it go. It would make it go super fast. It was enjoyable. And, you know, and the thing is, is like one of the trips home each day was in the evening from like 1030 to 1130 at night. I don’t want to be listening to calm music at that time.
Mindy Peterson: [00:12:45] Yeah, sure.
Erik Fisher: [00:12:46] Even though I should be starting to. Yeah, exactly. So it was all about curation and deciding, you know, what’s the upbeat music that’s going to keep me awake at that time. Music has a lot to do with mood and motivation, so motivation is another thing that can help. Like if I’m just dragging, it just makes sense. Like I’ve got certain playlists that I’ve got set up. It’s like I’m trying to I’m pausing to try and not say the words out loud so that speakers that play those things don’t hear me. Call them into action while we’re recording, but I’ll say, Hey, device. There you go. That doesn’t trigger anything. Hey device, play this playlist and I’ll call it my name and it’ll then do that. And once in a while I’ll change those playlists up. But it’s like as soon as that first beat of that first song hits, it’s like, There you go. And you know, I’ve got certain ones. There’s, there’s certain albums that I’ve found that are like, you know, it’s maybe electronica or something like that that’s like it’s a 35 minute playlist or the whole album is 35 minutes, and it’s like it’s a perfect duration to say, okay, I’m going to sit down and do this one thing and it’s going to take me maybe a half hour. And that album from start to finish, once it ends, it’s like, Oh, break time.
Mindy Peterson: [00:13:59] Oh, interesting. I’ve heard I’ve heard parents say that they will ask their kids to clean up for one song. So that’s sort of a similar concept.
Erik Fisher: [00:14:11] Oh, that’s brilliant. I got to use that. I know. And the thing is, is I can tell that my habits are rubbing off on my kids because they love listening to music. They’re they’re humming earworms that they’ve heard in the car with us. But my son, who I have to ask to clean his room all the time, he will put music on in his room and then he can spend time in there and clean and do things like that. So mood and motivation, setting a certain time duration, resetting your mind like and here’s the thing. One of the things that I want to call attention to is sometimes, um, like I did this morning actually, and I actually thought about this while I was walking. I took a walk outside around the block. It takes about 15 minutes to do a full rotation. Often I in the past would go out and have headphones in and I would either listen to music or a podcast. Podcasts, man, that wreaks havoc on your music, listening time. That’s a whole other topic right there. But I went out and I had nothing in my ears and I thought, I’m just going to go and walk in silence. And so that’s another way. I know that’s the absence of music, but it actually is. The key here is intentionality. It’s that I’m going to go outside and I’m going to walk without background noise that I am pumping into my ears, you know?
Mindy Peterson: [00:15:35] Well, there’s a song about that, The Sound of Silence. Yes.
Erik Fisher: [00:15:41] So that’s some of the different ways. Now, one of the things I actually didn’t mention in my whole background there was at some point in I think it was around that junior high time I started falling asleep listening to music. And I have ever since. It’s a habit, for better or for worse, it drowns out, you know, friends and roommates and wives snoring and my own snoring, I guess, for others. But and I have listened to podcasts going to sleep, too. I’ve kind of put them on a sleep timer. I do the I do that with the music as well. The form and function of it has changed over time, but it started off as just, Oh, this kind of distracts my mind at the end of the day and helps me fall asleep quickly. And there would be times where I would suddenly find I’d remembered or inadvertently, almost through osmosis, memorized certain albums because I would play them as I’d go to sleep. And then I’d wake up and be like, Wow, I really know this. And I didn’t know it, that I knew it. Sure.
Mindy Peterson: [00:16:41] Well, yeah, I mean, there’s some interesting studies in science on how sleep affects our memory. And so I imagine whatever you’re hearing as you’re falling asleep can feed into that somehow. Yeah. You mentioned how music can alter our time perception. It can alter our mood, our there. Any thoughts that you have on the relationship between how music and productivity intersect with factors like stress management and creativity?
Erik Fisher: [00:17:11] Yeah. Well, and here’s the thing. I think that again, this is why I have different playlists set up. So when I want to be creative again, sometimes it’s about focusing on the task at hand and and I have tools for that. There’s a certain tool that I use that gets you in a certain brain wave length or brain. I don’t know. But anyway.
Mindy Peterson: [00:17:31] Yeah, wavelength and I’m, I think I know what you’re talking about and I want to come back to that, but keep.
Erik Fisher: [00:17:35] Going so, so we can come back to that one. I want to put that aside. But yeah, we often what I have found, because I also have I have diagnosed ADHD and this plays a factor into that, but it does for other people as well, regardless, because we all have symptoms of that to a certain extent based on technology these days. It’s just a fact in my mind at least. It has a lot to do with resetting things. It’s kind of why sometimes when you walk through a room or the doorway to a room, you’re like, Now what did I come in here for? Yeah, and you’ve got to reset. You’ve got to pull your attention back. It’s all about intentionality. And so what I was talking about earlier of, you know, your mood or how motivated you feel or how energetic you feel or if you just feel like you’re distracted or whatever. It comes down to having a certain amount of, you know, momentum. It’s almost like unleashing a wave, and then you ride it like a surfboard.
Mindy Peterson: [00:18:31] Oh, I like that.
Erik Fisher: [00:18:32] And so, you know, imagine I guess, let’s go with this. Let’s let’s let’s lean in on this. So imagine that music is this big, wide wall and with all these different doors and you go up to them and you decide, okay, I’m feeling this and I want to feel this or need to feel this in order or think this way in order to do this one, it takes self awareness of who I am and how I feel right now, awareness of what I need to do and where I need to go. And so then you walk along and you say, Oh, there it is. And then you push the button and it the water just pours out and you grab your surfboard and jump on and just ride it. Yeah. Um, and that helps because one, if you’re in a, I mean, if you’re just in a funk one music can really pull you out of it or two music can really help you stay there if you want to wallow in it, If that’s a creative, you know, function for you.
Mindy Peterson: [00:19:27] Yeah. And that can be helpful in processing it. Yes, yes. And stay and sit in it and have the music kind of help you work through it.
Erik Fisher: [00:19:35] Yes, that’s one of the other. I don’t want to just say, hey, music makes me happy and it makes me feel good all the time. No music makes me feel, period. And it’s about which thing you need to do. Do I need to use it to process something or do I need it to lift me up out of. Do I need it to distract me from how I’m feeling? Sort of. Or do I need it to help me really lean? In and be creative. You know, so if want to play, I don’t know, funk music, if that helps you be creative or something. I don’t know. Or classical. Like actually there’s another function of of that. If you want to be creative, one of the things you can do is play certain kinds of music because music, much like smell, is another sense that is tied into memory. And I can’t hear certain types of classical music without feeling like I’m sitting back at the kitchen table in my grandparents house that I talked about earlier and feel like I just woke up after sleeping in and woke up there at their house and it’s time for breakfast and there’s public radio station playing classical music. And so that brings me right back there and I can be really nostalgic about it suddenly.
Mindy Peterson: [00:20:42] Well, those are some really insightful, practical ways about how to use and utilize music as a very functional tool in your life and love how you talk about sort of using music for getting momentum, for falling asleep, for staying awake, for being creative, for processing sad feelings. I mean, there’s so many different ways to use music. I know there’s certain music I listen to every night as I’m winding down. It’s it’s like Spotify playlist for Enya because it’s like that kind of music just helps me wind down and it’s totally different than music I listen to when I’m cleaning or when I’m driving. Or you mentioned classical music when and also kind of hitting the reset button For some reason, sitting through live classical music for me is like a massage for my brain. I just walk out of there feeling like I have homeostasis, like everything has been equalized. I have equilibrium. Again, I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I love how you talk about all of these different functions and how we can be intentional about using music to accomplish the end goal that we want.
Erik Fisher: [00:21:55] Yeah, yeah. And there’s so much power to it. And again, it’s really all about, again recognizing what the state is that you’re in currently, what the activity is that you need and what state is required for that. And then basically picking and choosing and moving that direction. And again, it may be, you know, there may be one artist or something like that that that runs the spectrum for you, which is kind of cool.
Mindy Peterson: [00:22:20] Yeah. All right. Let’s go back to that tool that you were mentioning. One one question I was going to ask, and we kind of hit this a little bit. Are there any specific tools or apps or technologies that you recommend for individuals who are looking to utilize music for productivity? And you sort of alluded to one. Go ahead and tell us about it.
Erik Fisher: [00:22:39] Yeah. Well, aside from really good noise canceling headphones, which come in handy all the time, whether you’re out and about working here or there or need to block out people that are working in the same home as you and you need to be productive in that sense. And honestly, it just helps you hear the music that you’re listening to better. One of the tools that I have found for years now really works for me is Brain FM, and it’s essentially music that is scientifically proven to increase focus. It’s it’s not necessarily well, it is music and it isn’t. It’s there’s no lyrics, there’s no singing, there’s no sound design in it that is going to sound close to as I think they’ve explained it before to me, like a human voice, because that can be somewhat distracting and pull you out of it. But what it’s what it is, is it is essentially they worked with academic institutions and ran experiments and observed the effects of the brain using EEG machines and MRI machines as certain types of sound design. And when I say sound design, that makes it sound like it’s not music. No, it actually is. There’s all different kinds, like classical and electronic and things like that. But they did a test, you know, they did a test with this alongside of a placebo. And they found that by choosing one different styles of music, but also more importantly, different outcomes. So for example, there’s one that’s for resting, there’s one for napping, there’s for focus, there’s for creativity. And what it does is it gets you essentially it’s called phase locking, neural phase locking. As you listen to the music, it gets your brain locked into that phase where it’s easier for it to do certain tasks.
Mindy Peterson: [00:24:35] I know you’ve mentioned Brain FM on your episodes, and I need to dig into that because it does sound really fascinating.
Erik Fisher: [00:24:42] Yeah, and it’s not. I mean, some people may have heard of binaural beats in the past. Yeah, it’s not that it is. It’s got a much stronger effect. And I had tried that before and had a little bit of an effect with it. But when I came across this, I realized, Oh. Okay, So this means that I can. I can get results. I really only use it when I want results. I kind of liken it to especially with the productivity aspect of it. I like to think of it as the Clydesdale horses, where they’ve got those blinders on their eyes, so they only look forward. It’s kind of like that. It kind of removes that fight or flight mechanism from your brain and keeps you seated in the place where you are staring straight ahead and getting the thing done that you need to get done. That’s the that’s the focus aspect of it. But like I said, I’ve used it to take naps that have been much more restful than regular ones. You can have it playing like for hours at a time at night and it will get you into a deeper sleep zone as well. So that’s another option.
Mindy Peterson: [00:25:45] Interesting. And that is an app, right? Yes. Okay. We’ll definitely include links in the show notes to that. And like I said, I want to dive into that and check that out on my own, too. There was a former guest quite a while ago on on this podcast, Charlene Habermeyer, who curated a Spotify playlist that’s really to help concentrate, like if you’re trying to get work done, it’s classical music that’s been specially selected for its ability to help you concentrate and focus. And when I interviewed her, it was sort of early on in Covid when all my kid, like my kids were here, my husband like we were all right on top of each other. And so it was great timing because I was like, Oh my goodness, sign me up for this. And I still use it. Like we were driving home on Saturday from from Michigan visiting relatives over the 4th of July. And on the way home, my husband was driving. He had the radio going and I was trying to get some work done. And so just pop those earbuds in, turn that Spotify playlist on. And so I was listening to that music and able to completely focus on what I was doing without being distracted by the talk radio and music that he had going.
Erik Fisher: [00:26:56] Yeah, and that’s what gave me initially. Well, there was something else I used to use, but then I found this. Actually, there’s one other thing and you’ve probably never heard of this. Um, this is a productivity trick that I’ve heard that actually involves actual music. And it was it’s gosh, I don’t know if I should even open this can of worms, but let’s just say this. I heard it from somebody and I tried it. What it is, is you find a singular song that you aren’t going to hate. After you do this. You put it in a playlist by itself and you put it on repeat so that when it starts, it plays and it gets you there. Like whatever it is about that song, you want to be careful about the selecting of the song, but you pick that song, you start it up, you have it go, and then when it finishes, it starts over again immediately. And it kind of just creates this state of when this song is playing, I am doing this. And you know, it’s like if you’re doing loops or if you were, if it was a super loud song or something. I have done it. I picked a particular U2 song and I had it go for it was what, a three and a half, something like that minute song. And I think I found that I did it for almost an hour one time, really. And this would drive people nuts. Some people would be like, Oh my gosh, no, I can’t listen to the same song over and over and over again.
Mindy Peterson: [00:28:19] I could totally do it.
Erik Fisher: [00:28:20] I think you got to try it. I think you have to. And I think it might be you either. Maybe haven’t one you. It may not be for you given two. It might be that you picked the wrong song by the wrong person and you don’t want you’re careful to not ruin a song because you don’t want to play it out, so to speak. But good music can’t be played out, right? Let’s. Let’s just live with.
Mindy Peterson: [00:28:39] That, right? Yeah. No, I’m with you. And as you’re describing this, I’m thinking I’ve sort of unconsciously done this before. Like if I’m thinking just kind of trying to process a certain topic, there could be a song that just is right for whatever it is I’m contemplating and reflecting on and trying to work through. And sometimes, like if I’m in the car, I’ll just like hit the repeat one, you know, tap, tap it until it gets to that. And it’ll just keep repeating that same song because otherwise it’s like you get in this groove where you’re really processing things and then it switches to a completely different song and you’re like, Nope, nope, let’s go back. Yeah. So I totally get what you’re doing, what you’re talking about. Yeah, I think that’s great.
Erik Fisher: [00:29:22] Yeah. So that’s, that’s another. I can’t believe I hadn’t even thought about that in a while. I haven’t done it in a while, although I considered it because there was a song that kind of came out as a single by somebody a couple weeks ago or days ago, and I thought this might be another song like that. I just hadn’t even thought about it that way.
Mindy Peterson: [00:29:38] Huh. Well, before we run out of time, just real quick, do you like, in your opinion, do you have any ideas about what the future of music’s role could be in enhancing productivity? Are there any new developments?
Erik Fisher: [00:29:52] Yeah, there’s been. So a couple things that tie together. And again, I love the Beatles, so it all kind of comes back. Back to them for me with that. I remember recently reading that with all the hype of AI recently that there’s been algorithms that have been able to clean up audio of John Lennon that now will be able to be used by Paul in a song that they never officially recorded or something like that.
Mindy Peterson: [00:30:17] Yes, Yes.
Erik Fisher: [00:30:18] Kind of like they kind of did that a little bit back in the day of, you know, the mid 90s with the Beatles anthology. But with AI enhancement, you know, knowing what it’s supposed to sound like. I mean, again, I’m not going to pretend to know what I’m talking about here, but I think that’s the way things are going. That’s more of a, you know, archival and clean up and use for current purposes kind of a thing. But again, I’m curious if there’s a way that, like we talked about with Brain FM, if merging that with somehow AI in the coming future will be able to particularly you know, there’ll be you wear your, you know, an aura ring which is another tool out there that senses mood, heartbeat, all these different kinds of things and work algorithmically with the ring to an AI to headphones you have in that help you you know. Oh, I can see your energy starting to dip. Let me play you some music that will perk you back up and you know, it’ll it’ll know enough about you with your consent to help you in that way. Guess is that’s where I’m seeing things maybe go.
Mindy Peterson: [00:31:19] Yeah, well and some apps are already starting to get there that are specially designed for the elderly people with dementia because that’s an area where, yeah, these people can really benefit from that, partly because that musical memory is the last to fade away. So even people who may not recognize their loved ones will still really respond to music. And so it’d be interesting to see what the latest developments are. But I know I’ve had people as guests on this podcast who are talking about sort of that type of an aspect, not quite to the point of like an RR ring, but yeah, moving that direction. So really fascinating stuff. Yeah. Well, I already told listeners a little bit about your, your podcast, but before we close things out with a coda, what else do you want listeners to know about the Beyond the To Do List podcast? Obviously I’m a huge fan and I highly recommend it. One thing that is interesting about my relationship with your podcast is it’s one of those podcasts that I listen to regularly, just like as a guilty pleasure. It’s not like I have certain podcasts that I listen to because I feel like I should because it’s news and I want to stay informed or it’s work related or it’s like spiritual formation that I just I feel like I want to be intentional about doing that. But yours is like, I just listen because I really enjoy it.
Erik Fisher: [00:32:45] I have those, too. Yes.
Mindy Peterson: [00:32:47] Yeah. So, yeah. So anything else that we haven’t already mentioned about the beyond the to do List podcast that you want to let listeners know?
Erik Fisher: [00:32:54] Yeah. I mean ultimately it’s not it’s it’s called Beyond the to do list because it’s about the broad spectrum of productivity. It’s often about not doing things. So if productivity has you feeling guilty about what you’re, if you’re doing enough or not, or you feel like you’re not doing enough, I think you’ll find a kindred spirit in me and my guests. That’s not to say that we don’t like say, okay, here’s how to hustle at a moment’s notice when you really need to. But it’s not that is not the focus of productivity for me and it’s not what productivity is all about. This is all about living a better life. So it means knowing when to do things and when not to do things. And if you can imagine any kind of, you know, again, this episode would have fit perfectly inside of my show. So if you enjoyed this conversation, I think you’ll enjoy the show.
Mindy Peterson: [00:33:44] Yeah, well, like I mentioned in my introduction of you, that’s one reason that I love your podcast, is you really get that it’s not just about how can we pack more things into our day and be more efficient in that way. It’s about how can we be intentional about living our life to the fullest and making the most of our minutes and our days, our hours. And those goals are going to be different depending on the person in terms of what you think, how you define meaningfulness and purpose. And so that’s that’s one reason I love the show is it’s all about maximizing your own life, whatever that means for you. Yeah, well, there will definitely be a link in the show notes to the beyond the To Do List podcast. But as you know, I have all of my listeners close out our conversation with a musical, ending a coda by sharing a song or story about a moment that music enhanced your life. What do you have to share with us today? In closing for our Coda about a song or story about a moment that music enhanced your life?
Erik Fisher: [00:34:48] Yeah, well, I know that I’ve talked a lot about the Beatles, but I did mention U2, and I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up their song one, which came out in 91. 80 to 1 of those two, I don’t know. But again, this was at that point in time when and I didn’t discover it until a few years later, but it was one of those high school moments where I just felt like, whoa, something’s going on here. So here’s some context. U2, the band they met and formed in high school in the late 70s, they came out with six albums, became very successful in the 80s. The last one they did in the 80s was was like part movie, soundtrack, part concert film, and in some senses wasn’t overly received very well. Their image, their public image persona was becoming way more serious, which is not their personalities at all. And so as they moved into the 90s, the 1990s and they were all in their young 30s, they were trying to go away and dream it all up again and they felt kind of stuck. So as the Berlin Wall was falling in Germany, they went to Hansa Studios, where David Bowie had recorded some great albums with Brian Eno and they still felt stuck. But in that magic of a moment, they found that different snippets or melodies suddenly started to work together and something they were hitting on something.
Erik Fisher: [00:36:08] And and so Bono lead singer, starts making up lyrics, and that started to unite things from all different sides. And they just kept going and going and working in it and working on it and working in it and continued to jam around for a while on that idea until it solidified into this, this song and this the music to the song, the tempo slow, but it’s even paced. It’s not a ballad per se, but it’s and it’s not a fast paced song either. It’s just kind of mid tempo. In fact, I actually I think I read an article recently that said that it’s scientifically one of the best like paced songs for a lullaby because it’s not so slow that it like puts you to sleep immediately, but it’s not so fast that it keeps you, you know, it gets your heart rate up, something like that. And there’s more to it for sure. But the lyrics along with that music, are there specific music and vague at the same time which allows you to study it and and get into the moment and mood of the song through the music. But then also you can attach to the true meaning of the lyrics as they were meant, but also attach your own meaning to the lyrics. Like like any great song.
Erik Fisher: [00:37:15] Yeah. Allows you to do. And so the lyrics of the song have to do with breaking up and the consequences or I guess ramifications of that as well as kind of the friction of can we stay together? Should we stay together? Are we together? How do we make that work? All the messiness and in-between of all of that. And and so it doesn’t just describe the meaning of the song there or in and of itself as a story, but it’s also a metaphor for what the band was going through at that time. Like, are we done as a band now? I mean, most bands don’t make it that long. And so that moment was the moment where they decided to stay together and move forward and continue to work as a band, not just as a band, but as friends from high school. And they still are a band, even to this very moment. In fact, they’re the only one true band and longest running band that there ever has been because all four members original members are still in the group to this day. They started as four. They stayed as four. And it’s 2023 right now as we’re recording this. But in 2026, three years from now, they will have been a four piece rock band for 50 years, which is something that has never happened before.
Mindy Peterson: [00:38:28] That is that’s incredible. Yeah.
Erik Fisher: [00:38:31] So and so all of that to say this is one of those now, this is not a song that I would play over and over and over again for productivity’s sake, like I mentioned earlier. But it is one of those ones where every time I hear it, it just it hits a little differently. Or it also summons up nostalgia from when I was young, but then also decades, you know, a decade later or two decades later or now three decades later, I think it’s one of those unique like all the pieces came together in the right way kind of moments that you can relive over and over when you listen to it.
Transcribed by Sonix.ai