Welcome to spreadsheet-ville. Occasionally (much more frequently than I’d like, to be honest, but what can you do?), my job requires me to set up camp here and look at spreadsheets until well past the point I want to poke myself with sharp objects.
During this time, I can’t listen to regular music or books or podcasts, as I do most workdays, because they distract me from the detailed work I’m doing and slow me down. So I have to listen to instrumental music and get extremely nit-picky.
I totally have these things in my wheelhouse— I even like instrumental music, though I prefer to play it than to listen to it. Music is a lot about singing and dancing, for me, so music that I can’t sing or dance to is not in the same category, for me. Beautiful, but remote. I try to listen to Latin guitar music when I do this, because that’s at least rhythmic. Me bobbing along to a beat helps, but for now, what I’ve found it easy to access is classical music. I like classical music, I do. But it’s not really a treat for me.
This work requires an intensity of focus. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of requirements, and a pretty strict deadline. I’m intense and deadline-oriented to begin with, but it’s not something that makes me more like-able. And I can totally do the nit-picky thing, but I’ve found from experience that it gets relationally toxic pretty quickly, so it’s something that I resist on principle. A few days of intense nit picking and I feel like I need a re-entry permit for my life.
This makes me want to eat chocolate, for reasons having nothing to do with hunger. Since I’m trying not to eat for reasons unconnected with hunger and I’m trying to limit myself to one reasonable candy-bowl visit per day, spreadsheet-ville is particularly unbearable today.
YouTube playlists of Ottmar Liebert and Rodrigo y Gabriela. This is the anti-chocolate answer. That, plus a walk at lunch. And stopping and remembering that “I want chocolate” is not an impulse I have to obey, like it or not.