This just in via Antipixel -- Things that make you go hmmmmm.
From the BBC news of a radio poll for the "favourite classical work of Classic FM listeners for the fourth year in a row", "Classic FM" being apparently a British radio programme.
The top 20 list as reported by the BBC:
1 Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2#18 ring a bell(iTunes link)? A long time favorite waltz for contra dancers, but most associated with the Ken Burns Civil War Documentary.
2 Mozart: Clarinet Concerto
3 Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
4 Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
5 Grieg: Piano Concerto
6 Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
7 Elgar: Enigma Variations
8 Jenkins: The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace)
9 Elgar: Cello Concerto
10 Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
11 Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
12 Shore: The Lord of the Rings
13 Beethoven: Symphony No.9
14 Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a theme of Tallis
15 Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 (Organ)
16 Pachelbel: Canon in D
17 Barber: Adagio for strings
18 Ungar: The Ashokan Farewell
19 Sibelius: Finlandia
20 Holst: The Planets Suite
One of the most important skills you can have, in my not-so-humble opinion, is that ability to put aside the noise in your head and life and do something. Sometimes it means turning off the "but, but, buts" or the "ohmigawd, what ifs" or the clutching panic that rises somewhere around your belly button and heads for your throat. Not to ignore or pretend the problem or nervous-causing thing doesn't exist. No no.
I've heard this described as the ability to compartmentalize and I've heard it described both as a positive and a negative.
To my own way of thinking, being able to do this is a good thing for several reasons. First off, it gives your head and your body a chance to step back from the problems at hand and think about them behind the scenes, while your body and head is busy doing something else. So rather than just going ohmigawdohmigawd, clutch clutch and making a decision to act on the spot you can create a little oasis as it were to stand, in a calm way, and go back to the problem from a different perspective. And second, it means that you can allow yourself the very positive thing of being able to keep working while you have this problem before you. Instead of grinding to a halt while you whir and spin over it, and thereby adding the spector of slipping deadlines to the whole problem - you can still whittle away at the work before you.
Having said all that, sometimes it's best to pretend that you're doing something, maybe tidy the room, put stuff away etc, while having a cool beverage and just chilling out. Still productive both outwardly and inwardly and still a good approach to problem-solving.