How many times have you sat down to begin work, only to find that your mind has gone blank and your enthusiasm has fled to somewhere more entertaining?
If you work from home like me, this is probably a situation that’s all too familiar. Not only do you have to motivate yourself to get your work done, but you also have household distractions (or children in my case), dragging your attention away from the work at hand.
Procrastination isn’t just limited to work-at-home freelancers though. The same can be said for busy, open-plan offices and noisy workspaces. The hustle and bustle of the workplace can be equally distracting.
Music is key to getting focused
Research into how music affects your performance in the workplace has shown that because your mood is improved by listening to music, you’re much more likely to finish off your tasks quickly. Not only that but the ideas you generate have the potential to be greater too.
Therefore it makes sense that when we need to knuckle down or get creative, we should plug in the headphones and sail away upon a sea of sound.
But what kind of music should we listen to?
7 Spotify playlists to sharpen your focus and productivity
From personal experience, I find that music with fewer words helps me to focus more on my work. I have a bad tendency to want to sing along to everything I hear (not so great when you’re busy writing and end up substituting words for lyrics). So today I’m sharing my favourite Spotify playlists, that I personally listen to on a daily basis.
I’m starting with this list because I’m listening to this one quite a lot at the moment. Even though it’s a little moody at times, it has a haunting collection of sounds that blend beautifully together.
Artists on this list include Broods, Zella Day, Florence + The Machine and Lorde.
2. Air Punch!
At the other end of the spectrum, here’s a playlist to start your day the Rock Star way. This one is packed full of uplifting, energetic tracks that are bound to lift your mood, ready for a day of productivity.
Artists on this list include ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Beastie Boys and The Foo Fighters.
Ever wondered why you work so much better surrounded by the dim hum of a busy Coffee House? Far from being distracting, the coffee shop atmosphere is usually just the right level of noise to drown out individual sounds, leaving an ambient soundscape that’s perfect for working in. This playlist attempts to recreate that atmosphere with mellow tunes aimed at relaxing a cluttered a mind.
Artists on this list include Parachute, Jasmine Kennedy, Saturday Sun and Jesse Cole.
I regularly come back to this playlist when I’m writing articles or eBooks that need a little extra creative flair. Many of the tracks on this list are instrumental and innovative – just the right mix to get your creative juices flowing.
Artists on this list include Flying Lotus, Kate Bush, Moby, Radiohead and Jack White.
5. Deep Focus
As the name of this playlist suggests, it’s been put together to help you really focus your attention on what needs doing. The eclectic collection of atmospheric rock is both calming and helps to get the concentration going.
Artists on this list include Explosions In The Sky, Helios, Lowercase Noises and Caspian.
6. Brain Food
Feed your brain with this list of focusing soundscapes and songs. Another of my all time favourite lists, this one gets popped on when I’m really struggling to concentrate.
Artists on this list include Slaptop, Mt Eden, Groundislava and Massive Attack.
Lastly, if you’ve tried all of the above but still find yourself straying towards Twitter or Facebook (or the dreaded inbox), have a listen to this playlist with eight hours worth of zen and tranquillity. This was quite a surprise one for me as it’s not the kind of thing I listen to a lot, but it helped me to discover some beautiful music and is a great way to relax into your workload.
Artists on this list include Deva Premal, Yu-Xiao Guang, Jon Porras and Stephen Halpern.
Now it’s over to you. What music do you work along to, in order to get the most out of your day? Add your suggestions in the comments and I’ll add them to the list! You can also follow me on Spotify to see what else I’m listening to right now.