Music powers people. It sets the mood and can influence how much work actually gets done. With the rise of music streaming services like Spotify, 8tracks, and Pandora, there's no excuse not to find the perfect list of tracks tailored just for you. Especially when so-and-so is yammering on in the next cube over...just put headphones on and flow.
1. Film Scores Pandora
Film scores drive the plot of the story forward and manipulate the viewer's emotion based on what's happening on screen. If the composer did their job right, you shouldn't even notice.
That means that while you're working, you won't notice the music in the background, but will still pick up on the appropriate emotional cues. Trust me, next time you're cranking out a spreadsheet to The Riders of Rohan from Lord of the Rings, you'll understand the sudden sense of urgency and epic-ness. I dare you to see how much you'll get done.
2. Afternoon Acoustic on Spotify
Maybe you'd rather chill out while you're working. This acoustic playlist does the trick. It makes you feel like you're hanging in your favorite neighborhood coffeehouse, providing just enough ambient noise to relax while you get in the zone. This study from the NYT shows that coffeehouse humming can boost your productivity, so get after it.
3. ESM Study Playlist on Spotify
As Spotify says in its description, "Eat.Sleep.Study.Repeat." Getting work done is all about dropping into a higher state of mind where you can focus completely on the task at hand, and this playlist provides just enough beat and background music to drown out chatty Kathys and focus.
4. Nature Noise on Spotify
If you're like me, you long for the outdoors. Part of what keeps me from being productive is wishing for sunshine, forest trails, hiking mountains, and more, especially in the summertime. Whether you're stuck in a cube farm or simply want to escape a dreary winter day, this playlist puts you right in the middle of nature's glory.
5. Most Popular TED Talks, TED.COM
Sometimes, listening to lectures like these ones from TED helps me focus on the task at hand. TED talks can be incredibly informative, inspiring, and exciting; listening to some of the world's greatest presentations helps keep me moving and often triggers creative inspiration of my own. Whether you stop what you're doing to listen for a few minutes or keep it playing in the background, you'll definitely be inspired for the rest of your day.
Whatever moves you, music is a great way to stay focused and can boost your productivity. Find what gets you in the zone and own it--from top 40 to classical---because that's what will ultimately make you the most successful, no matter how or where you're working.