Productivity May 24, 2020

What do you listen to for deep work?

Eric Karjaluoto @karj

I find that some music is more conducive to getting me into a state in which I’m highly focused on the task at hand. Lately I rediscovered my old Orbital albums, and have found them good for this. Curious if any of you have favorites for this sort of thing.

  1. 5

    Lofi hiphop and mr robot soundtrack (https://youtu.be/4TcmqLUzNFQ)

    1. 3

      Chilledcow on every platform! Including a 24/7 youtube livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qap5aO4i9A

      Always lifts my mood even while it fades into the background :)

      1. 3

        Yep, one of the best lofi channel:)

  2. 3

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0rA7eold66Wk05o4irdrqq?si=WKqb3NLuQVyeIruyjOgVTQ

    That’s one of my favorite Spotify playlist for deep coding work. I remember listening @robwalling talk about how he listens to the same music when doing deep work. I’ve tried this and I completely agree. Reserving the same playlist for deep work really trains your brain to get in the zone quicker.

    1. 3

      Yeah, there’s something about hearing an audio trigger each time you go into deep work, it starts to have a Pavlovian effect and after a while playing it can pull your mind into deep work.

      My go to for chill productivity is the “Deep Focus” playlist on Spotify:
      https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWZeKCadgRdKQ?si=ETvDGVaEQNexsBv44gPy7w

      Then I have a custom playlist of punk music for when I need to drink a bit of caffeine and crank through with intensity.

  3. 2

    I may be more old school, but I plug in my Bose noise cancelling headphones and listen to the sweet sound of silence. It’s truly refreshing and allows for terrific productivity.

  4. 2

    Wardruna and similar folk pagan bands.

  5. 2

    Intriguing Possibilities [Homework Edit] - Social network soundtrack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdNrSu-8KtM&t=2319s)

  6. 2

    I usually alternate between Hans Zimmer for "light" work and Brain.fm for more focused words. Their music is supposed to help with focus and it really seems to work for me.

  7. 2

    I have found that the style of music I listen to changes based on the level of focus and thought required for the task at hand.

    For procedural work (requires more time than thought), the music should inject energy so the playlist is more vocal and less repetitive to offset the work.

    For logic-driven development, the music should immerse, not distract, so the playlist is usually instrumental trance, chill or new age based.

    When I need to focus completely, I put on noise-cancelling headphones without anything playing.

  8. 2

    Lofi chilledcow and chillstep mixes on youtube are definitely in the mix. But if I'm serious about something it's always the same album.

    Above and Beyond - Flow State which is a yoga album I became weirdly addicted too for work.

    Sometimes I throw on a coffeehouse playlist too to freshen it up a bit from electronic sounds.

  9. 2

    I listen to Deep Dubstep when I have to do focused work for hours. Here's one of my recent favourites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhGBFgnw8Y4

  10. 2

    I love https://endel.io/

    They have a web player (which I use) but also apps for different devices. It's especially great when in a crowded office or cafe. It somehow works even better than my ANC.

  11. 2

    www.noisli.com for the best background noise on the web

  12. 2

    I listen to brain.fm :)

  13. 2

    I mostly listen to the same music I listen to when I'm doing anything else. For some odd reason I prefer listening to music with lyrics. When I really get into something I pretty much tune the music out, but somehow the music helps me get into a flow.

  14. 2

    I listen to the live low fi hip hop stream on YouTube. Peaceful but up tempo, with no words. So good.

  15. 2

    It might sound weird, but I almost always listen to metal 🤘 when I'm coding 😁

    If I need to do something creative, like writing a piece of content, I tend to listen to some soundtracks, ambient, or new age music.

    1. 2

      As metalhead, I can't focus working with metal music, not because it was too loud, but I can't stop my desire to headbanging in front of my laptop 😂

    2. 1

      I agree. I sometimes put Metallica’s Suicide and Redemption on repeat, because it’s so good at getting me into a groove.

  16. 2

    I like to listen eletronic music because mostly of songs don't have too lyrics and don't take my focus. An artist that I always listem is Savant, his songs always take me to flow state. In fact, it depends on your favorite music style, find what makes you forget the world and enter in deep work.

    Some Savant Songs that I love:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRNWuST5wOA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN_ZCMOx0lo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK6m73FkyVg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89tO0d_wCbg

  17. 1

    Depends on my mood from Podcasts about what I am working on, to... this

    https://youtu.be/TSPtaUJ8oEY

  18. 1

    Thanks for all of the many suggestions. You’ve all given me many new musicians to look into more. 🙌

  19. 1

    Nothing, you can't focus on two things at once.

    (Sometimes a one track in loop of “white noise” in Spotify)

    1. 4

      The right kind of music isn’t something that you focus on. Instead, it helps block out the other noises and distractions—which enhances focus. But, that’s just my opinion.

  20. 2

    This comment was deleted 25 days ago.

  21. 1

    This comment was deleted a month ago.