Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Do you listen to music while you work?

If I remember to, I find it really helpful. But the type of music I select is so important for getting in the zone.

For mindless tasks or some upbeat background music I love oldies. The local oldies station was always was my go-to when I watered plants at a nursery, checked guests in at a bed and breakfast, or sorted clothing at a consignment shop.

But as my work has become more computer-based, with lots of critical and creative thinking and writing, I just can’t handle music with lyrics. And don’t get me started on talk radio or podcasts—if I try to write while listening to a podcast, I make SO many errors and also have no idea what was covered in the podcast.

These days, when I have to really concentrate or hunker down to complete a tedious task like data cleaning, I need something that keeps me moving but that won’t distract me with lyrics or any sudden, disruptive sounds.

That’s why I was thrilled when, via NextDraft, I came across a round-up of Spotify playlists for concentrating compiled by The What.

There are 16 playlists featured, and I’m pleased to report that one of my favorites was already in there: Focus Flow. Thanks to the descriptions in the article, I also sampled some others and found a new favorite: Creative Office.

If you’re like me, and prefer to get shit done to calming beats, I also recommend these Lo-Fi Beats and Hip-Hop Beats playlists, which didn’t make the list from The What. (This article from The Washington Post explains the appeal of my work tunes of choice.)

If you’re missing the white noise created by coworkers, printers, A/C units, and upstairs neighbors from your now-deserted office, check out the office ambience playlists from the list like Office and Office Noise. There are also some cafe sounds playlists if that’s more your thing. (I wonder if there are any that have ambient cafe sounds layered over your typical coffeeshop playlist to really recreate that work-from-cafe vibe we can’t get in real life these days?)

Let me know if you check out any of the playlists and what you like to listen to while you work!

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