If you need quiet while you work, there is no need to continue reading this article. If you're like me and need some background tunes, then this article will be of value to you.
I am a “situational listener,” which translates to: I listen to different types of music depending on the situation I’m in. This is the case for my life as a whole, so for example, when I clean, I listen to different music than when I’m driving. Naturally, this is also how I work. Below are the different types of tasks I can have in a day and how my playlists vary.
First Thing in the Morning with a Cup of Coffee
This playlist is filled with upbeat current tracks that are both familiar and new to get your brain moving in the morning. With artists like the Chainsmokers, ODESZA, DJ Snake, and a few new artists you may not have heard of yet, it’s the right tempo and the right type of music to get your fingers typing on that expense report due at noon.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing content, I can’t listen to music with words. If you can, then you are one of the special ones! I find it harder to concentrate on my own words when I have others’ in my ears, which is why I opt for this acoustic channel or playlists like it. This Coffeehouse Chill Playlist is a collection of modern day songs played with an acoustic guitar and no words. Happy Writing!
Responding to Emails
Responding to and and writing emails can often be a mindless task but is nevertheless very important. We’ve all experienced the horror of accidentally responding back to the wrong person or heaven forbid to the worst case scenario of “Reply All.” That being said, this station is a nice symphony of electronic beats and musical interludes to keep you focused and on track. Oh, and don’t forget your Oxford comma...
Eating Lunch at Your Desk Mix
You’ve found yourself having to work through your lunch break with a brown bagged sandwich from home What kind of tunes can help make this situation a tad better? Some classic upbeat songs from the likes of the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Paul Simon, and a sprinkle of some Bob Marley. You’ll be in a great mood by the end of your lunch break and ready to take on the rest of your day.
HTML Coding in Sublime
If you’ve never coded to Hans Zimmer, you have to give it a try; it’s life changing. In fact, most movie soundtracks pair beautifully with coding. Although I’m a beginner to moderate coder in HTML and SQL, I feel experienced enough to have an opinion on this subject after clocking in countless hours staring at 2-3 screens of code simultaneously. You’ll not only find Hans Zimmer on this playlist. You will also hear the likes of Mogwai, James Horner, Moby, and countless philharmonic orchestras playing the tunes to get your code on.
Electronic tunes are so versatile when it comes to working with numbers, rows, and columns. If it’s light Excel work, your listening is discretionary, but once you're on the 300th+ row of a finance report, you’ll either crave some lowkey chill music or some upbeat electronic. For me, it’s the latter. With this playlist, I can happily work away to songs from Avicii, Lindsey Stirling, Alan Walker, and more.
Reading over Contracts
Contracts are important, and the level of concentration required to skim through them is a skill that takes years to master. I would recommend complete silence for this activity or this hand selected list of orchestral ensembles from the classics and contemporaries. Turn up the volume on your headphones with Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, and many modern day symphonic orchestras from around the world. Even if you don’t understand all the legal jargon in your contract, at least you’ll feel smart while listening to this playlist.
Some people need gangster rap when they're stressed out. Give me some meditation or nature tunes instead. It’s easy to get swept away in the stress of day to day office life, but if you get a few minutes a day/week to tune in to some meditation music, it can be positively life altering. If this type of music weirds you out, that’s cool, but don’t knock it til you try it… ohm.
Over Music, but Still Need Something
This playlist is literally background noise from coffee shops and restaurants. If you want to feel like you're sipping an americano at your local coffee shop (coffee grinder and steaming milk noise and all), then this station can serve as alternative background noise when you’re just over having music in your ears.
Your Friday playlist is designed to finish off your week on a high note and to slowly ease you into your weekend vibes. Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake, and Wiz Khalifa are just a few of the artists in this playlist. If these artists don’t do it for you on a Friday, I suggest some Tom Petty, Black Keys, or James Bay for your listening pleasure. Finish up your Friday strong so that you can go into a well deserved weekend.
Pick Me Up Mix
How can you be in a bad mood with a little folk music in your life? Warning: after listening to this playlist, you may want to go buy a beanie and flannel shirt and start your own cold brew company in your basement. You’ll find artists like Vance Joy, the Lumineers, the Avett Brothers, MICKY, and finally a little Mumford and Sons. I recommend this playlist for a Wednesday to pick you up mid week, because how can you be in a bad mood when a banjo is involved?
Podcast it Up
If you love podcasts, there are countless places to find them, and they are wide ranging and diverse. You can’t go wrong with some self-proclaimed nerds with this podcast. They have a copious variety of topics and many well-known guests. I like to listen to podcasts while in transit rather than when in the office, but just like your personal music style, it’s totally up to you… that’s the beauty of it.
I’m always up for listening to something new, so please share some of your favorite playlists in the comment section. It’s kind of like exchanging mix tapes, except we are business professionals instead of pimply 9th graders with a Napster account. Happy listening!