Concentrating at the office can prove challenging, despite your best intentions. The buzz of passing conversations, ringing phones, pinging computers, and other ambient workplace noise are constant distractions. Endless interruptions can sap your energy and leave you feeling scattered and fatigued.
Listening to a productivity playlist populated with music to keep you focused is an excellent way to drown out background noise and stay on track no matter how often your flow is disrupted. The right mix of songs—curated to match your working pace and musical taste—will keep you in the zone, whether you perform best with soothing nature sounds or four-on-the-floor dance beats.
With a focus playlist, you’ll be relaxed and stimulated enough to reach peak performance no matter how hectic your workday. Here’s all you need to know about how to create and use a playlist to boost your productivity.
What is a Productivity Playlist?
A productivity playlist is a collection of songs that help you focus and can be key to avoiding distractions, jumpstarting motivation, and maintaining momentum. The best focus music differs from person to person—a playlist that enhances efficiency for some may slow others to a crawl—and should be chosen or created based on the type of work you do or specific task at hand while also keeping in mind your musical preferences.
From classical symphonies to 90s hip hop, a good productivity playlist will keep you energized and engaged. Here are some of the most popular focus music playlist genres to choose from:
One of the top options for upping your focus game, classical music doesn’t distract with lyrics and provides an inspirational, uplifting soundscape for your day.
Instrumental Movie Soundtracks
If you want to avoid lyrics but aren’t a fan of classical music, instrumental movie soundtracks are intense enough to power you through complicated tasks.
For an extra creativity boost, the unexpected loops and trills of jazz fire the neurons while the rhythm propels you forward through even the most mundane projects.
Most hip hop may be too energetic to keep you focused on work, but lo-fi hip hop, also known as chill hop, gives you just enough beat to get into your groove without hindering your performance.
With “go get ‘em, tiger” motivational messages and crescendoing melody lines that get your adrenaline pumping, powerful pop and rock songs can increase your confidence and improve your mood when you face a daunting day.
Video Game Soundtracks
Video game developers strategically design music to keep you focused while playing, and these epic soundtracks can also be a powerful tool to energize your workday.
Benefits of a Productivity Playlist
There have been numerous studies that demonstrate a correlation between music and the ability to focus. The best focus music genres relieve the type of stress that takes the brain on tangents and instead stimulate mood and motivation, so you feel energized and engaged, ready to tackle both complicated and repetitive tasks.
A focus music playlist can also influence the ability to reason, gently nudging neurons towards creative or innovative solutions to problems that may have been blocking progress on a long-term project or immediate task. Theories like the “Mozart effect” (controversial as it may be) indicate that there may be a connection between listening to certain types of music and enhanced cognitive ability, which optimizes problem-solving skills and level of concentration.
Even if the music doesn’t give you an extra brain boost, a focus playlist provides a soothing soundscape to drown out background noise and lessen interruptions that may interfere with your ability to focus. Pop on some chill hop for a driving background beat to power through your day or an inspiring symphony if you need concentration music for writing.
Songs That Help You Focus
Whether your taste leans towards Mozart or Miley Cyrus, these songs will lasso your attention and help you focus on work. Here are the ten best songs for an unbeatable productivity playlist:
Symphony n. 35 (Mozart) The cognitive boost of the “Mozart effect” has been contested in subsequent studies, but there is no denying that Mozart’s energetic style will give you extra stamina to keep you moving forward through the day.
Canon in D Major (Pachelbel) Pachelbel’s Canon is among the most recognized pieces of classical music, and its soothing melody has provided the backdrop to countless weddings. The sweet repetitive notes are ideal for relieving tension and helping you focus.
Elysium (Hans Zimmer) Hans Zimmer is the composer behind several of the most iconic movie soundtracks of the past three decades. His powerful, epic “Elysium” from “The Gladiator” will motivate you through a serious procrastination slump.
Jake’s First Flight (Howard Shore) This atmospheric track from the sci-fi movie “Avatar” has just enough momentum to keep you engaged without pulling your attention away from the tasks at hand. The lyrics are recorded in the invented Na’vi alien language, so it is ideal concentration music for writing.
Autumn Leaves (Malcolm Schultze) This piano cover of the jazz classic will get you in the groove with its calming chord progression and lack of lyrics. You can also find recordings with lyrics in the original French or later translations in English, including a version with Frank Sinatra.
Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra) The “King of Swing” will propel you through a dry spell with this mood-boosting, toe-tapping ballad. It accompanied the NASA astronauts to the moon during the Apollo 10 and 11 missions, so it can surely get you to your desk.
Soulful (L’Indécis) Chill hop is among the best music for focusing, and the fun beat and relaxed vibe of this groovy track will both pick you up and calm you down. This French multi-instrumentalist combines soul, jazz, and hip hop influences to create gently energizing melodies.
Eternal Youth (Rude) Another chill hop track, this instrumental composition puts an electronic spin on traditional Japanese music and is ideal for a productivity-inducing ambient soundscape.
We Will Rock You (Queen) Sometimes the key to productivity is taking that first step. Kickstart your workday with this iconic power anthem that will get you pumped up and ready to tackle the most daunting workload.
Roar (Katy Perry) If the pile of work on your desk seems insurmountable, boost your confidence with this feel-good motivational song that will get you into a powerful state of mind and up for any challenge.
Thumper Soundtrack (Brian Gibson) A fast-paced frenzy of pulsating rhythm and gripping themes, this soundtrack that drives the gameplay of Thumper can be the best music for focus-intense tasks, getting you amped up and hyper-productive.
Journey Soundtrack (Austin Wintory) Thumper may be too intense for some situations, but you can take advantage of that same video-game momentum with this more serene soundscape that inspires without an adrenaline explosion.
How to Create a Focus Playlist
Creating a playlist that enhances your focus and increases your performance is more than just putting a few inspiring songs together. Here are five tips for creating the perfect soundscape to help you be uber-productive.
Consider the Task at Hand If you have to write or tackle other wordy tasks, the best music for focusing will probably be instrumental so you won’t be distracted by lyrics. On the other hand, engaging lyrics can get you through more repetitive jobs like filing or routine paperwork.
Go With What You Love Your musical taste matters when it comes to creating an effective productivity playlist. A mix populated with songs or a genre you don’t like will be distracting, while a soundscape of your favorite tracks or style will boost your mood and up your performance.
Jumpstart with Bass Begin your playlist with a few tracks that energize and motivate you to push past any initial procrastination. Power pop and thumping hip hop have a strong bass line to get the adrenaline pumping, but you may want to take it down to a more soothing bass later in your mix to maintain momentum.
Match Your Pace Humans tend to adjust the pace of their activity to match the rhythm of the music they are listening to, so try to choose tracks that naturally echo your normal work pace to keep you going through the day. Tracks that are too chill may slow you down, while those that are too frantic can increase your stress level.
Turn Down the Volume You may be tempted to crank up the volume to drown out background noise or increase your energy, but loud music has been shown to interfere with the ability to focus. Choose a reasonable volume—enough to cover that office buzz while not interrupting your flow.
Why Use Cloud Cover Music
A carefully curated productivity playlist can give you and your team the performance boost you need to slay every day. Cloud Cover Music offers a wide range of focus-enhancing business music to power through procrastination. Contact us for tips and information about creating a focus playlist with our licensed music subscription services.