What music do you listen to while working? Please share what you listen to, and how the music helps you achieve flow.
To help you sample music you can listen to while working, we asked entrepreneurs and business owners this question for their best recommendations. From video game music to modern classical music, there are several types of music that may help you work with a steady flow.
Here are 11 music choices to listen to while working:
- Video Game Music
- EDM and House Music
- Norah Jones on Pandora
- Slow and Calming Background Music
- Peaceful Tunes
- Movie Soundtracks
- Lo-fi Beats
- Coffee-Shop Music
- Modern Classical Music
Video Game Music
I listen to video game music while working to help me achieve workflow. For me, video game music is fascinatingly unique in its ability to convey various emotions, oftentimes with no words. These sonically pleasing tunes and diverse melodies help me focus on the tasks at hand. Another element I love about video game music is that it frequently showcases themes of triumph, adventure, action, and happiness. These themes, combined with instrumentation that bring them to life so well, help inspire me to ‘level up’ and conquer my tasks—not unlike slaying a final boss, if you will.
Datha Santomieri, Steadily
EDM and House Music
House music and EDM may be an odd type of music to listen to while working, but it helps me get into the flow of the workday. There are little to no lyrics in House and EDM which are usually very distracting for me while working and the bass/beat gives typing and writing a type of flow that is hard to find without music.
Shaun Price, MitoQ
I listen to Enya on repeat for a number of reasons. Firstly, her music is relaxing and transports you to somewhere that feels ethereal and otherworldly which helps remove you from your immediate demands and find flow. I also like her because sometimes lyrics and beats can be distracting if you need to write newsletters, copy or social posts and you can often misspell or write an entirely wrong word when lyrics are obnoxious. With Enya, I find that her lyrics are more like a soothing instrument than words so they don’t filter in as words and are far less distracting than regular music.
Sarah Moore, Eleven Lights Media
Norah Jones on Pandora
When I’m working, I like to play music that is incredibly soothing and puts me at ease. My go-to stations on Pandora are Norah Jones and Nat King Cole. Their stations always make me feel incredibly relaxed. It makes me feel like I’m walking on a cloud, but still at work. For some, that relaxed vibe might make them feel sleepy, but I absolutely love it.
Kate Lipman, embrace Scar Therapy
Slow and Calming Background Music
Some of my favorite playlists on Spotify include “Book Club”, “Deep Focus” and “Calming Classical.” “To each his/her own” naturally, but for me a slow, calming, and relaxing vibe is essential. Above all else, I know that I would not be able to concentrate with lyrics present, so instrumental-only songs are simply a must for me. This way, it feels lovely to have (not too loud) music in the background that adds some rhythm to your work and isn’t distracting. Ideally, you want it to complement your daily routine and boost your productivity instead of getting in the way and becoming another distraction.
Peter Bryla, ResumeLab
I’m having trouble focusing if the music I listen to contains words or is very dynamic. I’ve always seen the best results in my performance when working to steady, peaceful tones that would bring me to some kind of hypnotic state. I started using an app which has various stations providing different music/sounds for better focus.
Magdalena Sadowska, PhotoAiD
I’m a total connoisseur of good music, so I typically listen to all sorts of tunes, but movie soundtracks are my go-to for achieving workflow. While working, I’m most productive listening to movie soundtracks because it is a highly targeted and specially crafted type of music. This masterful orchestration inspires creativity, flexibility, and efficiency in my work. Movie soundtracks put me in the mind frame of a superstar CEO/businesswoman/entrepreneur extraordinaire starring in her own film. Lights, cameras, action – let’s (literally) get to work!
Michelle Arnau, Rowan
Lo-fi hip hop and jazz offer the best beats to get into a workflow. Since these genres rarely use lyrics, there’s no interruption to your train of thought while responding to emails or creating content. I find that lo-fi beats are never activating, and I can keep them on in the background for any activity. The steady rhythms also keep me working at a consistent pace.
Justin Soleimani, Tumble
Coffee-Shop music is a simple descriptor of music that creates a peaceful workplace backdrop, helping us achieve a state of flow without being a distraction to our work. When played at a moderate- to low volume in an office or co-working environment, pleasant-sounding songs with an average of 120- to 140 beats per minute (BPM) keep an upbeat and positive feel and help drown out any conversations from those nearby.
We generally want to avoid anything offensive, music that might lull us to sleep, or genres with dissonant or jarring progressions, such as hard rock, stereotypical elevator music, or rap. Examples of coffee-shop music include classic and modern mainstream tunes, acoustic, modern folk-rock, and New Age tracks. Sounds of nature, solfeggio frequencies, music from artists like Garth Stevenson, Paul Cardall, Max Richter, Dustin O’Halloran, and instrumental music from cinematic scores can also be a great way to achieve a personal flow state using earbuds or a small speaker.
Russell Lieberman, Altan Insights
Instead of music, podcasts are extremely effective in achieving workflow. Podcasts similar to the industry you work in keeps you up to date on trends, and consistently shares new information and knowledge to help you better succeed in your role. This form of listening while working is a more productive option than music and keeps the mind sharp. Not only will you learn different perspectives and insights, but also keeps the workflow less stressful.
Natália Sadowski, Nourishing Biologicals
Modern Classical Music
My go to genre when working, and especially when writing, is modern classical music. I struggle to think straight is a song’s lyrics are playing in my ears (especially if I know the song and start singing along!). So, I turn to artists such as Ludovico Einaudi, a composer and pianist who performs beautiful music that fills the silence without distracting me from my work.
Modern classical draws on elements of pop, rock and folk so the melodies and tunes are familiar but are calming and allow me to think straight, without putting me to sleep. For me, it’s the perfect way to achieve flow.
Josh Smith, Roll To