How to find the right music for coding, writing or any other absorbing activity

jamie xx

A playlist can have magical import upon your creative output. Here’s some music styles that have helped me for writing, creating, sorting and doing the more mundane but necessary tasks in daily life.

A few tips on selection

1. Seek out music that’s unobtrusive and doesn’t command all of your attention. It should overall be happy and positive, but could also have elements of light and dark in there too.

2. Steer clear of anything with too much personal association or strong memories. It’s never a good idea to play that track by Air or No Doubt if it reminds you of an ex.

3. Stay away from anything too complex in structure, remember that you’re reserving the lion’s share of your mind for something else.

Here is a playlist that’s particularly awesome when you have to work out your grey matter.

Music to avoid when trying to concentrate

Electro > leads to > dancing

Loud vocal tracks > leads to > singing, lack of focus

Anything too complicated and with a lot going on at once, i.e. Bjork >  leads to > mind wandering, lack of focus

Punk > leads to > emo or agitated feeling

Metal > leads to >  emo or agitated feeling

Trance > leads to > dancing

Folk > leads to > sadness or nostalgia

Music for optimising concentration

Tech House/Minimal > leads to > concentration

Trip hop > leads to > contemplation / concentration

Ambient > leads to > contemplation / concentration

Upbeat Classical > leads to > contemplation / concentration

Medieval music > leads to > contemplation / concentration

Tibetan/Gregorian Chanting > leads to > contemplation / concentration

Post Dubstep/ Liquid Dub > leads to > contemplation / concentration

But it’s such a personal thing. What about you? Do you have any recommendations for great music for concentration.






Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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