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Add Music To Your Workflow To Improve Results

Almost all of us listen to music. We listen at home, while working, on the subway, while driving, while running. Yet many of us don’t think of music as much more than entertainment. Did you know that you can use music as a tool? With the right music, you can increase effectiveness, create better stuff more easily, get into your creative zone quickly and kick-start a productive day. Add music to your workflow for better results.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

This isn’t a recent development inspired by the iPod generation. People have been using music as a tool for thousands of years — ever since humans started hitting sticks against rocks. Indigenous peoples used music in rituals and ceremonies, drummers prepared warriors for battles, and significant life events (like weddings and funerals) are still marked with special music.

add music to your workflow
(Image by renneville5)

So, how do you actually use music to increase creativity, productivity and effectiveness? Let’s consider a couple of ways of adding music to your workflow.

Get Into The Zone Link

Music has a strong influence on mood. Just try listening to some fast-paced energetic music while relaxing, or try getting pumped up with chill ambient soundscapes. It just doesn’t work. So, when you need to create something, play appropriate music to quickly get in the zone.

Different kinds of music complement different creative tasks:

  • Listen to airy and melodic music to design something that needs to feel light and warm.
  • Dark and industrial graphics? Put on some heavier music.
  • Futuristic and exciting visuals? Play some energizing, progressive electronic music.

It’s like role-playing. The background music is your theme song, and you’re acting out the role. Each task to accomplish, each project you work on, becomes the mission of your “character.”

Get Energized and Get Focused Link

The human body naturally moves to rhythm. Whenever you hear a beat, you react to it subconsciously. Notice how people tap their feet or snap their fingers to whatever music is playing around them? You don’t need a sports drink or motivational coach to get going: upbeat music will energize you.

Of course, what counts as “energetic music” differs from person to person. Fast-paced rhythms and uplifting melodies work for many, and laid-back beats and airy vibes do it for others. For some, it’s heavy and dark tunes. Whatever makes you feel like doing things, that’s your energetic music.

So, to start with a bang, get motivated for a task or simply go for an invigorating run, listen to music that energizes you. Listen to whatever gets you excited in a “grab life by the throat and get big things done” way.

When it’s too quiet, your mind can wander. You start paying attention to every little sound and get sidetracked thinking about random things. Playing music of a consistent style in the background helps you stay focused and reigns in your wandering mind.

get focused
(Image by williambrawley6)

Even if you’re not paying attention to the music, a steady rhythm induces a meditative state of mind: you focus on the task at hand because you’re subconsciously being carried along by the music. There are no inconsistent noises to distract you or hinder your progress. Think of it like white noise (like rustling trees or rolling waves). Consistent, even ambient sound helps you working consistently. Style- and vibe-specific DJ mixes, as well as “smart” playlists, can be great for this. An example of this are online radio stations Pandora7, Grooveshark and Last.FM8.

Background music doesn’t help everyone focus. For some, it can be a distraction; some work better in silence. And if that works well for you, there’s no need to stop. But if you find yourself getting distracted from time to time, give it a shot.

Next time you lose focus, put on some music and see how the next hour turns out. There’s a good chance you’ll be more focused and productive.

When To Turn Off The Music Link

As the saying goes, one can have too much of a good thing. As much as music helps you to work, is there a time to turn it off?

when to turn music off
(Image by odreiuqzide9)

1. Ear Fatigue Link

This is common sense: turn off the music if you start feeling ear fatigue. An aching head or throbbing ears will obviously distract you from work. Before you roll your eyes, consider that this is actually a common problem, especially for those who use headphones. After a few hours, non-stop music will tire your ears. Just as you should take frequent breaks to stretch, move and look around, so should you give your ears a break.

2. Distraction Link

Music should be turned off when it starts distracting you. This probably won’t happen for a while, especially if you’re busy creating. But again, too much of a good thing is bad.

When you start paying more attention to the music than to what you’re doing, turn it off for a while. The change of pace will help you refocus, after which you can always put it back on.

What About Shared Space? Link

Sure, playing music whenever you like is fine if you’re a freelancer who works from home or a location-independent person or someone who has their own office. But what if you work in a shared space? Is it a good idea to put music on in the background for everyone? Or is it better to keep the space quiet?

There do not seem to be any strict social conventions, so if a group is working on the same project and they don’t require complete silence, play some mood-appropriate music. It might get the creative juices flowing and get everyone into a steady rhythm. After all, the point is to produce coherent, creative results. Working to a soundtrack can help a group gel.

Returning to the analogy of role-playing, a shared musical experience while working can be like group role-playing. Think of your work as a “World of Warcraft” raid, with the right background theme to keep you all on task. A more probable analogy is office decor, which creates a distinct atmosphere of its own. Like furniture and decoration, music can augment a working atmosphere.

Neutral music (i.e. nothing too experimental) won’t distract. Of course, the group should decide together; if everyone can agree on a certain niche genre, then so be it.

What Else Does Music Do? Link

1. Increase Relaxation Link

Whether you play music while working, you can still use it to enrich your breaks. Music is especially helpful if you’re feeling stressed out and need a moment to relax. Relaxing instantaneously is nearly impossible, probably because shifting focus so quickly is hard. If you’ve been thinking about one thing, transitioning to something else can take a while.

Music, whether upbeat or tranquil, can facilitate the transition. It’s like auditory yoga, except you’re not forcing yourself to do anything uncomfortable; the music does the work for you.

2. Improve Presentations Link

Just as appropriate music lends itself to different creative atmospheres, it can also influence viewers of your presentations. Choose the right music and they’ll be interested, excited, even ready to buy.

A good presentation might use music at key moments. Even a tacky ’80s hit could work: it could trigger nostalgia, thus winning over your client. The right musical “moment” could lead to viewers purchasing or investing in your product, following your guidelines or just paying closer attention.

If you want prospective clients to take interest in your service, elicit their enthusiasm by playing music with an exciting build-up. To drive home a point or highlight a feature or benefit, sync a track so that the musical climax occurs at that point in the presentation.

convincing presentation
(Image by tobiastoft10)

Basically, decide what you want to achieve with your presentation. What is the viewers’ call to action? What do you want them to do afterward? Add music that suits the content of your presentation and that complements the emotional journey you want viewers to take. Music in a presentation elicits emotional investment, and you’ll probably get better results.

Music Creates Mood Link

Clearly, music isn’t just entertainment. The right kind of music is a tool that improves your day — and not just your mood: it can increase and sustain your creativity, productivity and effectiveness.

Remember these three reasons to add music to your workflow: to get into your creative zone faster, to stay energized and motivated and to get more important stuff done in less time.


Footnotes Link

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Oleg Mokhov is an electronic music artist and design enthusiast. He makes electronic music that's a cross between Four Tet and Boards of Canada.

  1. 1

    Having your ear hear music while working is really great, I’m doing this all the time. Before I had to concentrate in a matter of 5-6 hours for a certain web site design using Photoshop. By hearing music while working, I’ve manage to do a certain design in an hour or two — maximum. Great impact.

  2. 2

    Sunny Singh

    July 4, 2010 12:50 am

    Sometimes I like working in silence, but for the most part music really helps me concentrate better or simply stay relaxed. I even turn on the radio sometimes too, which might be a personal thing.

  3. 3

    For quality electronic ambient music, check out artists from Ultimae records, such as Carbon Based Lifeforms, Solar Fields, Aes Dana, Cell, …

  4. 5

    well, I do this.
    but the problem is when you go into it, and start singing !!
    here it comes; the work goes really slow & start losing concentration to details!
    I still play music, except when there is a deadlines, it freaks me out..
    > workes at midnight XD

    • 6

      Zlatan Halilovic

      July 4, 2010 4:06 am

      Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. I get distracted when there are a lot of lyrics in a song, especially in the one that I know and like. That’s why I listen to “raw” drum and bass when I design. No lyrics; only drum…and bass :D

      • 7

        Nathan Hangen - Digital Emperor

        July 5, 2010 8:02 pm

        Exactly why I like electronic music (no lyrics), and even though he doesn’t say so…this dude makes some of the best.

  5. 10

    Gaurav Mishra

    July 4, 2010 1:27 am

    I like slow vibes in music and rhythmical only.. and no shouts and freakishness as in Metal
    Music. It also opens the creative door inside when outside door seems to closed

  6. 11

    It depends whether the project is difficult or not: in the first case, music may hinder the progress. On the other hand, it may speed up the completion of an easier work.

  7. 12

    Wynter Jones

    July 4, 2010 1:33 am

    I must say this is extremely relevant to working in the environment that we do in this industry. A little surprised this wasn’t discussed already, but when the work is flowing you can guarantee the music is flowing as well.

    The only problem can be it is distracting, when looking for that “one” song on YouTube. That is why I must comment to recommend – obvious choice, but hit play and work for hours without even thinking about it.

  8. 13

    Srecko Bradic

    July 4, 2010 1:50 am

    Absolutely!!! I have no TV but my radio is turn on for all day! Music is life!

  9. 14

    Great article!

    I, personally, work a MUCH better while listening music of my iPod. I feel motivated and focused *some people can’t believe it*. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 15

    I really like the article, but, nomatter what music I’m listening to (I’m into virtually anything) I simply cannot concentrate when there’s a tune in my head. I find myself no longer thinking about what I’m coding or designing, and instead thinking about chord progressions. I’m a bit useless like that.

    Any suggestions?

    • 16

      Zlatan Halilovic

      July 4, 2010 4:09 am

      Here’s one. Don’t listen to music when you code and design. Helpful? xD

    • 18

      Don Giannatti

      July 6, 2010 9:31 am

      I know what you mean. If the music becomes too melodic and /or words start to inject themselves into the brain, I turn to music that is less melodic or even episodic in its form.

      Webern, Stravinski, Shoenberg, Mahler and some of the modern composers like Piston, Ives or Carter are often found on the speakers here. The lack of over and over again melodic centers provide a nice counterpoint to the design process.

      Jazz can work well too. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Steve Kuhn, Miles Davis (Bitches Brew and “In a Silent Way” are particularly good) can add a subtle trance like flow to the studio vibe.

      Just a few ideas for you.

  11. 19

    Slayeeeer ! m/ :)) Jokes aside, yes heavy stuff makes me work faster, but sometimes it can get a bit distracting so I tune in to some Miles, its good to keep your styles varied so then you can apply them for different tasks.

    • 20

      I tend to put some of Slayer’s more familiar stuff on like Reign in Blood when I’m coding. Still sounds awesome but is familar enough to help me concentrate. I’ve also found Opeth are good for graphic design!

  12. 21

    I have to disagree about music creating distraction though. When you’re really involving in whatever you’re doing; coding or designing, you wouldn’t even notice what you’re listening.

    Well, I’m a trance music addict.

    • 22

      Nathan Hangen - Digital Emperor

      July 5, 2010 8:02 pm

      You and me both.

      • 23

        Sander van der Beek

        July 8, 2010 12:06 pm

        That makes three of us! I listen a lot of trance while designing and coding, the melodies keeps my flow going. Only when I need to do the more difficult work like scripting and programming I prefer silence.

  13. 24

    Ali Blackwell

    July 4, 2010 4:32 am

    If the music is really familiar, I don’t find it distracting. But trying to listen to new music whilst designing or coding is always a no-no for me. Your brain cannot focus entirely on the task in hand with music playing. It’s good for getting into the zone, but once you’re there, the less distractions – including music – the better.

  14. 25

    For me is metal and heavy rock ;) love creating things with this music

  15. 26

    Yes Music is life. I always listen music while working. I prefer to listen Gazal’s while coding its makes my Code cool :)

  16. 27

    Razer Maharajan

    July 4, 2010 6:07 am

    Music help to improve work and get new idea as well as doesnot fill tired. So I always listen music while working .Without music there is no life

  17. 28

    Jazz in it’s best form… from ’50 of ’60
    inspiration comes standard, example.. look for django..

  18. 29

    Having music on the background helps me to relax and get into the groove on slicing graphics, and laying out and coding pages. My favorites to listen to are online stations Audio Popsicle, Groove Salad or Radio Paradise. Keeping them in an iTunes playlist makes it easy to switch between them. I have to admit that when I hit a tough piece of coding, the music gets turned way down or off.

    • 30

      Michael Lajlev

      July 4, 2010 10:53 am

      Im also really into radio paradise, love it and is big supporter.

  19. 31

    What a poor case of stating the obvious this article is. After reading it, my rough guess was that there are going to be some DJ mixes to be found at the authors website.

    Are you turning into a marketing place for writers without further studying the topic now, Smashingmag?

    • 32

      Julian Gaviria

      July 4, 2010 8:41 pm

      Your retarded <—-about as useful of a post as yours is.

  20. 33


    July 4, 2010 7:28 am

    Definitely an awesome article!

  21. 34

    Sunny Kumar

    July 4, 2010 7:37 am

    Great Article ! Love it…

  22. 35

    manu parashar

    July 4, 2010 8:36 am

    Nice article , music really helps me improve my concentration,,cheers

  23. 36

    A complete waste of a post, and another embarrassing article. The relevance of Smashing Magazine is dwindling to this? Web design articles recommending you listen to music? There is no relevance to this post, and I encourage the editors to stop wasting our time, or delegate this type of filler-article to a less important sister site.

    • 37

      Are you serious?

      July 4, 2010 4:56 pm

      “…and I encourage the editors to stop wasting our time…”

      Uhm, actually your comment is the biggest waste of time on this page. If you don’t like it…guess what…take a hike.


      Music does inspire me sometimes to be more creative while designing, however, sometimes it distracts me to the point that I have to turn it off. I do agree that it can put you in the right mood to create a good piece of artwork.

      • 38

        I disagree, mr. too-afraid-to-post-my-real-name.

        Smashing Magazine used to present the most relevant and up-to-date articles on web design, and the web design community. This article is nothing more than a fluff piece, and unless readers voice their disapproval, the fine folks running this site won’t know what their readers think. “taking a hike” is an apathetic, and selfish view to the growth of an online community, on this site or otherwise.

        • 39

          Nathan Hangen - Digital Emperor

          July 5, 2010 8:04 pm

          So I’m guessing you pay to read and/or participate here?

    • 40

      Quite an interesting post…

  24. 41

    Hate to burst your bubble, but music at workplace simply doesn’t work in normal environment (eg. where I’m not the boss).
    Been there, done that.
    But I would oh so love to terrorize my company with some Cannibal Corpse albums.

    • 42

      Haha. Canibal Corpse does have its place, as does Brain Drill.

      Although, I will say that light music works fairly well in a designer’s setting. But then again, you have to have an appreciation for the music. If you’re talking about main stream radio I agree with you 100%. But if its some quite music, or some Mozart, there’s nothing wrong (atleast imo).

    • 43

      I’m assuming you are talking about playing the music loud enough for your coworkers to hear? Why not just use headphones so that only you can hear it? Or if you are in a cubical play it very quietly so that outside your cubical it is a non-issue?

      Or if your workplace completely forbids music outright then that’s another story. I had a friend who worked in a place like that and she quit. :)

  25. 44

    If I want to listen to music while I work, I often listen to Japanese or Korean music because I don’t understand its meaning and I can’t sing, that keep me concentrate in my work. :D

  26. 45

    Ricardo Rocha

    July 4, 2010 10:25 am

    That happens a lot with me, every time I’m listening to music my work is more fluid, with rhythm. Normally I use phones so I don’t disturb my partners work.

  27. 46

    Usually just instrumentals are fine, because words can get to distract you when writing code or designing. Good post though, I enjoyed the ideas brought out.

  28. 47

    ivan ortega

    July 4, 2010 10:53 am

    I said a few years ago on usenet Italian.
    These graphs when they haven’t more creative ideas, explore land ever belonged.
    They had not thought of before?

  29. 48

    Love Grooveshark … use it all the time while coding. First the music helps me to get inspired and/or going and once I’m in the “Zone” the music slowly disappears. Most of the time I won’t even remember what exactly I was listening when I’m fully focused on my project.

  30. 49

    I believe music is the theme of life, so I tend to use theme music for my daily life. Start the car and the CD starts up with the TV theme to Mission Impossible and off I go! At my computer, The Carl Stalling Project (theme music and sound effects for Looney Tunes cartoons). It makes hitting the return key or clicking and dragging more dramatic.

    Of course, I tend to be a little strange to start with.

  31. 50

    Ronny was right. I scrolled back up after reading Ronny’s comment (and the others) and this “article” is exactly what it looks like: utter blog spam. The author operates a commercial service providing music for the workplace.

    • 51

      I’m afraid there’s a growing consensus in the Smashing Magazine community that more and more “link-juice” articles are popping up in regular rotation. As I stated above, this is an insult to readers who in the past have looked to this site as a relevant voice in the web design community. Dear editors, your readers are not stupid.

  32. 52

    Ronny and Jeremy are wrong! Why should this be spam-blog material? So you’re saying… Someone like a designer that shows his/her work, is a spam-blogger as well? Or every piece of code you’ve found here is spam also? Just because the author is giving his/her knowledge away. For free!!! Selling music as a commercial service is a good thing it thrives people to work more sufficient on a workplace, and helps your creative mind at the same time. Just because the author gives this knowledge away means he knows what he talks about. And even explains why it works. So again all complains are illegit. It’s like you saying to a homeless man teaching you how to fix the economical crisis. That’s absurd! You wan’t good stories, you will get them, and Smashing Magazine will get the right people for that story. And again the author doesn’t say you should use his service.

  33. 53

    I find psytrance and techno great to listen to while coding. The lack of lyrics frees up your mind to just focus on the work and the rhythms get you into the swing of things. There’s lots of free stuff out there too; just Google for netlabels.

  34. 54

    I found groups like Kick Bong, or Faithless to be helpful when designing/coding because it has a present, solid feeling, yet it sits in the background and is soothing.

    With any type of music, I highly recommend the Monster Beats By Dre Studio Headphones. Although some say it is a waste, they are great headphones (and I’m a 5.1 recording artist). So take it from me. It is worth your while. And if you have a UniBody MacBook, all the better the white Beats will look.

    Thanks for the great article.

  35. 55

    I can’t work if i don’t lissen to music

  36. 56

    What would be life without music!.. I am not a web designer, but for developers… brillant solutions come with a relaxed mind, and music helps a lot to achieve that.

    Good Article!

  37. 57

    Bryan G. C.

    July 4, 2010 5:50 pm

    I’m not an ambient music type of guy, but I do like electonic music. Even if it’s kinda hardcore for a background music, I hear bands/duos – Infected Mushroom, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Digitalism, Justice, and guys like Deadmau5 and Fatboy Slim. Different styles, I know, but it works for me.

  38. 58

    This is so true.. Sound waves to your brain waves, binaurals. Thanks for this article.

  39. 59

    Completely agree with all the write up given by you…….. I am a music freak and i enjoy listening to my fav songs through out the day while in journey/office/home………. :)

    Thanks for sharing the musical truths.

    ♫ ♫ ♫

  40. 60

    I can’t work if i don’t lissen to music

  41. 61

    Raja Sekhar

    July 4, 2010 9:01 pm

    Music is the other form of Meditation for me.. No Music No Design …

  42. 62

    just don’t add video to your workflow. it never works.

  43. 63

    Rob Davidson

    July 4, 2010 10:07 pm

    Whenever music is playing it demands my full attention – I cannot imagine what you’re proposing – it makes no sense.

  44. 64

    Sorry Smashing, I think you’re great, but I think this is a pretty pointless article. Of course music could inspire, or it can annoy, nothing new here. Hardly rocket science. Aren’t there more interesting and exciting things to write about?

  45. 65

    Definitely music is a mood changer especially when one needs to fight monday blues and get into the groove. Actually contrary to a few posts who found it a little offbeat (with all due respect) I think these small things which we do daily are usually forgotten. It’s nice to give some light to them. This is as good as using photoshop daily and writing that semantic xhtml or w3C friendly css; music too is there along the way while we do all this.

  46. 66

    I don’t agree that this is blog spam, it may be obvious to many of us, but then again it may not be obvious to everyone. Sure the author is in the music profession, why shouldn’t he be allowed to post on the topic, that is like saying a web designer shouldn’t post on web design because he will make money from it.

    I do some of my best work when listening to music, what would be interesting is the actual science of it. Why does certain music make us more creative than others. I’m sure that there must be a tangible scientific angle to this, that as creative people, we can tap into for a bigger benefit.

  47. 67

    Niyi Sodipe

    July 5, 2010 12:23 am

    Are there any other online radio sites that are available for users outside the US? I used to listen to Yahoo Launchcast while i worked but that is now blocked for non US residents.


  48. 68

    For those of you that have Spotify, I have made a playlist for work. It has almost no lyrics, and are perfect for getting you in the creative zone.

    And for those of that can’t have Spotify yet, I recommend movie (and game) soundtracks and composers like Thomas Newman. Really effective for designing :D

  49. 69

    i like listening to nujabes when i design.

    great article!

  50. 70

    I’d like to add to my first comment, that this article nowhere lives up to the profound standards of SM.

    It doesn’t add any info to the headline and also doesn’t elaborate that you can also get into the opposite direction by listening to music. Especially when talking about choice of music in presentations.

    Asides, listening to music in shared spaces is a strict no-go for various reasons. Taking this into credit, it’s nothing more than stating the obvious.

  51. 71

    Anders Nygaard

    July 5, 2010 2:25 am

    Interesting. I used to listen to music while making music in the old days of tracking. The background music could be something completely different to the project at hand. But – definitely a boost of creativity.

  52. 72

    great article indeed.. I just can’t do anything without listening to some music.. It surely helps to boost my productivity and to keep me alive! m/

  53. 73


    July 5, 2010 2:42 am

    I always hear music while designing anything……because it focuses the mind towards the work and avoid distraction from others…….its a great solution and hope that others too will do….

  54. 74

    Buddha Bar…

  55. 75

    No life without music.

  56. 76

    Although I sometimes use music to help me stay energised, if I’m doing something that requires serious concentration, I find music gets in the way. There’s actually some research that indicates music hinders rather than improves concentration e.g…

    I believe creative workers should be allowed to choose for themselves what to listen to, when to listen to it, and otherwise manage their own audio environment, so I don’t agree with the playing of music in shared work spaces.

  57. 77

    Cyrying out Loud

    July 5, 2010 5:02 am

    Listen music when you are working. OMG!!!!
    I never thought or did that. You guys rock!!!

    What a waste of space…
    Seriously guys what is happening at smashingmagazine
    what happened to your great articles. I learned so much from this site but over 3-4 months all i am getting is Military showcases, listening music, Applying Interior Design Principles To The Web?????????????????

    epic fail for smashing magazine

    • 78

      Thomas Slade

      July 6, 2010 2:36 pm

      I feel the same way. You guys have helped me so much in the past. Whats happening?

      Hope its just temporary!

  58. 79

    The article is well written but it looks like one of the typical symptoms of the blogging-world: Writing stuff about just ANY random or obvious stuff. Don’t know if it’s people who rely on blogs for trivial advice or if it’s writers who don’t know what to write about, but generally, not finding articles like that is one of the reasons i enjoy reading SM.

    Honestly – this is a 2 page article about why it’s nice to listen to music – does ANYBODY really need advice like that? No honestly, does anyone really think you’d need to get advice off the internet to find out that listening to nice music is good for your creative process? If so, the world of creative professionals would habe become dangerously dull…

    I’m sorry to use an example like that, but you could as well write an article about how it’s a good practice to use toilet paper and why it’s preferable to take soft one…

  59. 80

    I’m sorry to be another spoilsport.

    Let me tell you a story from my workplace.

    One day, one of my colleagues (I share my office with 6 colleagues) had the idea of playing a mainstream radio station at work. Music everyone except me could agree upon. I found myself unable to bear mainstream music as a background noise, even if it’s very soft. I found myself sighing with relief when my colleagues switched it off, and I am grateful that the colleague that came up with the idea doesn’t play music on his loudspeakers any more when I am around.

    Why? The simple explanation: I am a classical singer and a musicologist. Thus, my brain is conditioned to register music as possibly important information. Music I even slightly dislike or that just doesn’t fit my mood tends to be terribly distracting for me. Oh, and then there is the music I like where I find myself listening to the guitar part, admiring the musical craftsmanship or singing along or indulging in the emotional intensity… all of these are way too distracting at work.

    Sometimes, if I can pick music that suits exactly my mood, I like working while listening to music.
    If I’m working on something that requires genuine and intense concentration, I prefer silence.

    • 81

      Well, then that’s what’s best for you. The vast majority of us, however, are not like this. Just because you’re different doesn’t mean the article is wrong. It just doesn’t apply to you. :)

  60. 82

    above & beyond’s podcasts are great!

  61. 83

    Martin Lucas

    July 5, 2010 9:56 am

    Always listen to music while working – it definitely helps, but more often nowadays I’ve been having quiet time and silence and that’s a nice break, it’s just a different zone to get involved in.

  62. 84

    I am a Greek Designer. I love my work. And i love listening to music. Ofcourse for us, online radio is way easier to be listened. So i always have open, when Photoshop and DreamWeaver are opened also! :)

  63. 85

    Rolf Moczarski

    July 5, 2010 1:16 pm

    Music is definetly a important part of my creative progress, but it alway depends on the project and the sort of Customer-busineess

  64. 86

    Benjamin Pries

    July 5, 2010 8:29 pm

    Perhaps it’s cliché, but I often find that listening to classical music is a huge help; though this could be because I enjoy classical music under normal circumstances, and not just as a work assistant.

  65. 87

    Nicole Bauer

    July 6, 2010 1:28 am

    Now I finally have an excuse why I have to listen to music in the office! :)
    Even though it really depends on what I’m doing: if I’m working on a document music can be very distracting (especially when it’s your favorite song and you sing along in your head ^^), but for creative work music is a big inspiration for me.

  66. 88

    This article is just dictating the obvious

  67. 89

    Richard Graham

    July 6, 2010 4:45 am

    Really good article, thanks for the info…

  68. 90

    Kyle A. Matheny

    July 6, 2010 7:38 am

    Good article. Listening to Mezzanine (Massive Attack) right now- killer working music. I find most trip-hop music is very good to listen to while working.

  69. 91

    For me it only makes sense, if the music has no lyrics, no big breaks and has a constant tune. This makes electronic music like ambient perfekt to listen to. But I stopped listening to music completely some time ago – I just observed, that I was more productive and concentrated, when I have silence around me.
    But there are work breaks, where I e.g. do cooking, while listening to music loudly – nowadays mainly guitar music ;)

  70. 92

    very nice post. Thanks :)

  71. 93


    July 6, 2010 10:21 am

    Here is my music playlist if anyone interested in good music. its (my personal music site with hand picked alternative music) :)

  72. 94

    Thomas Slade

    July 6, 2010 2:34 pm

    Perhaps some Ronald Jenkees to uncover hidden, innovative ideas?

  73. 95

    Music definitely is one great inspiration. I actually cant do anything without music :)

  74. 96

    I listen to anything by Joe Satriani or Steve Vai to get me in a creative mood.

  75. 97


    July 7, 2010 4:48 am

    I think this article is relevant, but do agree that it mainly just brings some light to the subject. What I would recommend is an article on how music relates to the design process / how music can be used for audio branding / what parts of the musical creative process overlap with the design process etc!

  76. 98

    Could someone post an example of a presentation set to music?

  77. 99

    I’ve actually found that certain types of music keep me in the zone longer. Most of the time when I’m pulling late nights working on code. The best set of music I’ve found is a set of royalty free music called the Soundtraxx music library. Hours and hours of those methodic rythms and electronic beats. Great Post!

  78. 100

    Good way to look at it. As an “engine of life” music has the great ability to move us in ways no other form of communication can.

  79. 101

    Listen to heavy SALSA!

    Any type of music is inspirational.

  80. 102

    Thanks for giving this article to us….. ……

  81. 103

    I recommend Drake’s new Album …Thank Me Later

  82. 104

    Cripes, you haters need to chill.

    Harold Budd is all you need.

  83. 105

    “do it for the love of music” -FFD-

    nice article, thanks

  84. 106

    great information !!

  85. 107

    Jeff Spades

    July 20, 2010 1:02 am

    I’d like to add that music with lyrics can be more distracting then music without lyrics (of course, lyrics in a language you don’t understand = music without lyrics).

    If you need to concentrate on ergonomics, a presentation, work with numbers or anything not totally creative, plain music works marvelously.

    Thank you for this great article, Oleg !

  86. 108

    How about heavy metal?
    Post Hardcore dude.

  87. 109

    found out psybient is best for working – right into the zone!

  88. 110

    Recently i found out that trance helps me focus on almost everything i do, because there’s almost no lyrics to get my brain somewhere else and it’s fast-paced and intense.

  89. 111

    That’s a great post. Where is the source of the information?

  90. 112

    Interesting article definitely gave me some more insight into the subject. I love listening to music while working I do notice that it tends to help me keep focused, and get my work done (Which is why I listen to techno / metal most of the time. :) ). Of course, it doesn’t just always have to be music, I also found these tips great for when you are really getting into a project, but don’t won’t to wear yourself down.

  91. 113

    I always work with music and all genres (Rap at the moment). But the type of headphone (if you’re using one) is very important. Hated the Dr. Beats Pro, to heavy and sweaty ears :( I have now an Audio Technica ATH-M50 and they are great! Best sound ever, super light, comfortable and way better priced than the Beats. Love working with it and can hold out hours without getting annoyed of them. Don’t even feel it on my head.


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