Working Playlists


With the lack of face-to-face interaction this academic year, there’s been a lot of extra focus on maintaining our motivation whilst working from home. It’s no surprise that managing our own schedules for the majority of the year means that motivation levels are far more likely to waver, so finding the perfect playlist to get you through your study sessions is more important than ever.

We all have different working conditions that suit us. I’ve never been able to work in complete silence and so I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit finding exactly what sort of background music works well for me. After falling victim to procrastinating by finding the perfect playlist before powering through reading or assignment writing, I figured I’d give you a bit of a breakdown of music ideas so that you can dive straight into a study session with a great playlist at your fingertips.

Spotify has been great at helping me find some good concentration playlists through their ‘Focus’ and ‘Student’ categories in their browse tab. Within these, you’ll find an array of playlists for different studying moods – from classical, jazz and pop ballads to even just some white noise to fill the silence.

Your study playlists can be as simple or as extensive as you’d like. I usually stick to two main playlists whilst studying. The first tends to be just my regular go-to chill playlist for when I’m going through admin, writing and sorting through emails, writing articles such as this one and doing other uni-related tasks that entail something other than direct work towards my degree. The main reason I do this is that by listening to a separate playlist to my “intense” study music, I am able to associate the latter playlist solely with reading, writing or revising directly for my degree. This allows me to enter a more serious study mindset when I do switch to my specific study playlist. Also, the admin-related tasks I have don’t generally tend to require as much serious concentration as revising does, so I am able to complete these tasks whilst having music with lyrics on in the background.

My second playlist is the one created specifically for studying. In making this, I avoided music that had lyrics as I found myself getting way too distracted singing along rather than focusing on the task in front of me. My personal study playlist largely consists of Lo-fi beats which I find helps maintain a good tempo to study to whilst being engaging but not distracting. Spotify’s own ‘Lo-Fi Beats’ playlist is a good starting point if you’d rather not create your own, as is Strange Fruits’ ‘Lofi Fruits Music’, also on Spotify.

Occasionally, if I find that I’m getting bored of my study playlist, I’ll switch to my classical music playlist or just take a short break away from listening to anything at all, but for the most part, my Lo-fi beats playlist seems to do the trick in getting me through study sessions. So find yourself a good study playlist that works for you and you’ll be one step closer to getting through this tedious period of working from home. You’ve got this!

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