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Ultimate Work-From-Home Playlist To Stay Focused

Ultimate Work-From-Home Playlist To Stay Focused

As a seasoned ‘work-from-homer’, when COVID-19 hit I was far more prepared than most. Knowing how to motivate yourself without the atmosphere of a busy office and coworkers, takes a bit of practice and preparation.

To get motivated for work, I set up my home office like a café, with a big pot of tea, good lighting, a plant, oil burner and my favourite chill-out tracks. Not everyone is a fan of chill-out, downtempo, or ambient tunes, but they tick all the boxes for music that keeps you focussed and isn’t distracting.

If you like to listen to music while you work, it pays to be selective about the music you listen to. A variety of studies show that listening to music with lyrics whilst working can be a distraction. Your brain struggles to listen to the lyrics and focus on the work at the same time, especially if you’re reading or writing. It's akin to multi-tasking, which can affect the quality of your work and your IQ. Instead, opt for music that contains minimal or no lyrics. Personally, I’ve also noticed that foreign language songs are less distracting because I'm less engaged with the lyrics.

If you are doing more repetitive tasks that require less brainpower, listening to music with lyrics is fine and will be less of a burden on your brain. Whilst the science is overwhelmingly in favour of music with no lyrics for producing high levels of productivity and wellbeing whilst working, every person is affected by music differently.

I used to work with a computer programmer who suffered from ADHD, and he did his best work whilst listening to high energy beats and heavy metal. As someone who suffers from hypersensitivity to noise, the type of music I choose changes daily, depending on my energy levels and mood. Some days, I just can’t stand music and silence is the best way for me to stay productive.   

As a self-professed chill-out/downtempo/trip-hop music tragic, here are my favourite work playlists to break the silence, stay focussed and make the most out of working from home. 

  1. St Germain
  2. Thievery Corporation
    The Mirror Conspiracy
  3. Caribou
  4. Putamayo Presents
    Bossa Nova Around the World
  5. Air
    Moon Safari
  6. Café Del Mar
    Essentials Playlist 3
  7. Boozoo Bajou 
  8. Royskopp
    Melody A.M.
  9. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
    (Music from the Netflix Film)
    This one is for dancing in your lunch break! This will absolutely be a distraction, so use it to get some quick exercise when you’re not on the clock. It's very silly, so to give it context, it's best to see the film first.

And remember if you start feeling sleepy, you’ve taken the chill-out vibe too far! What are your favourite work from home playlists? Feel free to share in the comments. 

Words by Jo Kiley