Monday, April 19, 2010

Using Music to Cue Tasks

I listen to music almost all day while I work. I'm finding that I soundtrack different sections of my day with different genres, and the more I do this, the more it cues certain mental changes. I find baroque music really good for detail oriented but not necessarily super-creative tasks, for example. It just maintains a calm focus, and the "rightness" of baroque music is condusive to an orderly state of mind.

For more creative work, or to rev myself up for a writing project that I've been delaying on, I look to something more modern: Gorillaz et al. It's complex, energetic, a little challenging but not overwhelming.

Brazilian music is also good for energetic focus - I don't speak Portuguese so I'm not distracted by words, and the rhythm gets me going.

For a while I was putting all my proclivities into a single Pandora station, with hysterical results. First, my mood would change abruptly as it moved from genre to genre, and it also started mysteriously equating some of that smoove R&B (Anthony Hamilton and the like) with "F*ck Her Gently" by Tenacious D, or "I'm gonna Love you Tonight" by Tripod. Not quite the same thing, and I got distracted by trying to figure out what the heck Pandora was thinking as it put these together into a sexytimes set.

So now, separate stations by mood, and all is well and productive in my ears.

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