Cure the afternoon funk - playlists for productivity

Does music hurt or help your productivity? Conflicting viewpoints abound with regards to this topic. For me, it’s definitely beneficial, but the research out there varies.

Much has been discussed about the Mozart effect , which indicates short term improvements in spatial-temporal reasoning as a result of listening to Mozart’s music. As soon as the concept gained popularity, researchers set about debunking. So, who to believe?

I say pick the approach that works for you and your personal productivity.


I’ve been working in open floor plan environments for much of my career (plenty to be said on that little topic as well) and music helps me hunker down and focus when I need to. When there’s some real thinking/writing/designing to be done, the headphones come on.


The trick is making sure you have the right kind of music. Ambient, instrumental, and less lyrically driven are usually a good approach for blocking out cacophony while keeping you focused on the task at hand. There are many genres that can fit that bill - jazz, classical, electronic. Check out my playlist below for some productivity enhancing sounds. My taste leans toward the slower/jazzier end of the electronic spectrum - hope you enjoy!


Song: Artist
Carbonated: Mount Kimbie
Flotation Tank: Hot Toddy
Love throughout the World: Banzai Republic
Tessio: Luomo
Thinking of Omara: Nightmares on Wax
Day at the Beach: J Boogie
Smoke and Mirrors: RJD2
Ciudad del Swing: Quantic
First Step: DJ Day
Dub specialist: Synkro
Boss on the Boat: Tosca
Better Way Instrumental: 9th Wonder and Murs
Music in My Mind: Jazz Liberatorz
I Want It: Jimpster
I Cry: Llorca
Higher: Smoove and Turrell
Turtle: The Deadbeats
- Lauren Pufpaf