If you’re anything like me, good music is essential to your success in the workplace. There is an obvious practical benefit of helping to block the surrounding influx of noise generated from an open floor plan. However, more importantly, I find the mood elevating sensation of a solid playlist to be extremely productive to my work. I have different musical needs for different scenarios, but over the years I’ve found that certain special music genres work well for me. Here are some of my recent favorite work day jams.
Disney Queue Music
Isn’t it amazing what you can find on YouTube these days? As someone who is a Disney-enthusiast, I’ve found a real appreciation for what is referred to as Disney Queue Music. So, what is Disney Queue Music? Well picture this. You’re walking down Main Street in Magic Kingdom, Orlando. You can smell the freshly-dipped chocolate Mickey cream sickles as you stroll past the shops toward Cinderella’s castle. As you’re walking, all around you the charming Main Street Area Music playlist is blaring through the streets. That warm feeling of merriment envelopes you as you smile and skip toward your first ride of the day. Although I’m sitting at my work desk right now, and sadly not in Disney World, I get this same uplifting sensation when I listen to the Main Street Area Music playlist on YouTube.
Amazingly, there are so many other Disney queue loops that I find bring a similar feeling. Soarin’ Around the World, one of my favorite rides, has an excellent loop for starting your morning productive and energized. Tomorrow Land and Space Mountain music loops are perfect for my fellow Engineers out there looking for inspiration while writing code. And then you can propel yourself into the afternoon invigorated with Epcot’s Nighttime entrance music. Whatever Disney ride, park, or hotel is your favorite, you can find an area music or queue loop that will encourage a happy tone for your work. So try one of these out and have yourself a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah day!
Video Game Music
Although most people generally equate video game music with action and adventure, trust me when I say there are so many beautifully serene tracks written for video game storytelling. If you’ve never listened to a Nobuo Uematsu composition in a Final Fantasy game, then you’ve been missing out on something special. There is a channel on YouTube, by a user named Fruddle, packed with countless hours of the perfect mood music for work. He has several 3-hour long playlists called “Relaxing Video Game Music” where he mashes up various game’s composition flawlessly. As a gamer, I enjoy the blast of nostalgia when a song that I recognize comes on and I’m instantly moved to that moment in the story.
Café Background Music
What screams “I’m going to be productive right now” more than grabbing your laptop, driving to the nearest café, and settling in with a large extra-shot espresso drink? Although a bit cliché, this is generally my most reliable tactic in battling procrastination. However, for many of us working the 9-5 job lifestyle, this is simply not an option during the week. Instead, I recommend bringing the relaxed, productive environment of the coffee shop right to your desk. Pour yourself a cup of your office’s community coffee pot and bask in its ambition aroma as you head over to YouTube’s “Café Music BGM” channel. Here you can find hours of playlists designed to put you right in the café of your choice. My personal favorite, Rainy Day Jazz, sets the ideal mood for powering through the afternoon drowziness.
Up until now, I’ve recommended an array of playlists on YouTube. Partly because YouTube houses such incredible content that you cannot find on typical streaming platforms. Another reason is that my office randomly has Spotify blocked. The one streaming service that I subscribe to. Go figure. However, when I do have the luxury of working from home, I have certain playlists that I use to get the juices flowing. The Spotify Focus category contains an abundance of playlist themes designed to encourage successful work for any atmosphere. The Brain Food playlist is a personal favorite of mine for deep focus sessions. Whereas the Productive Morning playlist is excellent when that first cup of coffee just isn’t doing the trick.
Very rarely am I able to concentrate on work when the music I listen to has lyrics. Words add an extra layer of distraction that I find counterproductive. That being said, on occasions where I can have a little fun, my go-to is always Broadway Music. There’s something so inspiring about a well sung ballad or a perfectly executed round. Listening to Idina Menzel rip on Defying Gravity is like sipping a metaphorical Red Bull of ambition. Sometimes I enjoy letting the six merry murderesses of the Cell Block Tango convince me to commit a crime (of hard work). However my day is doing, I know I can count on my favorite showtunes to turn my mood upwards.
So, as I sit at my desk listening to the Toy Story Maria area music, I’m curious what music works for you. Give some of these unique music ideas a shot and let me know what your favorite is!