Using Sounds to Trigger Focussed Concentration

For me, the hardest thing about being productive are the first 15-minutes of starting. If I successfully worked for around 15-minutes at a given task, I will usually stay focused until the task is done. What helps me to get started during the first 15-minutes is music or sounds. In this short article, I will explain how I use music and sounds to trigger a focussed state of mind which is a requirement for deep work.

Clock Ticking Pomodoro Timer

The moment I started using Pomotodo* – a simple Pomodoro app – I started seeing significant improvements to my productivity. But it was not only about the 25-minute periods of focus combined with a 5-minute break. I realized that a simple clock ticking enormously helped getting back to focussed work. During all 25-minute work periods, the Pomodoro timer played a time ticking as a background noise. As time passed and I worked several hours and days very productively with the Pomodoro timer, my brain associated the clock ticking with focussed work. As soon I now hear the clock ticking noise, I become super productive and focussed at the task at hand.

*Pomotodo is great but for some reason they were kicked out of the Google Play Store for that reason I don’t recommend them anymore.

Focus Music

Focus music is another very good way to get into flow. In addition to the clock ticking noise, I tried and used hundreds of “focus music” tracks on YouTube while studying or working. For me, focus music – as I call it – works. If I work without it I am way less productive. That’s why I always work or study with focus music.

Here is a selection of what you might listen to while working productively:

In addition to the free stuff on YouTube, you might obviously use your existing music streaming subscription to listen to some classical music. You can also search for Alpha Waves, Lofi, or Trance on Spotify (or your equivalent). But if you use music streaming services, pay attention to not act as your own DJ while studying. Don’t browse new music, skip tracks or whatever. That’s why I personally prefer YouTube mixes or one of the following ways:

I invested 6,99€ on Google Play Music and bought this collection of classical music. It only costs you 6,99€ once and you can listen to a great selection of classical music forever and wherever – offline or online without a monthly subscription!

Lately, I have been experimenting with, it is a service that costed me around 30€ for one year. I tried a few free sessions and saw an increase in productivity. What I like most about is that you simply press play and you’re in the “zone” within minutes. No need for selecting the best track, playlist, or whatever. Try it out, it’s free for the first 5 sessions!

In summary I can say that for me, music became an important part of being productive. It is even more crucial in open office spaces where productivity is literally impossible without headphones. Apropos, while speaking about headphones, you DON’T NEED $300 noise cancelling headphones from Bose or Sony. Use these 8€ Panasonic in-ear headphones (US/DE) they are great!

I hope my tips help you have a more productive life.
Let me know in the comments how you use music to be productive and which playlist you are listening to!

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