We’ve all got our songs that get us in the right headspace, whether for a presentation, a deadline, or making it through a Monday morning. And while music can sometimes be a distraction while you’re trying to focus (the brain just can’t multitask that well, allegedly), listening to music before work has actually been found to enhance your productivity by improving your mood.
So, we asked some of our favorite founders what they’re listening to, and they delivered short, sweet playlists for Monday motivation, getting through a deadline, creative brainstorming, focusing and getting pumped up.
Best Music For: Monday Motivation
“It’s hard to mobilize on Monday morning. Grab the earbuds, pour the coffee, and tune in for my top feel-good songs, old and new, to lift the spirits when there are five days till the weekend. We’re out of the gate with danceable beats by Hot Chip and ending with reassuring grooves by the great Sam Cooke. You can do this!”
Best Music For: When You’re on a Deadline
“My theme for hitting a deadline is definitely faster songs that are mostly instrumental, not distracting and upbeat. [I added] Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie for obvious reasons, and Get Busy by Sean Paul sort of as a joke, but also a potential dance break.”
Best Music For: When You Need a Creative Brainstorm
“This playlist begins with a barely-over-a-one-minute interlude—an essential mental palate cleanser that quickly brings my mind to the creative task at hand. It’s followed up with my go-to, 2-hour house mix (yes it’s 2 hours long). The sheer length gives way to a new listening experience each time I start the track. The persistent beats over ambient instrumental help keep me focused. As I’m rounding out my creative session, Can I’s slow start transitions well from ambient tracks into dance music.
Next is Cranes in the Sky, which is great for “bringing me back to earth” as I settle in to begin a review of the work created. How well did I do? Solange knows…I mean Knowles. So I’ll read the work aloud over Cranes to get a sense of flow and composition. The postlude, well there’s only way to exit the creative process—with your pink rings up to the moon.”
Best Music For: Focusing
“My focus playlist has a mix of calm, gentle pieces to help me get into a state of flow while doing deep work, and more upbeat pieces to keep me energized later in the day. I usually prefer music without lyrics while focusing, ranging anywhere from movie soundtracks to classical music to funk jazz.”
Best Music For: Getting Pumped Up
“The songs I chose really just have a great message and a bit that makes me start feelin myself. Plus in POWER by Kanye West, he’s speaking some TRUTH, unapologetically. I admire that.”**
**The first song on this playlist should be Freedom by Beyonce, which can be heard here.