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Thought I'd share from what I've uncovered to properly categorise music. You can try categorising it for yourself, and see if it yields better results than the previous set of music you use for a certain task.
There are 3 kinds of music that can be used to focus the human mind:
- Full lyric music
- Minimal lyric music
- No lyric music
I'll list down what they're used for, since focus is needed for different tasks and not just web development!
Full lyric music
Example tasks for full lyric music
- Organising files and folders
- Certain mundane tasks which require focus, but not enough to listen to an audiobook, e.g. a certain task that has to be done x number of times on the computer (unless you can build a macro script for it!)
- Completing chores e.g. cleaning a room / home
- Winding down for the evening but still completing focused tasks
I would get nostalgic music on, or listen to the radio as they would normally have a lot of full lyric music on, or Monstercat's Dubstep playlist if you're into headbanging material.
Minimal lyric music
Example tasks for minimal lyric music
- Applying something you newly learned, like that new CSS technique you just read up
- Solving a problem
- Creatively thinking
- Reading to spark the mind
Generally used for coding, but of course this will differ from the individual. It has been advised for creative processes like coding or drawing and the like. The reason is that you don't want to be sat in full silence where you might start drifting away into daydreams (unless you can properly execute thought experiments like Einstein), but don't want to be too set far off from the thought provoking music that comes with full lyrics.
No lyric music
Example tasks for no lyric music
- Studying something new
- Solving a problem
- Critical thinking
- Reading for informative study
- Morning focus for when you wake up to spark the mind
No lyric music would typically be used for studying like what would normally be done at school. Weirdly enough the library doesn't house any music, probably so that the background noise would act as the no lyric music, as complete silence is absolutely deafening, therefore background noise or white noise is considered no lyric music.
No lyric music is not complete silence, but includes: classical music which has long known been used to increase focus, instrumental Jazz music, or it can be anything instrumental say an acoustic guitar cover of pop music.
The kinds of music have greatly affected the way I work around my tasks and it all matters on energy management (and not time management) which is the key to working smart with your tasks. It's pretty subjective as energy levels really differ by the person depending on where they live, how they eat, what they do, and what they like. But find out what kinds of music work for you, using this article as a basis from where you can explore from.
I would recommend beginning with finding how you do with the minimal lyric music tasks e.g. through speed coding a website (from which you may like to use the Monstercat Electro playlist, and see how you do from there. If you do like full lyric music whilst developing a website, then this does mean that a good number of tasks might well be suited for you through full lyric music.
Thank you for reading! If you liked this article you might also like to check 5 tips on Energy management in your workplace! It includes the basic needs of man — especially ones that are mostly taken for granted.