Music And Productivity With Marmalead

Music. The universal language. As creatives and artists, music often plays a pivotal role in our business and lives. This language that often doesn’t even use words, fills up empty spaces and moments throughout our days. For some, it might inspire new creations. For others, it may ease anxiety and bring calm where there was none.

You probably know intuitively that music is a fantastic way to calm down or to get yourself pumped up, whether for a workout or brainstorming session. And a quick Google search would show that science backs up the fact that music does indeed affect us in many, many ways.

A bit of honesty

For myself, I can tell you that writing and designing a lot can lead me into writer’s block. You might even find me in a creative cul-de-sac going around and around and around. Getting started on this article, in fact, found me in such a state. I tend to get so caught up in what to do next that I forget to slow down and just be in the moment.

I struggle to know what colors to use, where to place this image or that image, what font to choose, and what words to type next. This all leads me down that rabbit hole of anxiety where sometimes you can find me in freak out mode wondering what I’m doing and if I’m cut out for the job.

Queue all the feelings

I’d be willing to bet if I sometimes feel these things, you do as well. It’s the battle we fight, wondering why we’re doing what we’re doing and sometimes feeling like frauds. We judge ourselves by the numbers on a screen whether those be followers, likes, sales, or clients. If we don’t measure up to the highlight reel of someone else on some other platform, queue the anxiety. 

Let the music play

Fortunately, I’ve found that music helps tremendously when I need to focus, create, write, or basically do anything 😉 There are many types of genres that promote productivity and focus in general. The reverse can also be true for music with complex structures or for music that is full of lyrics. Just like a cluttered workspace can affect your process, the same is true of busy background music which can often end up distracting you instead of promoting productivity. 

Personal preference

Of course, every person is different and music that I might find distracting could actually help someone else if that’s what they listen to consistently. Whatever it is that floats your boat, go with that! Maybe you’re into listening to Bob Dylan while designing a boho fashion line or using meditative music to inspire you to paint sweeping landscapes. No matter what your preference, music can assist in your creative process whether you’re creating listings for your shop or dreaming up new product lines.

Our team’s jams

Below you’ll find what each person on our team grooves to while working and playing. We are all VERY different, so I learned a ton about the people on my team, just by asking the simple question, “Hey, what kind of music do you listen to when you’re doing life?” We hope you enjoy reading what we jam out to and why it helps us! Maybe you’ll find a few new songs for your own playlist as well 😉

Kevs’ Groove:

Click here to listen to Coffee Table Jazz on Spotify

This is the playlist I play all the time when I feel like listening to music while working. Jazz helps me focus and relax whenever I’m on my computer. Songs with lyrics, on the other hand, distract me when I’m writing emails.

Lisa’s Groove:

Piano Jazz for chilling and cocktail hour. I also really like Sleeping at Last, Tow’rs, and the like for super chill vibes. I’ve got an upbeat poppy workout playlist, but many of my friends listen to metal when working out. I tried it once and couldn’t figure out why I was so angry at all the weight machines 😉

I’m with Kevz though, nothing with lyrics for writing. Doesn’t work! For writing I go with soundtracks by Hanz Zimmer and some stuff by Ennio Morricone. Otherwise, it’s going to be a soothing classical playlist. There’s a playlist called Stay Wild on Spotify and it’s all the good stuff! If I’m writing creatively, I can listen to it. If I’m writing for work, it’s no bueno. Too many lyrics that make me foot tap and daydream.

Favorite classical pieces, Ennio Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe (the version by Yo-yo Ma because as a cello player I grew up listening to him and when he does things a little outside of his genre, it’s mind blowing…i.e. this Tiny Desk Concernt) and Itzhak Perlman’s version of Preludium and Allegro. I also enjoy various folk-rock and singer-songwriter stuff. I adore Chicago and Boston. I wish we still made music that epic and big. My first album was Louis Armstrong, so he’s up there too!

One of my favorite ballads of all time is Steve Steven’s Top Gun anthem because F-14s taking off from a carrier deck is absolute badassery. Add that music and it’s life altering! If that somehow ends up in my workout playlist you’ll find me on a treadmill somewhere running as fast as I can and making loud jet noises. It’s embarrassing. Okay, I think I’m done now. Ohhh, also soundtracks from Phantom of the Opera and The Greatest Showman. Those are great!

Click here to listen to The Greatest Showman on Spotify

Click here to listen to the Stay Wild playlist on Spotify

Click here to listen to Yo-Yo Ma play Gabriel’s Oboe on Spotify

Gordon’s Groove:

When I’m working I like upbeat funky stuff with a groove. Lately, I’ve been listening to Pretty Lights radio on Spotify. Fav artists in this genre would be Lettuce and Jamiroquai. When I’m driving I like to listen to podcasts. When I’m working out I like upbeat stuff no matter what genre.

For random listening, I’m a fan of all sorts of different stuff. Jazz, classical, some operas, hip hop, some rap, some heavier music, movie soundtracks (I’ll second Lisa’s Hans Zimmer), funk, soul, anything from the movie Blues Brothers, techno, dubstep, EDM…..lol, the list goes on.

Top three get in the groove and get sh*t done: Tuff Love by Galactic, Sam Huffs Flying Ragin’ Machine by Lettuce, Hot Like Sauce by Pretty Lights. Honorable mention: Ghostwriter by RJD2

Click here to listen to Pretty Lights radio on Spotify

Jade’s Groove:

Having played the violin since I was three, music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. Music is deeply meaningful for me, in pretty much every area of my life. You can usually find me with notes dancing about, whether in my earphones or through speakers.

If I’m writing, I’ll use a playlist that’s melodic and peaceful, like the one below. I also love epic playlists, whether that’s a movie sound track or one like what I’ve also posted below. It’s rare that I’ll write to music with lyrics as I tend to zone into the words too much and find it distracting. And in general, I love beautiful instrumental music that’s either epic or haunting 🙂

Click here to listen to this peaceful playlist.

Click here to listen to this epic playlist.

If I’m designing, that’s when I really get into music with lyrics! I LOVE designing to lyrically awesome music! But, I’ve always been a sucker for sad music. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the artist in me 😉 The albums below are ones that I’ve listened to over and over and over again while designing. But honestly, it’s hard for me to communicate how much I love music! I listen to all types and genres 🙂

Click here to listen to Tenboom by Penny & Sparrow on Spotify

Click here to listen to Atlas II by Sleeping At Last

Richie’s Groove:

Below you’ll find a sampling of what I spin through 🙂

When I’m flying I listen to the sounds of the engine and Air Traffic Control. Working or driving is a mix of the list below, depending on the task (writing then usually no lyrics). If I’m hanging out with family it’s either something Disney or something Country…the country genre is usually kid-friendly. If I’m boating/doing watersports the tunes tend to be more on the high energy side but sometimes we pump some reggae jams!

Click here to listen to 90s Acoustic on Spotify

Click here to listen to Peaceful Piano on Spotify

Click here to listen to Deep Focus on Spotify

What’s your jam??

What kind of music do you love? What inspires you and helps you to be productive while you’re working? Share with us below and let us know what music fills up your world. Maybe our team will find some new favorites from what you share 😉

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