Little Known Fact…
When I was in college studying psychology + biz I dove DEEP into researching how to use music to dramatically improve focus and productivity.
✅ Which music genres worked or didn’t
✅ Optimal BPM + Tempo for Deep Work
✅ What combination of songs put me in flow state + which distracted me
As a highly ADD entrepreneurial-type struggling through a rigid formal education that didn’t match my learning style or support any of my natural gifts, I was taking Adderall frequently and looking for ANY advantage I could get.
I made playlist after playlist, constantly tweaking…
Eventually, I was able to completely get off using Adderall (and drop all self-identification that I was “ADD/Broken” at all) largely using music.
I still use music to put me into flow state (especially when I need to do Deep Work).
I’ve found that there are a lot of sites out there promising to do the same, but very few actually work. So I wanted to share a few key points I picked up (and a pre-made playlist) so you can create your own awesome Flow-Inducing Playlists.
#1 — CHOOSE INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC (NO Vocals):
When you hear music with words a part of your brain activates, trying to hear/understand those words. This distracts you and robs you of your ability to focus
#2 — VARY THE TEMPO OF SONGS
If a playlist is all high-tempo it’ll increase your heart rate and put your body into a flight/fear state, restricting blood flow, making your breathing shallow, etc. All slow songs will mellow you out, and make your tired. Ideally, you’re looking for a mix that GENTLY raises and lowers tempo allowing your body to cycle (much like it does in sleep)
#3 — HAVE AT LEAST 15 SONGS IN THE PLAYLIST
If you have too few songs the repetition will kick your brain into pattern recognition mode, robbing your focus and (possibly) making you feel subtly annoyed. There’s a certain threshold where the repetition no longer activates pattern recognition. 15 songs @ ~3.5min gives you close to an hour of music–– more than enough to beat the threshold.
#4 — SET IT UP TO REPEAT AUTOMATICALLY
The goal is to get into a flow / rhythm with your work with the music blending into the background. Having to stop to manually change songs will interrupt your flow and defeat the process. So, whatever platform you’re using, set it to repeat automatically
Keep those 4 things in mind and you should be able to easily make your own flow-inducing playlists.
P.S. If you want the awesome pre-made playlist I’m using, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to you 🙂