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My Personal Playlist For Deep Work

My Personal Playlist For Deep Work

We all have things we want to get done.  Not tasks.  Not to-dos.  Major things.  

Things that require considerable focus and attention.  Things that really make a difference in a major way.  For me, some of these things are recurring.  Service Planning.  Writing.  Conference Preparation.  Teaching Prep.   

Others come one by one.  Planning a worship album project timeline.  Researching stage design ideas.  Formatting a volunteer handbook.  

If I can get in the zone for 2-3 hours at a time I can do some real damage.  

There are many different things that can help put yourself in this position.  Of course Cal Newport’s book “Deep Work” gives the full run down.  You can find a helpful summary of his book here.  

For today, I’m going to share one of my favorite tips for diving into deep work.  A Playlist.  

What makes a great deep work playlist?

1) The Songs Are Familiar

This is key.  You can’t find yourself getting distracted by actually listening to the music.  I can’t listen to new music without being distracted by it.  For me, only songs I’ve heard a number of times make it on this playlist.  Which leads me to my next point.      

2) The Songs Are Simple

There are still a lot of familiar songs that are too intricate for a deep work playlist.  Too dynamic.  Too many moving parts.  Songs that are steady are best.  This usually means instrumental music. 

3) There’s A Good Pace

Include some upbeat songs that are energizing.  Alternately, include some mellow songs that are more relaxing.  Either way, something with a beat is great.  Having this ebb and flow will keep the playlist from getting monotonous.   

4) Include Some Key Tracks

I have a least one track on this playlist that doesn’t fit any of these criteria.  It’s simply white noise.  When I have the playlist rolling I normally skip this one.  When I need to buckle down for 10-30 minutes of deep, DEEP work I’ll put on some headphones and loop this track.  It’s there when I need it.  

5) Keep It Fresh 

A big reason this playlist will be helpful is because it’s very familiar.  At the same time you’ll know when it’s getting stale.  From time to time drop some tracks and add some new ones.  Also, keep it on shuffle so the songs aren’t always in the same order.  

Feel free to subscribe to my personal deep work playlist on Spotify.  Listen along or use it for inspiration to build your own personalized playlist.  

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