If you listen to music while working, consider shortening your playlist to just one or a few songs. It might boost your concentration and focus.
Software engineer Joseph Mosby learned this trick from WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, who listens to one single song on repeat to get into the flow. Mosby found that a three-song playlist got him into the zone much faster than normal and explains:
Arkansas psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis wrote [a] book called On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind that tangentially delves into this question.
Musical repetition gets us mentally imagining or singing through the bit we expect to come next… A sense of shared subjectivity with the music can arise. In descriptions of their most intense experiences of music, people often talk about a sense that the boundary between the music and themselves has dissolved.
OK, that helps us out. The more we listen to music on repeat, we tend to dissolve into it. That’s extremely useful for creative work, when tuning out the monkey mind is of utmost importance.
The psychology of a small playlist on repeat [Josephy Mosby]