Spotify playlists to help with focus and concentration

Every person on this planet has the same amount of time on a given day, it is 24 hours. There are multiple ways to accomplish some results within that time: we can work longer or we can use time more efficiently.

One of the techniques to use time more efficiently is deep work. According to the book with the same name, deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.

As a software engineer, I need to focus on cognitively demanding tasks, and I try to do the job in a state of deep work. I found that I can much easily to enter the “flow” when I listen to easy, relaxing music. It establishes background noise that guards from the outside fuss and helps me to concentrate on the task, to mentally focus and get together.

Spotify already prepared playlists with such music. Here are couple of playlists that I listen:

I also highly recommend to buy good noise cancelling headphones. I personally use Bose Quite Comfort 35 and they are great, I was blown away by the noise cancellation

Do you try to enter the state of the deep work? What techniques do you use?

How to read books and listen to audiobooks for free

Do you like to read books? Or maybe you’d like to make your commute more productive (like listen to audiobooks)? Then you should check out the app called Libby.

Some features that I like:

  • Libby is a free app available for Android and iOS devices. I was using it when I had Android phone and now use it on iPhone
  • It lets you to check out the ebooks and audiobooks from your local library instantly and for free. All you need to have is the library membership.
  • It can pre-download books over Wifi so it does not drain data plan during listening.

I have been using Libby for more than year now, and it complements my Kindle reader. I was looking for a ways to make my commute more productive. I tried to do some work from my laptop or read books, but soon I realized that I would need a pair of spare eyes due to the shaking. And then on my library’s website I found Libby. Since then I just put my headphones on and listen to the audiobooks.

Here is the short promo video:

How to install Libby

You can find instructions and links to the app stores on Libby’s official website:

How to find titles to read?

Since this app borrows books from the library, some of the most popular books may not be available. My algorithm of picking the book to listen to is the following:

  • If the book or books that I want to listen right now are not available, I place the hold on it so it will be automatically borrowed for me once it becomes available
  • I prefer reading non-fiction business books. So to find the next title I browse all business books, filter to pick audiobooks only that are available right now, and sort by popularity. Usually I can find few interesting titles this way.

How do you make your commute productive? Please comment!