today’s question: “do you listen to music or watch tv when you work?”

i’ve found i’m the most productive when i turn on my “get it done playlist”. you can listen to it here (you’ll need spotify). it’s a mix of rap, old mariah carey and paul simon songs. yes it’s random, but they’re songs that i can bounce in my chair to. i wear these giant gold headphones and i turn the music up really loud and just work. i’m currently listening to it as i’m writing this. i’m shaking my shoulders to jay-z.

sometimes i will have a movie or a tv show on in the background but i always catch myself stopping to watch. depending on what i’m working on it’s fine, but if i have a deadline or i’m working on a project hourly, that doesn’t work.

i recently moved my desk in my apartment to the living room from my bedroom. i’ve been forcing myself to sit at it instead of lounging on the couch or in bed. since i just moved my desk it’s really clean…there isn’t much on it. it seems to be working. i feel like i’m being more productive but i might just be telling myself that.

my job requires a lot of emails, multi-tasking, and planning…so sometimes i need total silence in order to be in the zone. but that can get boring, so if i am just browsing around for blog content, or designing then i like to have music on in the background. for some reason headphones don’t work for me…i feel like i can’t think! i love using spotify and crossing my fingers that my employees like what’s playing while we work.

if i did like wearing headphones i would wear this pretty rose gold frends pair. my boyfriend worked on the mechanical design for them, so i get very proud girlfriend syndrome about those.

i also put together lots of playlists to put on during blogshop. music is such an important part of an event! here’s a spotify playlist (totally random but i like them all – scroll down to see the whole list.) don’t judge…i listen to soul, cheesy pop, rap, and throwback 90’s jams…

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)



Add your own

  • 1. Drew @ Catfish & Caviar  |  January 30th, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I always need background noise when I am working! Some music makes me more productive than when its total silence!

  • 2. Kory  |  January 30th, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Hahah, just seeing some of those songs on the playlist makes me giggle. I’m loving the choices, and I’m totally putting that on the next time I’m working!!

  • 3. Ergo-Blog  |  January 30th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I always work with something on. But if it’s music it has to be like Norah Jones, Amy winehouse, or something soothing. =)

  • 4. Molly {Dreams in HD}  |  January 30th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    bri, the headphones your boyfriend worked on are fabulous.
    i work best with a little music – but the tv always distracts me!

  • 5. Erin  |  January 30th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I loved ALL the music during Blogshop Toronto, Bri!

  • 6. Amber  |  January 30th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    So funny! Me too! My husband makes fun of me b/c I like to “Pump Up the Jams” to EMINEM! I guess it gets the creative juices flowing!

  • 7. Olivia  |  January 30th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Didn’t think I’d be rocking out at 8:32 AM today, but alas, I am. Thanks for the great jams!

  • 8. alicia  |  January 30th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Yay, thank you so much! I will need to check these all out after work. I’ve been listening to Sia a lot. She has her chill calming songs along with some fun “get it done” tunes. Check it out!


  • 9. alicia  |  January 30th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Sometimes I do watch TV shows out of the corner of my eye when working on more easy going stuff. I like the background stuff. I have never really don audio book but have been considering it lately. You should do a post about your fav TV shows and more movies! I loved one of your previous documentary posts.

  • 10. Hanna [excelsior lady]  |  January 30th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    You make playlists like me! Totally eclectic and out of nowhere. Makes sense to me lol!

    You should totally make DLF playlists and design covers for them. I think the entire world wants to hear more of what you listen to!

  • 11. Celestine  |  January 30th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    LOVE those headphones! I have the gold ones :)

  • 12. gloria waters  |  January 30th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    oh heck yea! so glad you posted your tunes here. *subscribes*
    i have my spotify jams all lined up for my creative mode. it’s called “creative juice.” ( i know, really? ) feel free to look it up!

  • 13. Stephanie  |  January 30th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I’m so happy you included the Blogshop playlist! All of Blogshop SF was a wonderful experience, but one of the moments that definitely had me giggling was when we had time to work/practice a skill on our own and Adele’s “Someone Like You” came on. Without realizing it everyone was quietly singing along. I think when you are into a project/design you can forget that there is a world around you, so you just start singing out loud. It was fun to see that all of us do that :)

  • 14. Annie marknatonatou  |  January 30th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Loved these headhones!


  • 15. lydia {ever ours}  |  January 30th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    YES I LOVE THIS POST! thanks for all the new music inspiration!

  • 16. Sarah  |  January 30th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Those headphones are sweeet! Sometimes I try to listen to NPR podcasts, but they’re too distracting. I usually have some really mellow feist/ingrid michaelson typed music playing while I work.

  • 17. Rachel  |  January 30th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I am in such denial when it comes to television and getting things done. I often sit on the couch to do photo-editing and blog-writing, and I’ll turn on a show I don’t need to pay much attention to on Netflix or something (I just got done re-watching all of The Office by doing that), and the amount of times I catch myself zoning into the TV instead of actually doing work is ridiculous.

  • 18. Kim Boswell  |  January 30th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    If I am painting or I need to really use my brain, I put on music in another language. I can’t sing to it or think about the words so it is perfect background music. Though not for everyone, I usually turn to Einstruzende Neubauten, which is german industrial music. Anything in french is nice, too.

  • 19. Cortney W.  |  January 31st, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Love that “PUMP UP THE JAMS” font! Looks a lot like the one I use for a majority of my posts…just much LOUDER–pun intended :)


  • 20. Leesh  |  February 2nd, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Those headphones are gorgeous. Rose gold and white is a beautiful combination.

  • 21. Juliette  |  February 10th, 2013 at 11:21 am

    really like the headphones I dont like to wear headphones tho, makes me paranoid, ha ha. I listen to alot of Karunesh type music to work with, it puts me in the zone. NPR when I dont have to concentrate. I think I’ll try some of your playlist, thanks for sharing! I like your blog :)



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