Buffy: “I thought it was gonna be like in the movies. You know, inspirational music … a montage, me sharpening my pencils, me reading, writing, falling asleep on a big pile of books with my glasses all crooked, ‘cause in my montage I have glasses.” [Willow nods] “But real life is slow, and it’s starting to hurt my occipital lobe.”
Buffy – The Vampire Slayer
It’s so useful that I recommend it again. If you work in an environment where you are distracted by the sounds you hear — whether it’s your children in the next room (so much for home “office”), your colleague spreading his/her feathers on the phone, or whatever — you might want to consider:
a) wearing sound-proof headphones
b) using headphones that block out environmental sound and allow you to listen to music.
Personally, I use both. I got construction site quality headphones, and I have a set of high-quality headphones which also block out environmental noise — while allowing me to listen to music. Someone recommended the AKG K 271 MK II, I bought them, I was satisfied (but do not know the competition), that’s it.
But there’s still the question what to listen to. When I was learning for an exam at the university a decade+ ago, I listened to Alison Krauss and Union Station’s “It Doesn’t Matter” a couple of hundred times (yup, the player kept score). However, it’s usually better to use something that does not contain understandable lyrics. Here, YouTube is really useful. Just search for “epic music mix” and you should find some videos that contain a nice background soundtrack for your (work) life. Given that it makes no sense to waste bandwidth again and again for the same content, consider downloading the video. E.g, with the Firefox plugin Video Download Helper. If you don’t want to use Quicktime or vlc to play the music, simply convert it to an mp3. On the Mac, e.g., with AudioConverter.
Really, really useful.