I was just trying to get done with something repetitive and boring and realized I have something else that I now watch for to add to the discussion: Basically the music or whatever it is that I turn on in the background has to give me the right level of distraction for the task. It has to be semi-interesting but also kind of old-hat for some tasks. Or highly interesting depending on other tasks. If whatever task I’m doing requires my eyes then it needs to not have a visual component because otherwise I’m too tempted (like a music video on my phone is too much). If the ideas are too interesting and new then it will be too distracting for certain tasks.
Here is kind of a synopsis:
Task needs high concentration= Use music I have heard a million times and that won’t make me sing with, pod casts that aren’t too amazing and that I have already heard and know are low-level for me. This is also good stuff to fall asleep to— books on tape that I’ve heard a few times and love.
Task needs medium-level concentration: A pod-cast that I know is amusing but the ideas aren’t too novel. Or a book on tape that is pretty run-of-the-mill.
Task is low-level concentration and repetitive and boring like laundry, dishes, cleaning, sorting, etc. =. We need a life-saving life-giving amount of brain stimulation. Save your funniest or most enthralling books on tape, exciting pod-casts, fascinating new idea-type speakers. Save your best stuff for this. OR call a beloved and deep friend who you adore talking to and put them on speaker. Your best stuff needs to be sent in like troops on the beach of Normandy.