Sounds to Accompany a PhD: No. 2
This playlist could be described as one of study interval training. I’ve been an advocate of the ‘pomodoro’ technique (http://pomodorotechnique.com/) ever since my PhD supervisor introduced me to it during my MA. Its basic premise is that to maximise productivity, you work in 25 minute bursts with 5 minute breaks in between each work period. After four 25 minute sessions, you have a longer 15-20 minute break before starting again.
I tend to use music to designate my work periods and this playlist follows this pattern, with intervals of 20 minutes of ‘study’ music blockaded by around 5 minutes of ‘break’ music. My work sessions are 5 minutes less than the usual pomodoro time, but I’ve found that I tend to work better with slightly shorter bursts. During my breaks I tend to pick songs that induce an internal 5 minute solo dance party at my desk to pull me out of work mode. Thankfully, I’ve only been caught during these breaks in public study areas once this year… I have extended this playlist past the 4th 20 minute work session, just to give more of a taste of my study music preferences, but feel free to pause after 1hr 35m for a longer stretch (or more exuberant dance) and a well deserved coffee… Enjoy.
James Morland is a PhD candidate in the English department at King’s College London, looking at the changing engagement with Lucretius in eighteenth-century poetry. He tweets at @jameswmorland.