Getting yourself into the right mind-set to stare at a screen for eight or 10 hours a day isn't easy. You'll need the right mix of caffeine to concentrate, the right chair to feel comfortable, and — more often than not — the right music to help you think.
But what is it that makes the perfect song to work to? Prominent lyrics can make it hard to write (at least for us), catchy pop songs can be distracting, and loud rockers give us the urge to run for the hill. Usually, we return to the songs that are the most comforting to us — wordless tracks to help, rather than hinder, our workload.
With that in mind, we've gathered 20 tracks that occupy that chill (but not too chill) mode of thought. From My Bloody Valentine to Daft Punk, we've got the songs that will help you get your work done and along to happy hour.
Illustrated by Silja Götz