When doing creative work, whether it's writing, logo design, etc., I like to listen to vinyl records. I prefer music over silence when I work as long as it's not distracting from my focus and always vinyl records if possible. Literally, any music (except Country) works for me when I am doing design work but when I am writing, I choose something that doesn't' have lyrics to distract me like jazz, trip-hop, or classical music (it's hard to focus on writing an article while singing 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables).
Inspiration without Distraction
To get into the creative zone or flow state, I am intentional with my surroundings. From the art on the wall to the chair at my desk, and the especially sounds I am hearing, I am mindful of how all of these things impact my flow state. Even the smallest distraction can pull you out of your zone of genius so be intentional with your focus. Turn on the music and turn off all of your other devices/alerts for a designated block of time and you will be blown away with what you can accomplish when you are solely focused on your task at hand.
I prefer records over digital music for several reasons. You can easily argue that records sound better with the right equipment, but for me, it's two specific purposes I choose records over MP3s. The first is that I appreciate the musician's vision and want to hear their album in the sequence that tells the story of that artist. With digital access to every song ever recorded on your iPhone, it's easy to jump around to your favorites. When I listen to a record from start to finish, I find music that I had long forgotten, and more times than not, I enjoy that more than the greatest hits The second reason I prefer records is the tactile feeling and artwork. For me, books just feel better and have a more romantic experience than reading on a tablet and music is no different.
It Get's Your Body Moving
Vinyl has other advantages as well. Changing the record gets me up out of my chair, keeping me from forgetting to take breaks occasionally and to move my body. I work form home and incorporate a little physical activity each time into my music ritual and I do 20 push-ups or sit-ups after I switch a record. In the past, I would become so engulfed in my work that I would forget to eat the entire day and would crash hard. Choosing a record player over a digital playlist forces me to stand up every 25-30 minutes which triggers me to check-in with myself.
Yes, I have playlists compiled of my favorite tracks for road trips or times that a record player isn't' a viable option but whenever possible, I choose vinyl for all the reasons I mentioned and many more. Gotta go now, it's time to change the record.