Music is a universal language that speaks to people of different levels. It can be used to motivate you into a game of sport or relax you at a day spa, but How Music Affects Your Productivity? What increases productivity for one person can be distracting for others, but there are some general guidelines to help you choose the best productivity playlist. To better understand music and productivity, let’s look at our research.
Your Music Taste Matters
Another important consideration is how much you like what you hear. A 1994 research study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that surgeons listening to music worked more effectively than those who worked without it. This was true regardless of whether the surgeons picked the music or if the researcher selected it for them.
Hearing a song you love can definitely provide some motivation—especially if you’re bored or don’t enjoy the task you’re doing. Hearing music you like improves your mood, which can boost your productivity.
Music and your brain
Music stimulates multiple areas of your brain, which is why you might find yourself crying while listening to a sad song or moving along to the beat of a happy tune. Listening to music releases dopamine in the reward center of the brain. Dopamine is the same chemical released when you eat your favorite food or get a new follower on social media, and it can help improve your focus and make you happier.
Listening to music also has a number of health benefits. It reduces stress, decreases pain, and improves immune function. Music therapy has also proven beneficial for dementia patients, as it helps them recall memories and emotions.
Music and productivity
But do different genres of music affect productivity differently?
While ambient noise is great for improving concentration and creativity, pop can help you accomplish tasks more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Classical music is also great for improving accuracy, and dance music can improve proofreading speed by 20%.
Though music can help you get in the zone and drown out noisy distractions at the office, it’s sometimes beneficial to change the station or turn off the music completely.
For example, learning new things requires your brain to remember instructions and facts, and listening to music with lyrics can interfere with your ability to process and retain new information.
In addition, if your job requires deep focus, it’s best to choose familiar songs, since new songs can surprise you and distract you from your job.
Rules for the Perfect Productivity Playlist
Embrace the Sounds of Nature: When you think of listening to rainfall or birds chirp, you might immediately imagine an afternoon at the spa. This relaxing music can put us in a better mood, which can definitely improve our efficiency at work.
It’s not just that the sounds of nature make us feel better. They also affect the brain in the best way possible for improving cognitive function. Since natural sounds often have an element of randomness, they can help improve our focus without becoming a distraction. Sounds related to water appear to be the most effective.
A 2015 study in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America found that natural sounds are an excellent way to mask the background din of the open office plan.
Get Motivated (And Drop the Bass): Sometimes you need to feel empowered at work. Music allows us to tap into our inner strength. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University recognized the clear connection between music and motivation. They conducted a study that asked participants to rate songs according to how they made people feel while they were performing different tasks.
The takeaway: songs such as 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited, and “We Will Rock You” by Queen were clear winners when it came to motivating participants. Though these songs all come from different genres, they all have a pumping bass that leaves the listener feeling energized.
Turn up Your Favorite Song: While music generally makes people feel better, being able to listen to music you like creates a marked productivity boost.
This is what Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, a professor at the University of Miami, found when conducting research on the connection between music and productivity. Since songs tend to relax listeners, they often afford them the chance to explore solutions they may not have considered when in a hyper-stressed state.