Have you ever found yourself struggling to get things done at work? That’s alright. Perhaps everyone has difficulties with work productivity at one point, and it’s normal. If you’re looking to remedy this the next time you feel that you’re in a slump, you’ve come to the right place.
Research shows that music can boost productivity—but that doesn’t automatically mean that if you listen to Lady Gaga’s Chromatica, you’ll magically find yourself eager to finish your tasks. There are scientifically-backed types of music and sounds that can help improve your focus and motivate you to work faster.
Curious to learn them? Below’s a list of genres that you can start adding to your playlist.
Some people think classical music is boring, and therefore it’s not the first thing you associate with work productivity. However, researchers have long been arguing the opposite. There’s even a thing called “the Mozart effect,” where listening to the acclaimed musician’s tracks are proven to boost brainpower.
The absence of lyrics and the tempo of baroque tunes help in improving mental focus compared to silence or listening to lyrical music. Because it’s calming, it helps in better memory retention and reduces stress in high-pressure tasks.
Whether it’s raindrops pattering, river water flowing, or leaves rustling, nature sounds can be soothing. They’re said to boost cognitive function, allowing you to take on mentally demanding work and finish them with more ease. Some tracks even incorporate light music, such as the piano or flute, to emulate a calming atmosphere. If you miss the outside world, why not give this a try?
If nature isn’t your thing, there are tons of background noise you can listen to to keep you focused. A few popular examples are coffee shop sounds, light office chatter, or even the sound of a commute. This type fills dead air and doesn’t have a distracting melody, which some people may prefer more. What's great is, many work productivity apps include a library of ambient noise tracks to assist you in completing your daily tasks.
Fun fact: Listening to music at 60 beats per minute causes the brain to synch up to the tempo. It just so happens that this induces the brain to enter the alpha brain waves state, which boosts creativity and reduces stress. If you’re working on something that needs a creative strategy or inventive designs, listening to this type of music can be a lifesaver.
You probably never thought that the musical scoring of your favorite action movie could help you with work productivity, but as it turns out, it does. Epic music makes you feel like you’re engaged in work that’s about to change the world, lifting your spirits and giving you a motivational boost. This is especially helpful when you’re working late, and you need a pick-me-up to get you back on track with deliverables.
It’s time to experiment by changing up your work playlist and including songs or tracks that fall in the categories mentioned above.
If all else fails, there’s always the option to listen to your favorite tracks. Music should get you in a pleasant and focused headspace so you can be more productive, so if you feel like some of your favorite albums can give you the same results, feel free to listen to familiar tunes.
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