Do you want to improve focus and concentration skills to increase productivity at work? You can easily perform better at work or study thanks to… music. Many studies have found that listening to certain kinds of music positively impacts various aspects of our productivity: concentration, creativity, motivation, and satisfaction.
The facts: how does music affect productivity at work?
Music allows us to escape from external distractions (such as noise, and colleagues’ talks) or within ourselves (such as fatigue, and distraction though). That’s why we can be fully focused on the task.
When you listen to your favorite sounds, your brain releases dopamine, creating a feeling of well-being. It improves your mood and stimulates the mind to work more effectively. Research by Dr. Lesiuk at the University of Miami has shown that people who listened to music finished their tasks faster than those who didn’t. Moreover, they also did it with the better result (work with fewer mistakes, more creative ideas). It benefited the most people who were moderately skilled at their jobs.
Learning is easier
Other studies have found that a good mood generally improves academic performance. It is easier to learn and assimilate new material when you feel good and do not worry so much about problems.
Listening to well-chosen music is an excellent way to cope with stress and tension and manage anxiety. Music therapy lowers blood levels of cortisol, the stress hormone while stimulating the body to produce dopamine. As a result, we feel less stress and its effects, and more easily pleasure and contentment which helps us work more efficiently.
Research published in the journal Psychology of Music showed that students who listened to music between tasks could focus for a longer time and achieve better academic results.
Stream of motivation
Listening to music helps us stay motivated. Confirmation of this thesis can be found in studies conducted by athletes. Listening to music had the greatest effect when they began to feel fatigued and decreased the efficiency of exercise because it helps to maintain motivation. Music stimulates the part of the brain responsible for controlling movement, so it helps you repeat movements more effectively. Training with music means a longer and more pleasant workout. Appropriate, motivating music can increase endurance by up to 15%!
For repetetive tasks
An important factor to consider is how much concentration the task requires. Studies show that music helps a lot when a task is boring or repetitive. However, it can be distracting when the task requires a high degree of creativity and innovation. Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of the book This Is Your Brain on Music claims that when we do something relatively monotonous, repetitive music becomes a source of stimulation that helps us focus on the task and enjoy our work more.
What kind of music enhances productivity at work?
Researchers say that productivity is particularly enhanced by listening to classical music. Classical music calms, relaxes and helps reduce stress. This genre of music has been found to help students perform 12% better on exams. Some pieces, such as Beethoven’s „Für Elise,” help students study longer and remember more information.
Sounds of nature
Listening to sounds of nature such as waves, wind, and rain improves cognitive function and concentration. Nature sounds work best when they are soothing sounds, such as flowing water or falling rain, nature sounds help drown out other, more distracting noises, such as people talking or street noise.
Music without words (instrumental / ambient)
Music for productivity should be in the background and not engage your attention too much. It shouldn’t distract you from the task at hand. That’s why music without lyrics (such as instrumental or ambient) is the best choice. Following and interpreting the lyrics distracts us from our task. Furthermore The more complex and developed the music is, the more emotional charge it conveys, and the more energy we have to put into its reception.
Let’s try music created by Muzaic to increase your productivity at work. More you will find on our YT channel.
Useful tips to increase your productivity at work with music
- Create your work/study playlist in advance to not waste time looking for music that you like and that improves your productivity at work. Internet searches can be a distraction, especially when you want to get things done fast and efficiently.
- When you prepare your playlists, you can determine the appropriate length to suit the time you want to allocate to your work/study block. For example, 40 minutes as in a Pomodoro session.
- If you prefer silence during work or study time try to do that during your breaks. Remember that breaks are necessary because information can be absorbed and processed at an unconscious level, which can result in new ideas or solutions to the problem. One more reason why breaks are so important is that you should consider them as a reward after mental effort – and if it is a reward, the brain releases dopamine during it. This can relax you easily.
- The break should be long enough to give you a chance to recuperate, but also short enough to let you remain in a high state of concentration afterward. Its optimal length is 5-7 minutes.
- Volume of music does matter. A study from the University of Illinois showed that playing music very quietly is perfect when we have to do focused work. On the other hand, louder music (medium level, around 70 decibels) can boost our creativity.