There are so many different hacks to improve productivity, eliminate distractions and stay focused at work. We already talked about how short breaks affect productivity, but you can also meditate, do a quick crossword puzzle, as well as avoid task-switching. These simple hacks are enough to help reduce stress and improve your concentration.
Additionally, you might even use a time tracker for work track your productivity levels, and optimize workload to boost efficiency.
However, there’s a way to improve productivity with something that often gets left out in these lists of hacks - that’s music. A carefully curated playlist can help your brain stay focused more, as well as help you think quicker and make fewer mistakes.
Luckily, almost every office allows employees to use headphones at work, so you can easily tune out of the world and tune into your favorite playlist. Besides, you office might even have a speaker anyone can connect to and be a DJ for the day.
We decided to talk to some managers and workers in our surroundings to see what kind of music is their best brain fuel. We also asked them to share their favorite playlists, so we’re bringing you their tips in hopes they’ll help you regain focus as well.
It is said that classical music can boost productivity. The reason for this might be the fact that there are no lyrics in it. Lyrics can often be distracting and help our mind wander off more easily while we’re trying to focus. Furthermore, when describing classical music, you would probably use terms like stress-reducing, calming, relaxing, etc.
However, you should avoid dramatic, quick pieces, and focus on more relaxing tones so you’d stay focused on the work.
Even though we can strictly say it’s a part of the classical genre - jazz music is timeless, and great for focus. If you don’t have much experience with it, we recommend you start with different jazz radio stations until you find something that suits you.
2. Instrumental Music with Sounds of Nature
Research conducted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discovered that natural elements can boost mood and improve focus. Sounds of nature can act as white noise and block out intelligible speech. At the same time, they can improve cognitive functions, while improving concentration.
Furthermore, the research has shown that the sounds of nature can increase overall employee satisfaction.
If you’re looking for some awesome nature sounds combined with calming instrumental music, we recommend the following link:
3. Game Soundtracks
It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore gamer or not - video game soundtrack might be a perfect solution for increasing your focus. This music is great because video games require concentration, and players are usually required to think a few steps ahead, watch their every step, and so on.
As a result, music created for video games is strategic, epic, and very cinematic. It doesn’t matter that this option will work for you, but you can certainly try one of the links below and see for yourself:
4. Motivating Music
It’s just like when you’re at the gym. You’re usually pumping some very strong beats to get you going. Well, maybe you could use them at work as well!
Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, realized that personal choice in music is important, especially for those who are moderately skilled at their jobs. “When you’re stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention,” she told the New York Times. “When you’re in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options.”
And yes, there’s a playlist for that as well:
5. New Age Masterpieces
These can be movie soundtracks or experimental electronics artists, but the one thing they have in common is that they never cease to amaze people from all over the world. A music like this usually can’t be defined by one genre, so here are a few recommendations to get you started, and we’re hoping YouTube’s Autoplay will do the rest.
We are certain that some of these will find a place in your list of favorites, and we’re hoping your coworkers will join the bandwagon as well. Are any of these your usual go-to songs for regaining focus? What else do you like to listen?
This article was originally written on June 9th, 2016 by Gina Ora. It was updated on November 18th, 2019 by Bojana Djordjevic.