Pick the right music to fuel your productivity
When it comes to enhancing productivity at work, we’re often advised to practice some of the usual activities or “hacks” to eliminate distractions and regain focus. Short breaks, meditation, crosswords, avoiding multitasking – all of these are recommended ways of reducing stress and improving concentration, thus making us more productive.
But there is something that usually gets left out, despite the fact that numerous studies have proven its benefits, and that’s music. Listening to a curated soundtrack while working on repetitive tasks is able to provide the brain a significant boost, speed it up and reduce errors. Luckily, this has been noticed in offices worldwide, so today it’s not uncommon to see people working with their headphones on throughout the whole day.
We talked to several managers and their employees about what type of music fuels their brain the most – and composed this set of playlists for all of you whose working hours inevitably start with YouTube. You’re welcome!
1. Classical music.
One of the most frequently cited studies related to music and productivity is the “Mozart Effect.” This popularized hypothesis, suggesting that listening to Mozart would improve the intelligence of the listener, stemmed from research conducted in the early nineties by researchers Gordon Shaw, Frances Rauscher, and Katherine Ky.
If you think classical music might work for you, we kindly recommend:
- The Best of Classical Music – Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, etc.
- The Best of Baroque
- Best of Waltz Music: Strauss and Tchaikovsky
Additionally, even though it is not strictly classical music, it definitely is timeless – jazz. If you’re a beginner, JazzRadio is the perfect place to start your journey.
2. Instrumental music with sounds of nature.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently discovered that adding a natural element could boost moods and focus. Sounds of nature can mask intelligible speech just as well as white noise, while also enhancing cognitive functioning, optimizing the ability to concentrate and increasing overall worker satisfaction, the researchers found.
For nature lovers we suggest the following links:
- A Soft Murmur (a collection of nature and city sounds that can be played and mixed together, or simply added to your favorite playlist in the background.)
- Relaxing Native American Shamanic Music
- Best Ever Chinese Bamboo Flute Relaxing Music Playlist
3. Videogame soundtracks.
Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or you’ve never picked up a controller in your life, video game soundtracks might just be the solution to your concentration woes. Playing a video game requires a lot of focus – to make it to the next level, players commonly have to avoid traps, dodge obstacles, and escape a handful of “near death” experiences. As a result, the music selection for video games is often very strategic, in that modern soundtracks tend to reflect epic, inspiring cinematic scores rather than just basic sound effects.
Of course, the level of influence a video game soundtrack has on performance and concentration will vary from person to person. To find out if you benefit from the epic videogames soundtracks, check out the links below:
- London Philharmonic Orchestra – Greatest Video Game Music
- The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special
- Assassin’s Creed Best Soundtrack Collection
4. “Pump up” and “feel good” songs.
Just as professional athletes might put on empowering music before they work out to get themselves in a powerful state of mind, you might try this in certain situations where you want to be empowered, too. Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, found that personal choice in music is important, especially in 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.”
Once again, YouTube didn’t let us down:
5. New age masterpieces.
Be it movie soundtracks or experimental electronic artists, these never cease to amaze people from all over the world. It’s very hard to put them in predefined genres, so we’ll just leave you with several references and let the YouTube Autoplay feature take you on a long and hopefully, productive journey:
- Stephan Bodzin Boiler Room Live Set
- Amelie – Soundtrack
- Epic Music Mix
- Lilia – Clepsydra I
- The Best Of Audiomachine
- Bonobo Discography
- Saint Germain des Prés Café
We’re sure that some of these will become your newest favorites, so feel free to share with others which one you liked the most. Have something else? Tell us what are your favorite songs for getting work done in the comment section below!