Because of the pandemic that we are facing, our governments have implemented different preventative and safety measures. As a result, the majority of the population have to adjust to a new lifestyle. This means we have to spend most, if not all, of our time in our homes. But if you’re like me who just feels like something is missing if I wasn’t busy for the day, it can be uncomfortable.
You can maximize your time at home by spending time with family, fulfilling hobbies, or learning a new skill. Some companies have also allowed working at home to make up for the time lost in the office. Either way, you have to be great in time management so that you can do those tasks at home efficiently.
Working at home gives you freedom and independence that it can lead to procrastination and not being productive at all. And while there are so many tips that you can find online to get productive, I find a method that works best for me.
Last Christmas, a friend gave me a DAC AMP Combo similar to the ones in this useful source. I enjoyed using it while doing household chores and just chilling at home. But I also realized that the device is also helpful to me in terms of productivity. This is because music “fills” up my environment and puts back the color in my dull day.
Can Music Help with Productivity
Out of curiosity, I did some searching on why music is effective in maximizing our time in doing different tasks. What I found out is that there are different studies that have proven how listening to music has a positive effect on work performance. Simply put, if you are listening to music while carrying out tasks, you’ll be able to do them more quickly. At the same time, it can inspire you to think of better ideas to improve the work.
If you think about it, the music that you’re listening to has a significant effect on your mood or in the room’s atmosphere. For example, if you are sad, then you are compelled to listen to a sad song. If you’re hosting a party, you want something upbeat. And on the contrary, you don’t want something distracting if you are memorizing or studying for an exam. The main point is that yes, music helps with productivity, but you have to use the right one.
Which Music is Suitable for Productivity?
So what specific type of music should you play to get you productive in these times of home quarantine? Personally, if I am writing or doing a report, I can’t play something that has lyrics. The voice distracts me, which is the opposite of what you want if you need to focus on a task.
You want a song or melody that acts as a background song. It should be easy for your brain as opposed to your mind, having to focus on the lyrics while also doing a task. Therefore, only listen to music that has no complex structure or words. Otherwise, you might end up trying to understand the message of the song, instead of being uninterrupted at your work.
If my family is getting chatty or if there are other activities in the room and outside, I use music to drown the noise out. But at the same time, I want it to act as white noise so that it also won’t affect my productivity.
I find blues and jazz the best type to cancel the distractive noise. This music is not too complicated or “strong” enough to get my attention when I’m writing and doing a bit of computing. You can also go with classical music if you want to increase your concentration.
Think composers like Bach or Vivaldi if you want to improve your efficiency at work. According to a research in 2009, baroque, classical music improves mood and productivity. They found out that the radiologists who are listening to baroque, classical music have better diagnostic accuracy.
If it’s starting to feel dull, you can find music that is uplifting. Epic music has elements of classical music, but it is more empowering. If you need to stay motivated, such as during working out or if you’re doing an uninspiring task, you can try listening to this genre.
Some people also prefer using soundtracks of video games. This is because the composers have made those types of music specifically to enhance the user’s gaming experience. It makes sense that listening to video game soundtracks can help with your efficiency, focus, and even mood.
If these types of music are not doing it for you, you can try ambient soundtracks. These are the types of music that you hear in places like airports. They are easy to ignore that you can leave them playing while you take a nap or carry out other tasks so that the room doesn’t feel empty. Otherwise, nature sounds like rain, waves, or flowing water can also help with soothing your mind without being too distracting.
But besides the music itself, you also have to consider how difficult your job is at hand. If it requires more brain power and focus, you might be better off working in a quiet environment. I find this relatable if I am writing about a more scientific and challenging topic.
It may also work in uplifting your mood if you play your favorite songs or those with catchy lyrics. After all, if you are feeling annoyed or bored, it’s impossible to get yourself out of bed to clean the house, isn’t it. This type of music works for that kind of task because cleaning can be done without much cognitive demand.
Catchy songs can also energize you to keep you distracted just enough to finish the mundane task. However, as I have said earlier, this type of music won’t work for certain tasks because you’ll just end up trying to understand the lyrics. More so, you might end up singing along, instead of doing the work at hand.
Overall, physical tasks work well with “distracting” music such as pop songs and those with lyrics. But on the other hand, mental tasks that require focus and cognitive effort can either work well with no noise at all or with an instrumental soundtrack.
I hope you found what works well for you and that you can make the most of your time while being at home. Let us don’t forget to follow the implementations and always practice good hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.