In Ancient Egypt, music was used for curing insomnia and relieving pain. Meanwhile, Pythagor believed music can even help with anger management. Little did he know that calming effect is the body reaction to the hormone cortisol increasing in our blood when we listen to a pleasant tune! We all love music. And it turns out, it has plenty of practical uses. Not only does it bring pleasant memories and causes various emotional states, but it also can help us be more productive at work.
Music can literally cause chemical changes in our bodies
According to multiple scientific research, music can switch a person’s brainwave state between alpha, beta, and theta. In other words, just by listening to different melodies, we can reset our mental activity from a resting meditative state to the state of high consciousness, attention, and focus. On the chemical level, our bodies experience changes too. Music is known to cause the release of the “happiness hormones” – dopamine and serotonin – into our brain which help us relieve tension while staying focused.
Music is proven to raise productivity when it comes to monotonous types of work – those you consider repetitive and boring. It can also become a lifesaver for someone working in an environment filled with machine noise. Tip: if you want to boost your energy and maximize productivity level while doing routine and/or physical work, choose energetic songs that grab your attention.
Music sets the tone
We utilize music to set the tone in accordance with our condition and our mood, and it can be helpful whether we’re trying to relax after work or setting up a gathering with friends. Just like scrolling through a social media timeline, music distracts us – although, sometimes in a contra-productive way, especially when the task you were trying to focus is boring for you. That’s why scientists suggest choosing vivacious classical music – there are no verses to divert you from fulfilling the task. After work, you can opt in for any relaxing instrumental music that can be found in meditation playlists. It is intended to ease pressure and loosen up your brain.
Ideally, you should collect a playlist of your own that will work for different purposes, rather than depending on the radio. A good practice is to design a set for a certain period of time, so that you know you can have a break when your music is up. This particular method is often used to create examination music playlists for the times you need to study the material for long time periods.
Let’s dive deeper into the science behind the music-productivity connection.
Apparently, not all types of music will maximize your productivity. Based on the studies, music without lyrics is preferred because it doesn’t distract from work by making you tap your feet or sing along. The best examples of music to boost your productivity are:
- classical music,
- music used in video games,
- music based on the sounds of nature,
- ambient music.
If you want to get really geeky about it, there is a theory stating that listening to music at 150-157 Hz makes both brain hemispheres work synchronized. And if you manage to find the music rhythms to coordinate with the brain waves, it will stimulate neurons and significantly improve your memory.
Here are the main benefits of listening to the right type of music while working:
It increases your speed
Try playing vivacious tunes, and you’ll notice how much faster you’re moving with the job. This is typical impact music can have on individuals. It is especially effective with errands that include numbers and repetitive tasks.
It helps you focus
As we’ve mentioned previously, music without verses is known for helping individuals focus on their work. Choose classical music or the sounds of nature to help your mind stop wandering and concentrate. Contrary, music with verses tends to be less efficient because it makes you focus on the message of the song which is often a huge distraction.
Music can change your attitude toward the task
Everyone has those days when you come to work feeling tired and reluctant to do anything. Why not try some music to fix that state of mind? To understand how it works, remember the last time you went shopping. Shopping malls actively use particular energetic popular music beats to set the mood and encourage visitors to stay and continue shopping. So, just listen to a couple of these melodies before proceeding to the calmer tunes. This rewinding method works like a charm and can help save a potentially unproductive day.
Music enhances memory
Did you know that music is actively used for early childhood brain development and more so – prescribed to the patients with brain traumas? All because of the power music has for improving and recovering memory. It is also caused by the above-mentioned hormone cortisol that helps recover tissues and cell connections. Mozart, Beethoven, and Vivaldi are among the great composers whose music is believed to have that healing effect.
Music eliminates distractions
If you’re already working in a place where noises or movements distract you from your work, music background can help you eliminate that factor. First, it creates a shield from side noises. Second, the headphones clearly let your colleagues know that at the moment you’re not open to conversations.
Collect your own productivity music playlist
You can always use YouTube for creating playlists with your favorite tracks, however, if Internet access is not always available, or the speed of connection isn’t high enough, you may need to prepare an offline version of your playlist as well.
The easiest way to do that will be using free video editing software. Not only will you be able to put numerous music tracks together into one, but you can also add preferred transitions and even a visual background. That can be an audio spectrum (the most popular way to visualize music waves), a slideshow made of your favorite photos, images, or quotes.