Music is like the heartbeat of the day…How it’s beating can determine how you are feeling! Â So check out this great blog by, Nicolas Cole, to see what type of music is best for your work day to be the most productive!
“Every superhero needs his theme music.” – Kanye West
If you haven’t explored the mood-shifting playlists on Spotify or Apple Music yet, you’re way behind the curve.
Music can be instrumental (pun intended) in helping you maintain focus, dig into your work, and get things done. But only if it’s the right type of music.
For example,Â a 2010 study published inÂ Applied Cognitive PsychologyÂ stated, “Absorbing and remembering new information is best done with the music off.” However, it went on to explain, “When a well-practiced expert needs to achieve the relaxed focus necessary to execute a job he’s done many times before, music can improve performance.”
So, if you’re grinding out tedious Photoshop tasks, or restructuring your Google Calendar for the week, maybe it would be best to turn on some jams and get cranking.
1. Mozart – “The Mozart Effect”
“The Mozart Effect” suggests that listening to certain kinds of music–Mozart’s classical works, in particular–increase one’sÂ ability to think out long-term, with a higher probability to find abstract solutions to logical problems.
This may be because, although Mozart (and many of his contemporaries) composed beautiful works of art, they also did so quite mathematically. Â Classical music extremely logical, concertos, fugues, themes and variations all following various patterns and musical “rules,” layered and structured in different ways.Â
2. The “Right” Music For You
A 2014 study out of the Northwestern University’sÂ Kellogg School of Managementsuggests that listening to the right type of music can have a dramatic impact on your personal mood and your willingness to take initiative.
The article states, “The research suggests that music’s ability to pump us up may indeed have utility outside of the stadium. “Just as professional athletes might put on empowering music before they take the field to get them in a powerful state of mind,” says Rucker, “you might try [this] in certain situations where you want to be empowered.” Perhaps you have a meeting scheduled with your boss or an important client. Or perhaps you have a job interview.”
3. Instrumental Music
A recent experiment, conducted by Carol A. Smith and Larry W. Morris of Middle Tennessee State University, states that students who listened to lyrical music during a series of exams did not perform as well as students who listened to instrumental music.
Lyrics can be extremely conflicting to the brain, especially if your task is not visual based but language based–the words in the music conflicting with the words you are reading. For visual tasks such as editing photos, this is most likely not as distracting, but for word-based tasks, instrumental music is much more ideal.
4. Nature/Outdoor Sounds
Is a babbling brook…music?
According to a study published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, “Office acoustics influence organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction through meeting appropriate requirements for speech privacy and ambient sound levels.”
Background sounds can be tremendously helpful in keeping you immersed in whatever it is you’re working on, without being too distracting (like lyrics) to take you out of the moment.
5. “Feel Good” Songs
All in all, the purpose of listening to music is to change your emotional state to something better suited for the moment. Â “Feel good” songs might be just the trick.
According to this study, “Music, an abstract stimulus, can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving, similar to tangible rewards that involve the striatalÂ dopaminergic system.”
Aka – “Feel good” songs really can make you feel good.
6. Video Game Music
If all else fails, maybe what you need is the theme music from Super Mario Brothers to put you in the zone.
In this article, Consequence of SoundÂ discussesÂ the impact music can have on a player.
Music for video games is such a crucial element to keeping a player engaged for long periods of time. Â There’s no reason why the same can’t be said for long work hours.
Nicolas Cole is a writer and essayist, and Top Writer on Quora. His work has been published in Time, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and more. He is best known for writing true stories about self-development.