What Music Does to your Productivity
In biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the
reward area of the brain, as would eating a delicacy, looking at something appealing
or smelling a pleasant aroma, said Dr.AmitSood, a physician of integrative medicine
with the Mayo Clinic.
1. It’s best if you have fast-paced music with no lyrics or singing. Lyrics can
distract you and overwhelm your subconscious while you’re working. It is
found the best productivity music to listen to is fast-paced classical music or
fast-paced techno music with no singing.
2. The volume should be very low. Just enough to hear, but no more. Yes, there
are some people out there who can work just fine with loud music blasting in
their ears, but those are the exceptions to the rule. If the music is at a decent
volume it will distract from your work. Ideally the volume should be just
3. Let’s say your goal is not to work faster, but to work more methodically and
reduce mistakes. Various studies have shown that when certain classical
composers like Mozart are piped in through office speakers, the amount of
mistakes office workers make goes down by 18 percent or more. It doesn’t
make them work any faster or slower, but it does reduce their mistakes.
4. If you’re not looking forward to cleaning out your email after getting back
from a vacation or filling out that nasty excel spreadsheet at the end of the
month with your finances, music can help.Because listening to music you like
is pleasurable, it will not only make the task seem more fun but as research
shows, it can actually help you complete the task faster.
5. When you’re presented with new information that’s complicated, it takes
more focus and mental energy for you to grasp and apply that knowledge.For
instance, if you’re learning how to drive a stick shift car or writing your first
lines of programming code, it’s best to shut the music off.
6. If you’re listening to new music (especially with lyrics) while working, your
brain may release too much dopamine especially if you find a song you
love.You’ll start to focus more on the music rather than the work you’re
actually trying to do.Stick to your favorites list when you work
7. For creative tasks, the noise from a coffee shop can be enough to do the trick
says a studypublished in the Journal of Consumer Research. Moderate
background noise (about the volume of a vacuum cleaner) can create enough
distraction to allow you to think more imaginatively.