Does Listening to Music Actually Make You More Productive?

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

If Plato promotes listening to music, then it must be beneficial. But before you press play, let’s review the best types of tunes to play and when they’ll help your brain dance.

On Repeat

A study from Applied Ergonomics reported that repetitive tasks can get done more quickly with the right music. In fact, people who listened to music while they worked on repetitive tasks performed faster and made fewer errors. One theory is that listening to music you like triggers the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine (feel-good neurotransmitters), which make you feel relaxed and happy and, therefore, focus better.

However, you should avoid listening to new music because your focus could be taken away from your task while you pay attention to every note of that newly dropped album.

Press Pause

Music tends to distract from learning. When you’re trying to absorb and retain new information, any distractions are a no-no. According to research, people had a much more difficult time recalling a complex task when they listened to music while learning it. So, press pause anytime you’re learning something new.

Group Jam

The same release of the “happy” neurotransmitters also affects how you interact with your coworkers. If you’re in a good mood, you tend to be more respectful, patient and cooperative, which promotes better teamwork. A study conducted by the Journal of Organizational Behavior looked at how certain feel-good songs affected cooperative behavior versus unhappy music. During the time where happy music was played employees were more likely to agree with each another.

Number One Hit

Classical music is frequently a popular choice for getting things done. The Baroque period, in particular, features compositions with 50 to 80 beats per minute that is said to create an atmosphere of focus and deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state. This era of music includes composers like Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Handel.

Put in those earbuds and cue up that classical playlist; it’s time to get to work.

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