How The Perfect Playlist Can Improve Your Productivity
Unfortunately, it can’t all be Beyonce.
According to science, it can. But pressing play on any old Spotify playlist may not help you reach your full potential — even if it does drown out the sound of your cubicle mate’s heavy mouth breathing. In order to optimize your focus and work output, you’ll need to build your playlists strategically (and you’ll probably need to include some Beyonce.)
Front-load Your Playlist With Your Favorite Songs
Listening to familiar music can improve your mood and mental state, putting you in a good place to make headway on your to-do list. If you have a cognitively demanding task to complete (like writing a paper or learning a new software), use music to get yourself in the zone before getting down to work.
Avoid Adding New Music To Your Playlist
Everyone likes discovering new artists, but listening to new songs on the job can diminish your output. When you listen to a song that’s unfamiliar to you, the novelty of the music can cause your brain to release dopamine—which can make you feel happy, but also distract you from your work.
Pump Up The Jams During Data Entry
Music is great for tasks that might otherwise prove repetitive or boring—like filing papers or making copies. Not only can it keep your brain occupied, but it can also help you work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes. So, when it’s time to break out the spreadsheets, listen to whatever you want.
Add An Instrumental Section To Your Playlist
If you work in a loud office but still need to concentrate, devote a section of your playlist to classical music. These tracks can help drown out your noisy neighbors while still allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Look for songs like Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” which is scientifically proven to give you the chills.
Know When It’s Time To Turn The Music Off
Studies show that listening to music can be distracting for people engaging in cognitively demanding tasks. If you’re trying to read, write, retain new information or learn a new skill, opt for silence instead. And maybe invest in a white noise machine or app to help muffle all the weird office sounds.