With an endless number of songs at your fingertips, you’re able to set up different playlists for specific activities or moods. You probably have a playlist for running, another for driving to the office, one for relaxing at home at the end of a long day and so on. How about your playlist for work?
There’s sound science behind the idea that music increases productivity. If your current playlist revolves around a particular theme or artist, that’s well and good. It may do its job of putting you in the mood to get things done.
However, you may be missing out on everything music has to offer in terms of helping you become more productive. Here’s why it may be a good idea to diversify your work playlist.
Different types of music for different tasks
Just as your cardio workout music is different from your wine night music, so too should your music for different work tasks be varied. Music can either help you become productive or make you lose focus, so it’s important to consider the task you need to do when you’re choosing what to listen to.
Try this experiment. First, pick out five of your favorite songs – songs that you probably bop your head to. Let’s call this Playlist 1. Then, choose another five songs, this time picking out tracks that are more like the stuff you hear at a spa – nature sounds, zen music, or some classical pieces. This is now Playlist 2.
Once you have your songs ready, do a repetitive task, like data entry or copying and pasting text from one document to another. Do this while listening to Playlist 1, then again with Playlist 2.
Next, do a different task. How about writing a report about the proceedings of your last meeting? Listen to Playlist 1, then Playlist 2 again.
Did you notice anything about how the different playlists affected your concentration on two different tasks? If you’re like most people, then you probably enjoyed listening more to Playlist 1 when doing the repetitive task but found it too distracting when trying to write. Perhaps you found Playlist 2 more suitable for the task that required a greater amount of concentration.
Exploring your options
Different work tasks require different levels of focus and concentration, and this is what you need to keep in mind when creating your playlists for work. There’s no hard and fast rule about which songs to include because every person has their own musical taste.
What’s important is that the songs you choose should be ones you actually like to listen to. Hearing a track that you find boring or distracting can make you lose focus or simply put you in a bad mood, and that’s something you don’t want to happen if you want to be productive.
Sure, you already know what kind of music you like, but there’s value in exploring your options and checking out other types of music as well. You might just discover your new favorites! So go ahead and listen to different playlists and mood music so you can determine what works best to give you that much-desired boost in productivity.