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These 5 Kinds of Songs for Work Will Increase Your Productivity

These 5 Kinds of Songs for Work Will Increase Your Productivity

Music is a constant companion in everyday life. It is in every department store, most elevators, and in everybody’s homes. There are mixed feelings about the presence of music in the workplace, however, and it has been constantly debated that music can actually boost quality and productivity in the office. This debate has been in the minds of scientists for years, especially now in the age of personal music devices and customized playlists.

According to an article in ‘The Telegraph’, a company known as Mindlab International conducted a study which nine out of ten workers performed better in the presence of music.

“The take-home message is that music is a very powerful management tool if you want to increase not only the efficiency of your workforce but also their mental state, their emotional state – they’re going to become more positive about the work,” said Dr David Lewis, neuropsychologist and chairman of the company.

Not all kinds of music, however, are positive influences to the workplace. It is important to understand that the wrong types of music in the wrong situations can result in negative outcomes. It is all about understanding the types of music that can influence your productivity in positive ways. Everybody is different, so it is also important to remember that unique individuals will not respond the same way to certain types of music.

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That being said, there are types of music that will work best in work settings, according to scientific evidence.

1. Bass-heavy, empowering music that will inspire you to be more confident and energetic at work.

Research conducted in 2005 for the journal Psychology of Music’ found that the positive emotions created by empowering music may influence the way in which cognitive material is organized, thus influencing the worker’s creativity. Participants exposed to positive music demonstrated a higher level of creative problem solving than whose who had been exposed to neutral or negative stimuli.

According to ‘Medical Daily’, research recommends listening to empowering music before important meetings or other scenarios which require confidence. However it is recommended that exposure to this type of music for empowering purposes should be had before tasks and during breaks. Although it can increase confidence and energy levels, it can be extremely distracting if exposed to in the wrong situations.

A team of academics from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management found that one of the highest voted songs for empowering music included “We Will Rock You”  by Queen:

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2. Constant, ambient music with no lyrics that will allow better work pacing.

For repetitive work that requires focus but does not involve much high-cognitive function, energetic and repetitive music has has been found to assist pacing for work tasks throughout the day. Research has shown that removing the ambient music has found a lowered quality of work and prolonged time spent on tasks than intended. This type of music is also perfect for increasing alertness and focus. Songs recommended for this type of work should have a constant, non-complex rhythm.

This song has been found to be one of the most relaxing tunes ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CySNhHVAokQ

3. Classical music that will reduce stress and improve moods.

Research has found that music has the ability to relax the body and mind. Classical music holds several benefits towards psychological functions, such as a slower pulse and heart rate, lowered blood pressure and a lowered level of stress hormones. Research has found that such music can reduce burnout in nursing students, who are required to perform extremely stressful tasks. Stress and negative moods can cause a major road block in productivity. For particularly stressful jobs, ambient classical music can relax the nerves and improve moods, consequently allowing better concentration and work ethic.

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After all, it has been found that music-enhanced cognitive performance is a by-product of mood and arousal.

Have a listen to Beethoven’s “Fidelio Overture”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1y6XrLmYdE

4. Mozart, which can improve learning and memory skills.

The processing of music shares some of the pathways in the brain as memory. The University of California conducted a study exposing students to recordings of Mozart compared with relaxation tapes or silence. It was found that student test scores improved after exposure to Mozart’s music, as compared to the other sounds. This is known, not surprisingly, as “The Mozart Effect”. For a mental boost at work, especially concerning tasks that involve a great deal of thinking and remembering, it might be worth revisiting some music by the famous child prodigy.

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I’m sure we can all identify Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”:

5. Pop music that will speed up data entry tasks.

The study conducted by Mindlab found that participants exposed to pop music completed data entry tasks 58% quicker than those who had no music at all. In terms of spell-checking, pop music has been described as the best genre for fastest overall performance, with an additional 14% decrease in error occurrence.

Nothing can speed up tasks than beats such as “Treasure” performed by Bruno Mars:

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Elizabeth Andal

Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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