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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 July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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