Do you need to buckle down and get stuff done? Sometimes the perfect soundtrack is all it takes to up your productivity. Music and ambient noise are a crucial part of our lives, and whether you’re working from the relative silence of your home or you are smack in the middle of a noisy collection of cubicles to maximize productivity, you need productivity music.
A 2014 study in Scientific Report proved the link between music and productivity. Titled “Network Science and the Effects of Music Preference on Functional Brain Preference: From Beethoven to Eminem,” the study offered evidence that hearing pleasing music helps individuals focus more deeply.
There’s all kinds of work you might need help increasing productivity on, whether it’s studying for a big test or getting through your to-do list at the office. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, the type of music you require could wildly vary — though every task should be accompanied by music you enjoy. Here are some of our favorite playlists for getting things down!
Playlist #1: Start Your Day With Productivity Music
You want to start your day on the right foot to make sure you can get the most out of your working hours. Often, the key to productivity starts before you ever arrive at your desk or log-on to your computer (especially if you are working from home). So, start your day off with some music that puts you in a good mood and gets you ready for the day.
This “Pump Up” songs playlist is an awesome way to start your day feeling empowered and ready to tackle any challenge. Use it to wake up on the right side of the bed. Plus,f you need an afternoon pick-me-up or some encouragement before heading into a big meeting, you can return to this playlist throughout the day to get the boost you need.
Playlists #2 – 4: Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Working on a creative project requires a different level of focus from other tasks. If you’re doing something like writing, painting, or making art in any way, you need to focus on the stories and themes you wish to convey in your work. So, you don’t want any music that might distract you from the creativity within you — instead, you need a soundtrack that will inspire and motivate you.
One great way to be inspired while doing creative work is to take in the artistry of other creative types. If you need a dose of storytelling to inspire you, listen to a playlist of your favorite movie soundtracks (preferably instrumental scores). For good measure, maybe mix in some classical tunes to aid in your focus. This spotify playlist blends soundtracks from movies, TV, and video games with classical music and is the perfect boost for creative energy.
We all know the stereotype of the creative type who loves to plunk away at their project in their local coffee shop. The gentle lull of the music and ambient sound in such a location can really assist in focus, providing a soundtrack with very minimal distraction. Try this “Coffee Table Jazz” playlist to get that coffee shop feel at the office or at home.
Maybe you’re facing a particularly difficult creative challenge that requires an even deeper level of focus. In this case, any type of music is probably too distracting. And you could use some inspiration from the natural world.The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America has studied links between natural sounds and cognitive function, concentration, and satisfaction. If you need that extra boost, try a playlist of “Nature Noise.”
Playlist #5: Take a Break
To maximize success, you have to take a break during the day to give your brain time to rest and process the tasks at hand. If you’re hunting for a moment of zen along with your coffee break, the perfect playlist could be the answer and this “Coffee Break” playlist is just the ticket.
Playlist #6 – 10: Focus and Abstract Reasoning
If you have a task that requires deep focus and abstract reasoning, whether it’s crunching numbers or something even more obtuse, you need to have the sharpest level of concentration. This means your productivity music playlists should be at their least distracting, so as to avoid any potential lyrical or melodic disruptions that might throw you off your groove. One may to do this might be to work without music altogether and instead focus on ambient noise — and what’s better than ambient sound you can control? (Plus, waiting until you complete a task before moving on to the next, even as simple as switching music, can slow down your productivity.) If you need just the gentle buzz of the ceiling fan or other background sounds, this “White Noise” playlist will help replicate your ideal aural setting.
Maybe you still really want some music to help you focus though? After all the “Mozart Effect” has argued that listening to Mozart for a brief period each day can actually boost your abstract reasoning abilities. This is a debatable theory, but if you feel classical or instrumental music could help you, it might be the way to go. Lucky for you, this is a very popular theme for playlists, offering options like “Focus Now,” which exclusively offers classical tunes to work to that don’t have any sudden changes in melody to disrupt your work. If you still want lyric-less songs, but prefer something a bit different than classical music, try something like this instrumental playlist or this “Deep Focus” list, which offer up a wide range of melodies to help you focus.
Bonus Playlists!: Mindless Tasks and Feel Good Fridays
Sometimes we have to take on some pretty mindless tasks, like cleaning the house or entering data into spreadsheets. If this is what you’ve got on tap for the day, you’ll want music that will break up the drudgery of your routine. With these types of tasks, distraction isn’t a huge issue because they require less immediate mental energy and focus. So, instead, work on listening to something that makes you feel good to make the job more bearable.
Music that makes you feel good is ultimately about your personal taste, but we have a few options for you anyway. This spirited, empowering “Feel Good Friday” list is just the ticket, whether you’re headed into the weekend or just beginning your week. And a similar search produces this “Feel Good Songs” list that should have you grooving through whatever boring task you’re facing.
No matter which playlist you choose, go for productivity music that inspires and brightens your outlook. With the right playlist, the sky’s the limit for your productivity levels.