How to Use Music to Boost Your Productivity

Posted on - in Productivity Hacks
music and productivity header

Need to get a lot of work done but just can’t get in the be-productive mood? Try listening to some music to either get amped up, find your zen, or relax enough to focus on the work at hand. However, know that the kind of music you listen to, and how loudly you play it can cause considerable differences in productivity.

Various research has shown that listening to music can impact productivity in different ways. If you’re trying to actually learn something new, having music in the background might actually hurt your progress.

However, if you’re trying to get through a long, mundane task, listening to music can make the project more enjoyable, and help you complete your work more quickly.

Here are just a few ways that you can use music to be more productive:

When You Need an Energy Boost to Get Through Mindless Work

If you’re trying to push thought some boring office work or finish a project and find that you’re half falling asleep, consider listening to some high-energy music to boost your productivity.

What to listen to: Trance, Hardstyle, Metal, Hip Hop, etc.

Volume: Moderate

When NOT to use this music: When you’re trying to learn something new or pay strict attention to details

Whatever kind of music gets you pumped, listen to that. If you don’t have time to consider what exactly you’re in the mood for right now, here’s a peek at some of my high-energy music (keep in mind, I wouldn’t judge your musical interests, so don’t judge mine):

Cascada – Wouldn’t It Be Good (Nightcore remix)
Trust – Joyland
Headhunterz meets Psy – Make It Gangnam
Childish Gambino – Bonfire
The Lonely Island – Go Kindergarten
Korn – Got the Life
WBTBWB – Breekachu

When You Need to Get In the Zone

If your energy levels are just fine and you’re simply looking for some accompanying background noise to keep you in the zone, consider listening to instrumental music or music in a foreign language. If you can’t understand the words of a song, its a lot harder to get distracted, but the music itself can still be very motivating.

What to listen to: Instrumentals, World Music, etc. 

Volume: Moderate

When NOT to use this music: N/A; Because of the low risk of distraction from the lack of words (or lack of words you can understand) these kinds of music work very well for most situations. Simply adjusting the volume up or down can make the music less distracting, or boost your energy and productivity. 

Want to be more productive?

Learn how to be more with Productivity Theory's weekly newsletter!

Join 2,000 other subscribers now!

Your email address will only be used to send you my newsletter, and at any time you may unsubscribe. For more information, see my Privacy Policy.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Tamacun
009 Sound System – Dreamscape
Nujabes – Impression (Full Album)
Luna Haruna – Overfly
Eir Aoi – Ignite
Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Blue Train
Brand New – Welcome to Bangkok
Ken Ishii – Extra

When You Need to Chill Out

Are you too worked up about something or have way too much energy to sit down and be productive? Consider listening to some slow-paced, calming music to chill out and sit still (and maybe consider jogging a few laps around the block beforehand).

What to listen to: Classical music, slow instrumental music, ambient noise, etc.

Volume: Soft

When NOT to use this music: When you’re already tired and want to stay awake to be more productive. If, however, you’re trying to fall asleep, these kinds of music might help you. 

Here are a few calming music suggestions for you:

White Noise
Sounds of Rain
Yoshida Brothers – Yuunagi  

What kind of music do you listen to when you want to be productive? Tell me in the comments section below!

Image by JayMantri 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

The following two tabs change content below.
Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

2 Comments

  1. Is Working with Background Noise Helpful or Harmful? |

    […] So, is background noise helpful or harmful? Can it help you get more things done, or does it hold you back? There are numerous studies of how background noise affects our productivity. Learn more about it, and make the best choice for you. […]

    5 years ago
  2. You really should use over-the-ear headphones — here's why

    […] you like options when listening to your music for pleasure or to purposefully boost productivity but hate running out of battery life, rest assured that these options have Bluetooth functionality […]

    2 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.