Productivity Music: Does it Work?

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I am always looking for ways to increase my productivity. I’m a writer and and actor who works on several different projects consistently within those two categories. This means that I’m all about maximizing my efforts. The problem is that, in addition to being a dedicated person, I’m also an artistic person. So, my little brain has a tendency to wander. I think part of that is due to our smartphone, instant-gratification, constantly-changing culture, but it happens enough that I find it frustrating. I’ve made great use of the Pomodoro Technique, but I want to focus on a more-recent development that has helped me a great deal. Listening to productivity music! Here’s what it is and how it’s helped me be a better worker.

If music be the food of love…

I am a music junkie. Music propels me through workouts, I drive my car while listening to music, and I relax while listening to music. I used to use my Pandora app (I’m old-school, I guess…) while I worked. Unfortunately, I found that I couldn’t listen to music with lyrics – especially lyrics that I know – and stay focused on the task I was completing. I tried tuning into my Yoga channel, which helped a bit, but a lot of those songs had lyrics as well, so it was easy to lose my focus. Not too long ago, I stumbled across the concept of productivity music and figured I’d give it a shot. Right away, I found that it was so much easier for me to stay tuned into whatever I was supposed to be doing. It surprised me how much more work I could complete in a given amount of time. I was sold!

How does it work?

Have you ever played a video game? Have you ever noticed how you may lose track of time while playing? Maybe the soundtrack just seems to fade into the background after awhile. This is because video game music is designed specifically to keep you playing. It helps you focus on the task at hand and shut out distractions. Consequently, video game soundtracks can be great background music while you’re working. I usually pick something that isn’t specifically designed for a game, but the same concept applies. Researchers are finding that repetitive music, with fewer unexpected musical “surprises”, little to no lyrics, and even a few nature sounds can lower stress and help people zero in on what they’re doing. All of this is dependent upon the listener’s personal preferences, of course.

Where can I get productivity music?

Though I’m always a fan of buying music and supporting artists, I realize that isn’t always an option for the budget conscious. When I first started using productivity music, I went to YouTube. I just put “productivity music” into the search and clicked a result that looked promising. There are several different options, so play around and find your favorites that work best for you. My aforementioned darling Pandora has some productivity channels, and Spotify has playlists tailored for focusing as well. Your options are limitless!

Just to prove my overall point, I’m listening to a productivity music video on YouTube right now. I’ve been listening to several as I’ve been working today. The amount of work I’ve been able to achieve since using these tools astonishes me. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out – you never know where you’ll get your next hit of inspiration!

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