Can Music Make You More Productive?

Can Music Make You More Productive?

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”

-Victor Hugo

Background Music

My personal soundtrack is a long, steady stream of Lo-fi music. It can be slightly mundane and repetitive but also laidback and non-confrontational. It’s a safe choice.

Listening to Lo-fi music also helps block out distractions and keeps me focused. And I’m not alone.

About 40% of people enjoy listening to music when working or studying. It’s also common to listen to music when exercising, trying to fall asleep, or commuting.

So, is there any value to having your own personal theme music?

Background Music May Help or Hurt Productivity

Music is known to improve productivity and cognitive performance. In fact, the benefits of listening to music as you work are widely studied.

Here are some of the ways that background music can boost productivity:

  • Lift your mood
  • Block out noise
  • Improve focus
  • Get energized
  • Steady rhythm

Listening to music can improve your mood and ability to focus. When you listen to music that you like, your mood increases, which makes it easier to concentrate. A positive mood keeps you from dwelling on negative thoughts that may normally create distractions when trying to complete a task.

Music is also useful for blocking out noise and other distractions. If you work or study in an area with frequent distractions, headphones can help.

Energetic or upbeat music may give you a boost of energy. You can get more energized and motivated when jamming along to a favorite song.

Music can also provide a rhythmic structure. A consistent tempo or rhythm can help you maintain a steady workflow, which is useful for repetitive tasks, such as lifting weights or chopping wood.

These advantages help you stay productive. However, it’s also possible for music to have the opposite effect.

Energetic or loud music may help you stay energized or pumped, but it can also create an unnecessary distraction. If you become too engaged in the music that you listen to, you may find that you lose focus on the task at hand.

Keeping the volume at a reasonable level can help the music drift into the background as you concentrate on your work.

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What’s the Best Background Music for Productivity?

Classical music may be your first guess when it comes to choosing the best music for increased productivity. The answer depends on your personal preferences.

If you don’t like classical music, it may not work as well.

I prefer to focus my attention while listening to Lo-fi music.

Others may prefer hip-hop, country, or jazz. Even listening to heavy metal music may help you stay focused, if it’s your preferred music genre.

Low-Fidelity Music Is Taking Over the Airwaves

While any genre of music that you prefer listening to may work as good background music, low-fidelity (Lo-fi) music has become one of the most popular choices.

Lo-fi music is often instrumental, which means that you avoid catchy, distracting lyrics that you want to sing along to. Lo-fi music also tends to include a mixture of styles, such as jazz, hip-hop, funk, and electronic.

Lo-fi music has been around for decades but started trending on music platforms in just the last few years. You may have seen the “Lofi Girl” YouTube channel, which features live streams with a simple anime background and dozens of hours of relaxing Lo-fi music.

You can now find hundreds of examples of Lo-fi music designed for relaxation and focus. It’s a great alternative for those wanting hip instrumental music not performed by an orchestra.

In the end, music is a wonderful tool with a long list of potential benefits. Putting on some of your favorite songs while working, exercising, or studying may help you stay focused and get more done in less time.