How Music Affects Productivity

Many people listen to music while completing daily tasks. Whether you’re playing up-tempo tunes while finishing weekly chores, or listening to Für Elise while drafting a document at work, chances are there is a soundtrack to your life. If not, add “Play Music” to your Todoist. Why, you ask? There are studies to support the idea that listening to music may actually improve productivity.

Teresa Lesiuk (2005) studied “the effect of music listening on work performance” and found that music promotes a “positive mood change and enhanced perception on design while working.” Results showed that quality of work was lowest when no music was played, and that individuals actually spent longer on a task when there was no music. On the other hand, those who who did listen to music finished their assignments more quickly and proposed better ideas.

An article in Psychology Today added that while listening to music may be productive for some, it can be a distraction to others; therefore, they offered several things to consider when choosing music for productivity:

  1. Use music with no words to avoid interfering with language tasks.
  2. Silence is a kind of music and can be just as effective as music. If music is a distraction, try nature sounds.
  3. Listen to music you like because it helps you feel better.
  4. Try different speeds, or tempos, of music as it alters the mood and can help with tasks that require a different pace or energy.
  5. Take musical breaks. A change of environment, even sonically can make a big difference in work productivity.

Focus@Will is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses phase sequenced instrumental music to increase attention span up to 400% when working, studying, writing and reading. It’s for anyone who needs to be productive on demand, particularly when working or studying to a deadline. The team behind Focus@Will worked with researchers at UCLA to understand how specific background music influences motivation, and how different musical genres enable people to get into “the zone” where they’re most productive. According to the company’s site, the music sequenced by focus@will is formulated with special attention to characteristics such as musical key, speed and emotional values for the purpose of “influencing how your brain habituates,” thus improving focus and reading enjoyment.
Focus@Will - How Music Affects Productivity
Using a scientifically curated music library, Focus@Will provides exclusive musical content that maximizes concentration over a full 100 minute cycle, as demonstrated in the above illustration.

Todoist is committed to leveraging tools that promote productivity, and the the door is wide open for emerging technology that addresses music’s role in productivity.

References:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-musical-self/201005/music-and-productivity-5-ideas-using-music-boost-performance

Follow @focusatwill on Twitter.

Todoist Team