How Your Choice Of Music Affects Productivity
October 20, 2016
Erin Taylor in Entertainment, Listening, Music, listening to music, productivity

Imagine movies or TV shows without music. No music to cue the scenes or to add the suspense, the drama, the romance, etc. It’s hard, right? Music, for sure, makes the world more colorful. It adds life and personality to everyday things. It’s regarded as one of the achievements of the human creativity.

Music affects us in so many ways. In fact, some studies prove it benefits our health significantly. Certain types of music improve sleep quality, reduces stress and anxiety, decreases pain, boost memory, and many more.

One thing about music remains a subject for discussion: music and its effects on productivity. How does your choice of music affect your productivity? The effectiveness of music depends on what type of work you are doing. For instance, if your task requires a lot of focus, rap music might not be the best type of music to listen to. Take a look at how music affects some of your activities and productivity:

Repetitive Tasks are more Fun with Music

These are tasks that you do over and over again. Maybe it’s data entry, folding clothes, or working on a production line. Research shows that music increases productivity in repetitive tasks. Music somehow improves the mood of the workers and makes the job more enjoyable.

With some repetitive tasks, music can provide a tempo that allows you to work faster. For example, a production line might work faster when the tempo of the music matches the rhythm of the work. Employers should consider putting a soundbar in the office or in the factory, yes?

Music Allows us to Escape a Noisy Workplace

Noise is distracting. It breaks our focus. In a noisy workplace, a set of headphones can be the solution to getting back on track. In one study, a group of IT workers listening to music in headphones completed tasks faster than those who didn’t. It’s also because of an increase in their mood.

Your choice of Music Affects your Learning

If you want to retain new information, music might be a distraction. Participants in one research showed that they were able to recall complex tasks and information better in silence. However, some studies also show that certain music enhances learning. It might improve memory, enhance creativity and imagination, and so on. Either way, the music is most likely lyric-free.

Lyrics are Distracting

Lyrics are often distracting for intensive work. An immersive task such as writing, will not benefit from music with lyrics. It’ll be like talking to someone while another person is also talking. Lyrics are just a no-go for these tasks.

However, lyrics don’t have the same effects with low-immersion tasks, some creative and physical tasks. Basically, tasks that don’t involve the language center of the brain. Lyrics have positive effects on tasks such as designing, painting, drawing, etc.

Tempo has Different Effects

Have you tried jogging to slow music? Or doing yoga poses to a fast pace song? It doesn’t seem to match, does it? Although it’s alright, matching the tempo of your music to your activity gets better results. If your work requires you to be more upbeat, try listening to music with an upbeat tempo. Baroque music is a popular choice for this need.  Mellow music, such as some slow classical music, has more positive outcomes for activities requiring deeper thought.

Music and Creativity

If your task requires your creative juices to flow, an ambient level of music is ideal. When you are listening to music that you like, it often improves your mood. Studies show that people who listen to music they enjoy often have better ideas than those who don’t listen to music. They also complete their tasks faster than usual.


Your working environment generally affects your productivity. The environment isn’t just the physical aspect; it includes the sounds in the atmosphere. Music has a lot of effects with productivity, but it doesn’t always mean it’s positive. Your choice of music can either positively or negatively affect your productivity. When choosing what to put on your record player, be intentional. Your work is at stake, so think twice before playing. Don’t be afraid to do a trial and error. Find the perfect harmony, beat, tempo and whatever else, to get you going.

This post was written by Erin Taylor. Erin is the founder of YouthTune, a music adventurer. I love learning about music and audio devices, which I eventually share with others so that they too can go on exploring the melodious world of music.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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