Can Music Make You a Productivity Powerhouse?

The best songs and playlists for getting stuff done

Jul 25, 2018 · 5 min read

Whether you’re working nine to five or burning the midnight oil, a pair of headphones and a killer playlist may be the secret to getting more done, faster.

Listening to music releases dopamine and serotonin into the brain, helping you relax and stay focused. Music has an energizing effect, so your mood naturally improves. This state of mind helps you get in the zone and accomplish more.

A playlist for every project

Here are the most common work activities and the best tunes to help you stay productive:

Tapping into your creativity

Learning something new

One study found that Baroque-period songs, like Bach or Vivaldi, had a noticeable impact on productivity. The study only had eight radiologists as subjects, however all but one reported that classical music had a notable improvement on their concentration.

Churning through repetitive tasks

But, don’t go blasting those tunes on repeat. To maximize productivity, play an upbeat song every time your attention starts to wane — it will act like a boost of energy.

Finding solace in the open floor plan

Not all of us are compatible with open floor plans, especially introverts who tend to be more productive when they’re not surrounded by dozens of side conversations. While we can’t escape the office forever, ambient music can help improve your daily work experience.

MyNoise is a free noise generator that lets you pick a “color” of noise based on a spectrum of low to high frequencies, each with its own properties and effects. “White” noise, for example, is a fuzzy, static sound that can help drown out office chatter. We all react to color mixtures differently, however, so experiment with a few.

If color noise isn’t your thing, try nature sounds. Rainy Mood plays the comforting sound of rain hitting the roof, even giving you the option to adjust the amount of thunder or chirping birds you hear.

Prefer a more urban soundtrack? Coffitivity recreates the ambient sounds of your favorite cafe, complete with the clanging of coffee cups and murmurs of conversation.

Prepping for a presentation or important meeting

Sports psychologist Bradley Busch advises athletes to play music that reminds them of their “highlight reel” before big games. This same idea also works for business — if you associate Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” with that time you knocked a pitch meeting out of the park, listening to it right before another major meeting will put you in the right mindset.

Everyone’s highlight reel will be different, but here’s a playlist with some of the top hits.

Lowering your stress levels

Pump up your productivity

A simple playlist with the right kind of songs can turn you into a productivity powerhouse. From pink noise to pop, music has the potential to lift your spirits, calm your mind, and sharpen your focus.

So, the next time you’re in a slump and battling procrastination, turn up the jams and rock on.

What’s your favorite ‘productivity playlist’? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Written by Emily Esposito on July 25, 2018.

Taking Note

"Taking Note" features insights and encouragement to help…

Taking Note

"Taking Note" features insights and encouragement to help you regain control of your days, lead a more satisfying life, and focus on what matters most.


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You have something to accomplish. We publish stories, tips, and tricks to help you do it.

Taking Note

"Taking Note" features insights and encouragement to help you regain control of your days, lead a more satisfying life, and focus on what matters most.