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MUSIC | HABITS

3 Underutilised Perks of Listening to One Song on Loop for Boosting Focus

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

We all have some tasks on our mental to-do list that we don’t want to do, but deep down, we know we have to do them anyway because it brings us closer to where we want to be. More than half of our energy is spent on killing the inertia of rest by taking the first step.

The same is true for habits that are rewarding both in the long term and short term. But the anticipation of reward is not enough for our mind to get started.

The human brain works on proof, not promises. It needs a cue, a positive relation that automatically puts us in the action mindset.

Music is one of the ways I’ve found to make tedious habits effortless and manageable. For example, cleaning your room, doing laundry, or working on a mentally demanding task at your job.

I used to listen to my default playlist to add the essential element of fun to any activity, but once I discovered the benefits of listening to one song on repeat to bless our focus and enhance our productivity, here are three perks that you don’t wanna miss.

#1. Predictability.

When listening to a playlist, there is always a certain amount of unpredictability involved.

You may or may not like the next song. And even if changing the track takes only one snap second, the distraction is enough to ruin our focus. Even after a minor distraction, it takes around 23 minutes for our brain to regain concentration because of its adverse effects on reaction time.

While listening to one song on a loop, we know we don’t have to worry about the music.

It will keep repeating itself. We’ll like the song because we intentionally set it.

When the external stimulus releases the need to control it, our focus converges on the task at hand because the environment is now taken care of.

#2. Joy.

Your favourite song is your favourite for a reason. It reminds you of happy memories you want to take to your grave.

There is a reason why listening to songs from childhood ends up in a marathon. It takes us down memory lane of vintage nostalgia.

When external automatic stimuli give us joy without effort, the activity where we want to improve our focus develops a self-sustainable element of pleasure.

Who doesn’t want to power through a challenging task with a wide smile? Not you, I bet.

#3. Rhythm.

The third perk is a combination of the previous two.

With a healthy mixture of predictability and joy, we love finding patterns in everything.

And when our brain finds a pattern, it aligns its functioning to work in sync with it.

For example, I don’t need to listen to music while writing. But while working at my job, the pace depends on the beat. And the predictability factor assures me that even if I miss the chorus the first time, I will enjoy the tune again in a few minutes.

If finding the rhythm in everything feels as effortless as breathing, it’s a powerful sign you have musical intelligence.

But even when finding the rhythm is not your superpower, music is an efficient way to train your ability to find patterns in moments when least expected but most needed.

Closing thoughts.

Laundry is my Disneyland.

But many habits, especially those concerned with cleaning our space and the technically intensive task at our jobs, require much time and effort to get gratifying results.

And if you can add some spice to them with the help of music, what otherwise feels like an hour of tedious engagement turns into a joyful experience that will leave you wanting more of it.

Here is a recap for your memory:

  1. Predictability release the need to switch your focus and instead channel your attention to the task at hand.
  2. The addictive element of joy motivates you to work longer than you planned.
  3. Finding rhythm in everything is a healthy drug for the brain.

If you want more stories like this, my lifelong learning newsletter is for you.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, vlogging, or playing with his cat, Jim. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter.

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Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: sanjeevai.ck.page