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How Music Affects Productivity and Focus

A year later and a lot of us around the world are still working from home. With our work and family lives become more enmeshed, pouring that ‘cup of ambition’ might seem like a more challenging task these days. But could music be the answer? While there are no definitive answers on the link between music and productivity, here are some ways music could put a little bit of pep back into your 9 to 5. 

Environment Makes a Difference 

Numerous studies have shown environmental noise levels can significantly impact productivity and focus (we’re looking at you, open-plan offices!) Things such as comfort, stress levels and ability to effectively perform work tasks are all influenced by where you work.

Many experts are tasked with designing offices with consideration to acoustics, materials and floor plans. But what about those who have had to slap-dash together home offices, work on dining tables or from bedrooms? Well, we have one quick and effective way to reduce distraction wherever you are — headphones. The Nuraphone provides both active noise cancellation (ANC) and dual passive isolation to create a moment of silence and peace, so you can crack on. 

Choose Familiar Music for Focus

For maximum focus, studies have shown it’s best to choose the music you are familiar with. Sorry Spotify Discover Weekly, this is a job for that well-known discography or curated playlist. It appears that regions in our brain — which evoke strong emotions and improve concentration — are more active when listening to familiar rather than unfamiliar music. This is probably not the best time to crank something you’ve never heard before, as you may actually lose focus on the task at hand. 

Choose Music According to Task

Perfect productivity zen could be achieved by understanding your chronotype, personality type and the type of task you need to perform. For example, suppose you are the typical Bear chronotype (about 55% of the population) and an extrovert who needs to focus on a strategic task. You may be better off choosing a familiar instrumental song and attempting the task mid-morning. But introverts could perform significantly worse if when listening to music. Know thyself, and the path to productivity will show itself. 

According to Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Musicmusic actually lends itself really well to repetitive tasks. So if you’re staring down the barrel at an afternoon of spreadsheets, break out the tunes. This is one time where music with lyrics won’t be as distracting. 

Image by Liam Gillie

Take Music Breaks 

If you find music too distracting while you work, there is still a way music can help you be more productive — listen to music in between tasks! A study published in Psychology of Music showed that music breaks could help with performance and concentration. Take music with you on-the-go, especially if your break involves a walk or run, with the NuraLoop. 

Volume Matters

Pay attention to how loud your music is — sometimes rock or pop music that is too loud can be distracting or motivating depending on your task. If you’re doing creative work, for example, it could help. Still, quieter background music is probably better for deep thinking or concentration tasks. Luckily, all our products are personalised to your unique hearing, so you don’t have to turn the volume up to hear songs' depth and clarity.

Whether you’re working, studying or creating from home or the office, we hope these tips have been helpful! 

If you liked this article, you might enjoy our Working From Home Tips

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