The right kind of music can focus your mind, drown out distractions, and basically get you out of the rut and back into the groove.
But, does music really make you smarter and potentially more productive?
“The Mozart effect is a hypothesis which suggests that ‘listening to classical music makes you smarter’ or more specifically, that early childhood exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on mental development.”
“Spatial-temporal reasoning is the mental ability to picture a spatial pattern and understand how items or pieces can fit into that space.”
While some published studies support the idea that listening to classical music raises mental acuity, other studies say The Mozart Effect can result from listening to any form of music that has energetic and positive emotional qualities.
So, what music should you listen to?
I’ve found that various kinds of instrumental music usually increases my productivity, and “instrumental” doesn’t have to mean classical or boring, not to suggest that classical music is boring. In this case, what I’m referring to are segments of songs without vocals. Many bands have an instrumental track or two on their albums, or they may have songs with longer stretches of instrumental sections that could be used.
If your music player has A-B Repeat or your smartphone has an app (A-B Loop Lite for iOS, Loopo for Android), then you can string the instrumental segments of different songs together into musical gold.
I’ve assembled a small sample of music I listen to. Hopefully it will help you create your own workplace soundtrack.
- Pink Floyd: Terminal Frost
- Rush: La Villa Strangiato
- Boston: Foreplay/Long Time
- Van Halen: 1984
- ABBA: Intermezzo No. 1
- Hans Zimmer: Time
- Bear McCreary: The Walking Dead, The Europa Report
- Vangelis: Blade Runner, Alpha, Cosmos
- Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells
- John Williams: In the Jungle (Indiana Jones), Burning Homestead (Star Wars), Krypton (Superman)