If you’ve ever watched a TV series set in a hospital, you probably remember that many surgeons listen to music while they operate. If everyone (or almost everyone) does it, there will be a reason: in fact music can really increase concentration! Not only does it stimulate and improve mood, it can also be a great way to avoid distractions, especially when working from home. The trick is to choose the right songs for the right task – only then will the music help you focus. Here’s how to do it.
The right music for each activity:
Different types of background music suit different types of activities. When choosing what to listen to as you work, you need to consider how demanding the task you are trying to accomplish is. For example, writing an essay requires your utmost attention, while clearing your inbox is a relatively routine activity. The music chosen should reflect these differences.
For ingenious activities that involve the use of speech, such as reading or writing, avoid aggressive or noisy music and favor instrumental pieces, as words can distract you and make you less efficient. Sung pieces are ideal for more repetitive activities. For the simplest tasks, compilations of favorite songs are great – turn up the volume and amplify the motivation. The fast and very rhythmic songs are perfect for when practicing physical activity, while the sounds of nature help to calm the mind and increase concentration.
Music for different activities
Classical music is perfect for concentration and study. Research has shown that students who listen to classical music in class perform much better than those who don’t. The reasons are manifold. For example, it helps you relax, lowers stress levels and improves sleep cycles. There are plenty of playlists out there ready to start.
Music of nature
Scientific research suggests that the quiet sounds of nature can improve focus in the workplace by triggering positive feelings. The best background to focus is the sound of running water, rather than screeching sounds like bird calls or animal sounds. Also of this genre there are many ready-made song lists. Playing an instrument can help you to improve in better way
Pop, rock and rap music
Energetic, fast-paced music is ideal for working out, running in the park or weight training in the gym. This kind of very upbeat music improves performance, makes you feel strong and motivated and can be used to count the repetitions of the exercises! You can find numerous playlists of songs ideal for training and the gym.
Your favorite songs
Science has also shown that listening to music triggers the release of dopamine, the so-called happiness hormone and at the same time lowers cortisol, which is responsible for stress and anxiety. Along with this, you’re usually better at solving problems when you’re feeling cheerful. This means that sometimes there is no better music to help you focus than the one you love.
The latest discovery: the binaural tones
An exciting area of music research for concentration is that of binaural tones (or beats). This is an auditory illusion, very similar to an optical illusion, caused when the left ear hears a slightly different tone than the right and perceives a beat that is not actually present in the music you are listening to. While the actual effects depend on the listener, studies suggest that binaural tones can improve mood, concentration, creativity and memory, while reducing anxiety. There are also special playlists in this area with selected songs.
However, you don’t need science to know that music can be therapeutic for the mind and soul. Using it in the best way means accurately matching the songs to the tasks to be carried out. If done right, music can become your best workmate, helping you focus and clear your mind for the task ahead.