For 20 years I have conducted research into the effects of music on the mind. For the majority of that time I worked in Universities and I got the same question from students and academics all the time: which music will help my productivity?
Fortunately I know a lot about this subject. I have conducted multiple studies of music as a work and task support, including during language learning, memorising new information, driving or housework.
Based on my experience, I have 3 Top Tips for using music to boost productivity.
These tips plus my 20 years of experience has gone into developing Audicin’s House Style and Audio Architecture (patent in progress), the methods of composition and playlist creation we use to generate our effective soundtracks.
Music can alter your state of nervous system related psycho-physiological arousal. You can think of this as your state of energy, both in body and in mind.
Your typical energy level at any one given moment will be at a point along a continuum from boredom, tiredness and low energy all the way up to stress, panic and over stimulation.
In the middle of the continuum is the optimum state - the place you need to be to work well.
Several elements within music move you along the continuum in both directions. First you must recognise where you are on the energy continuum and then you need to select music with the right components to move you towards peak performance.
When it comes to energy management, Audicin takes away any decision fatigue and unknowns by offering you the right tracks for the right moment.
As well as your energy, music can alter attention level. It changes the amount of attention available for focusing on a task. But caution is needed; music can shift attention in a good or a bad way.
The perfect state of focus is called ‘flow’. It is well worth trying to attain flow on a daily basis. When we are in flow time disappears and we feel truly embedded in our task. The to-do list is checked off at record pace and creativity sparks.
Productivity heaven. A sure recipe for success
But as I hinted, music is a double-edged attention agent. It can easily distract your limited attention span, pulling you further away from flow. Or it can direct your attention so you get the most out of your time.
Once again, there are multiple elements within music that determine whether it is productivity aid or drain. Audicin tracks are optimised, backed by a wealth of evidence on how music best supports flow.
When it comes to productivity, repetition is your friend and randomisation is your enemy.
There is a belief that randomised music stimulates the mind. And whilst it is true that a random playlist might help a few people prepare for work, for most people it will do more harm than good. Investing in music that you can use repeatedly is the best plan for productivity.
The reason why comes down to the way our hunter brains are organised. Every new event in our awareness grabs attention. This is why mobile phone alerts can be so addictive and distracting.
You can use all the noise cancelling tech you like, ultimately you can’t turn off your natural body alert system. It is there to keep you alive by alerting you to unexpected sounds in your environment.
It won’t help you focus or maintain your energy level if your primitive alert system is going off as it notices every new track of a playlist.
This is why at Audicin we have curated playlists, the ultimate solution for productivity. Audicin gets better every time it is played as your memory gets used to the optimised music and its order, in the same way as you get used to the order of tracks on an album.
Audicin's productivity technology becomes part of any task, giving you the benefits of balanced energy and driven focus, while remaining where it belongs, in the background of the task at hand.
Audicin recharges and lifts your productivity whilst you are working.