Is Your Music Taste Making You Unproductive At Work?

Emerging from a creative rut can be tricky. That’s why we’ve partnered with Samsung Galaxy as part of its FlipSide campaign to help you step out of your comfort zone and get your creative juices flowing.
We all do what we can to get through the workday. For some, it's rotating between three drinks — one for hydration, one for caffeination, and one for a little treat. For others, it's ensuring a queued lineup of episodes from a 00's teen sitcom is ready to go as soon as the workday ends.
And, of course, there's curating the perfect 'work' playlist and blasting it through a Bluetooth speaker (or through your Galaxy Z Flip4 sitting beside you for easy playlist access) all day.
We've all seen the TikToks of 20-somethings blasting downtempo techno and house music at 8am on a Monday while they're filling out spreadsheets — but is it actually helping them get work done?
Music has the power to inspire us, energise us and literally release dopamine in the same way that eating something tasty does. While those qualities may seem like the ideal recipe for getting through tasks at a rapid pace, there are factors to consider when choosing a soundtrack for your workday.

What Are The Benefits Of Listening To Music While Working?

Office workers have spent the majority of the last two years working from home. While that has come with many benefits (lunchtime Pilates and dog cuddles have been a godsend), workers have faced a slew of new distractions to battle — from noisy, inconsiderate housemates to the prevailing temptation of procrastinating with housework. For many, popping in noise-cancelling earbuds and listening to music has been a source of much reprieve in these situations.
According to a study conducted by Macquarie University this year, listening to music while studying or trying to focus on work can be helpful for some people — in certain situations. They found that music calmed down students who were finding material particularly stressful and that it could act as a source of inspiration for creative tasks.
While the fact that we all have a strong emotional connection to our favourite music contributes to this, there are deeper reasons. Music has the potential to take a person from the 'Beta' brainwave state to deeper 'Alpha', as it activates both the left and right brain at the same time. Studies have also shown that music has the potential to improve cognitive abilities, improve memory and, of course, increase motivation toward tasks we don't often look forward to. Who needs sugar (or caffeine) when the 3 pm slump hits if music exists? Getting back on task and flipping your day before those 5:30 deadlines hit could be a matter of picking the right artist to help you along.
If you're combining this, with using devices from Samsung's Galaxy Z Series, which was designed for creative multitasking, you'll be pumping through tasks in no time.
I've been loving my co-worker Michael's 'focus' playlist — it's full of low-key RnB, electronic and gentle singer-songwriter music, which makes it perfect for busy office days.
While these benefits all sound like huge motivators to start pumping tunes the second you clock on, what kind of music will actually achieve these results?

What Are The Best & Worst Kinds Of Music For Productivity?

You've probably encountered hundreds of 'work' or 'study' related playlists on Spotify or have seen YouTube's famous 'lofi hip hop radio' pop up in your suggested viewing. So, what makes them particularly good for productivity?
There are multiple studies that prove the benefits of listening to classical music while knuckling down on a task. Ambient music has also been shown to boost productivity, as it lacks a beat. Different kinds of EDM (like house or techno) can have a hypnotic effect due to their repetitive nature.
On the flip side, lyric-heavy music isn't often great for concentration. Sadly, 'All Too Well' (10-Minute Version), might not be the best tune to pop on if you're working to a deadline.
“Music that contains lyrics is often distracting because the verbal information expressed through lyrics can interfere with, or become confused with, any verbal information you are trying to read, comprehend, or memorise for an exam,” says Dr Kirk Olsen of Macquarie University's School of Psychological Sciences.
“If the music is fast and loud, or contains a lot of changes in dynamics, it has a greater chance of capturing your attention, pulling your focus away from what you’re trying to concentrate on, and towards the specific qualities of the music,” he adds.
While there is science behind what music is best for productivity, the music that is best for productivity is music that you actually enjoy. As we've already stated, we all do what we can to get through the workday, and if pumping 'Renaissance' for the 100th time does the trick, so be it. At the end of the day, it's what works for you and your job, so you don't have to throw away what makes it enjoyable for you.

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