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  • Writer's pictureChris Bowler

Music may be the key to your productivity

Listening to music while you work? Here's how to create a killer playlist.

In a departure from the usual focus on digital marketing, I wanted to offer something a bit more 'fun'. And it's all about the benefits of music at work.

A survey of more than 4,500 people by TotalJobs found 79% can boost their productivity by listening to music. Now, this needs to be qualified as listening to music has varying effects on some versus others. Many of us enjoy working in a silent environment, but for certain tasks, music can actually benefit your performance, especially for activities that tend to be repetitive. Indeed, the key to a productivity boost with music appears to be related to the needs of the user for certain types of audio stimuli - calming music for thinking or upbeat tunes for data crunching. More than half of those polled for the TotalJobs research – 59% – said music enhances their psychological wellbeing. In a nutshell, music can put you in a better mood to accomplish your day-to-day tasks.

But what kind of music is right for you? There is now a music app called Focus@Will which boasts over 50 channels that are scientifically optimized to give you focus. The app claims to enhance your productivity by as much as 400%.

However, for those of you who want to take a crack at creating a work playlist the old-fashioned way, consider your personality and your own work style. Here are four different self-perspectives to get you thinking:

  1. I am an 'action-oriented' person so I like music that motivates me to keep moving. Here's my playlist on Spotify with go-to songs include 'Jump' and 'Let's Go'.

  2. What if you are more analytical and thoughtful in your workstyle? Here, you might want to build a list of 'chill' music. Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Pixie Lott, all come to mind.

  3. Are you sales-focused and looking to close the next deal? You may gravitate to upbeat music that pumps you up. High energy, up-tempo, dance and EDM might be the ticket. Smash Mouth, anyone?

  4. But let's say you are working on a spreadsheet? You are into a groove, working in a super-methodical way, checking off each step. Here, solace might be the answer, with a well-structured tempo. Classical music - think Mozart - might be the perfect background music to your process-driven activities.

Not up for doing the work yourself? Consider choosing a Pandora station and customizing it (thumbs up) as you listen. Or, let services do the work for you. Spotify's 'Made For You' playlists is based on what they think would appeal to you. Apple Music and iTunes have their 'Genius' feature (but curiously, not for iOS10 and up.

Have a suggestion or thought? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

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