How Music Makes You More Productive At Work
By: Emily Whitten | January 14, 2020
If you ask any copywriter or designer what they listen to while working, I’d bet they’re passionate about their answer. The reason is simple — music is more than just background noise, it’s the soundtrack to the words you write and the images you create, while at times delivering a bit of unexpected inspiration. Essentially, music has a way of setting the tone for your mood and the narrative to the way you tackle a task or project.
In fact, according to a study by the University of Windsor on the psychology of music, “recorded emotional responses revealed that music experiences increased positivity, alertness, and focus on the present.” Pretty deep stuff.
Additionally, during a study in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, researchers studied patients who were undergoing surgery and explored the effect that music had on their anxiety levels. Some patients took anti-anxiety medication, while some listened to music in order to calm them down.
The results may come as a surprise — patients who listened to music had lower stress hormones (cortisol levels) than those who took anti-anxiety medications, further proving the calming effect music does possess.
How Lyrics vs. Instrumental Music Can Impact Your Work
From a copywriter’s perspective, lyrics in music can be a huge distraction and do more harm than good, but can the same be said for designers? The answer… YES. Lyrical music causes you to think about your own life within the lyrics. Have you ever written a blog post only to re-read it and see that you wrote the lyrics to the song you were listening to instead? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone.
An article posted on ScienceDirect shares why our brains struggle to focus while not only hearing song lyrics, but also the background noise of co-workers. This research concluded that the more words we hear while trying to work, the less work we get done.
Our solution to this is simple — keep the music, lose the lyrics.
The above points are true while in the writing or designing zone, but can the same be said for those in-between tasks — the administrative work, social media tasks, scheduling, etc?
Bradley Busch of the Guardian shares that there is a time and a place for words, they will not help when there is new or complex material to be learned, or work involving anything of the linguistic type. However, when that is not the case, music can improve your mood and will help to prolong your attention span for “busy work”.
Get In The Zone — Watch Your Tone
Depending on what the task at hand, the tone of instrumental music can be based on the tone of the assignment. When your writing assignment requires a lively, playful tone, try looking for a playlist that matches that same vibe. Being in the right headspace is everything when it comes to writing or designing in a voice that is not your own.
Without further ado, we present some of the best instrumental playlists from the Aimtal team, but, be warned: these playlists lead to mega-inspiration, ultra-concentration, and also some awesome ideas.
“Lowkey Tech” is described as “chill techno and tech-house.” This is the perfect playlist when you’re in need of music to up your spirits and stay focused on your work. With no tracks being too fast or too slow, it’s easy to stay at a steady work pace and get a lot done.
“Deep House – Work Jams” is a playlist created by Aimtal’s very own, Randi Richards (@randirichards). Randi is a pro at designing, writing, and killing the marketing game, so it’s safe to say she knows what she’s doing when it comes to playlists for work. These songs are the perfect combination of upbeat and interesting, keeping the zone-out to a minimum. If you’re looking to crank out an impressive amount of work without even realizing how long you’ve been at it, this is the playlist for you.
“Peaceful Indie Ambient” is best described as relaxing, but not too sleepy. The soft beats will help calm the mind and create a peaceful, stress-free workday you’ll conquer like a pro. When you’re in the mood for an anxiety-free playlist to pair with your morning coffee, “Peaceful Indie Ambient” is the one.
“Christmas Instrumentals” is obviously season-specific (unless you like a little Jingle Bells in July), but with it being just after the Holiday season, this up there in the heavy listening section. Instrumental classics – holiday or not – are comforting and familiar. There may not be words, but we know these songs just the same, making it easy to tune in and out without ever missing a beat.
So there you have it, the perfect playlists for designers and copywriters! Grab your headphones and get to work, because these playlists are for the head bobbers, finger tappers, and go-getters.
Be sure to follow Aimtal on social media to share your favorite at-work playlists, we’d love to hear them!