Music does not just soothe the soul or puts a person in a good mood. Music is also proven to boost productivity and cognitive performance, particularly in adults. 

You may find yourself forced to work from home at present. Perhaps you have been doing online work for a long time. Still, one thing is always present - distractions. Especially now, with the uncertain times, it is quite challenging to remain focused.

Background music has been proven to improve productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide motivation. Upbeat music speeds up the processing of the mind, while both upbeat and downbeat music will improve memory.  

Now, the question is, what song or music should be in the productivity playlist? Try these simple steps to keep your ante during work mode.

Slowly but surely

First stop, try the iso principle, a trick from music therapy. Therapists use the technique for mood management of patients. The type of music is selected to match what the patient is feeling. Then, the music is slowly shifted to attain the desired mood.

For your playlist, the song starters should be peaceful enough to lead you into the mood of motivation that you are targeting. Think of classical music or nature music - those that can declutter distractions, relax your mind, and sharpen your focus. Try a light tune like "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles and "Ooh Child" by The Five Stairsteps, as suggested by Kirsten Nelson, a music therapist at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Shift to power songs

Once your mood is in place, it is time to turn up the beat. Shifting to a faster track can result in better performance according to research. The faster the tempo, the greater motivation is attained when working. That is why keeping up with jam during a workout or run makes you more energized.  

Find the "power song," as suggested by Nelson, since it can make you productive. Hit up on fast tracks such as "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston, "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited, "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Japsen, and "We Will Rock You" by the Queen. Adding power songs at strategic periods can help maintain the pace throughout the day.

Choose the right tunes to stay productive

Researches show that the effect of music on concentration and productivity is largely dependent on how much the listener enjoys the music. It was found out that listening to preferred music resulted in increased performance, Be careful though - tuning in to familiar vocal music can indeed make you lose concentration, as the focus is geared towards the song and not the task on hand. Stick to the music you love as long as it is not too lyric-heavy or too familiar for your ears.

Learn to recognize the music most beneficial to the type of work to be done. Upbeat, complex beats are best for repetitive tasks. For writing jobs or reading new materials or other creative work, choose instrumental music. If your mind will wander thinking about the music, try shifting to ambient nature sounds.

Polish your playlist

Creating your playlist for productivity should not stress you out. Nelson suggests that if you hear a song that makes you feel good, add it on your tracks. Once you have enough music on hand, arrange the playlist based on your workflow. Be open to hearing new music, take in new ones, and bring out less effective tunes. Learn to be flexible with your choices. You can check out productivity playlists from Spotify.

Enjoy working from home!

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