Using Music to Get in the Zone

I use music or sound all the time as a tool to boost my productivity. It allows me to get in the zone and to have more fun while doing repetitive tasks. If you use music consciously and know what type of music you should play in different scenarios, it can really help you progress your productivity to another level.

We all know that music is powerful and it gives you a certain feeling. It can relax your mind, hone your focus, drown out distractions or get you pumped up for game time. There have been plenty of studies on music and sound and it’s a fascinating subject. It’s been proven that listening to Classical music, especially music from the Baroque period, have a measurable impact on productivity.

Some companies understand the power of music and use it all the time. It’s beneficial to create an atmosphere or tone, not only for the workers in the environment, but also clients and customer. I think the majority of companies could really step up their game and put a lot more focus on creating policies for utilizing music as a marketing feature.

Restaurants are often good at using music to create the perfect mood. Fitness centers play music that excites their patrons, and spas and massage therapists play music to calm their clients, or put them to sleep, lol. Fashion stores are often good at playing music that fits well with their brand. Being put on hold is easier to endure with pleasant music on the phone. In the confined space of an elevator, music helps with the awkwardness of being with others in close contact, as well as taking you from A to B.

Most of these scenarios are using music or volume that is designed to not jump in your face, but still keep your brain engaged at a lower, subconscious level.

So how about you? Are you using music consciously as a tool in your day-to-day activities?

I just love music, and I listen to all kinds of music. I also play and create music. My favorite music is definitely within the urban genres of Hip-Hop and R&B. But I can also really appreciate some good ol’ Jazz, Blues or Classical, and a well-written Pop song. I use music throughout the day as a tool to stay focused, to get my creative juices flowing, or to get myself pumped up before a sales meeting or a tough negotiation.

When I’m writing emails, proposals or anything dealing with text, I typically listen to music without any type of lyrics such as Classical, spa music or even natural sounds of water or wind. I’ve found that I’m not able to concentrate completely if I hear words and lyrics in the background while I’m writing. It is the same thing when I’m reading.

If I’m doing creative tasks, such as designing or editing visual elements, tasks that are not directly dealing with words, then I like to just listen to music that I love and that gets me in the zone. It can be some old-school Puff Daddy or just the Billboard charts to stay up-to-date with the current sound. When I’m in the zone, listening to music I love, I often come up with better ideas.

I find music very helpful, and the more conscious I am about it, the more productive I get. The key is to play different types of music in different types of situations.

Here’s what works for me along with some helpful resources:

1. Zen music or music without lyrics, works best for focused work, such as writing or reading. I love this guy’s music https://soundcloud.com/relaxdaily.

2. Up-tempo and good energy music makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable.

3. Music that I love gets my creative juices flowing.

4. To improve my mood, all I need to do is put on some positive music with good vibes.

5. Playing the right type of music or sound makes me work faster and more efficiently.

6. Uplifting and motivational music prepare me for battle “all I do is win win win no matter what”.

7. RainyMood (www.rainymood.com) is a site I’ve been using lately. It plays a loop of a mild storm. Perfect for writing or just to create a cozy vibe.

8. Mix the perfect productivity sound with Noisli (www.noisli.com).

9. SimplyNoise (www.simplynoise.com) plays a low pitch white noise. Having this in the background can help a lot if you’re in an environment where there’s something being uncontrollably loud, such as nearby construction work.

Now I’d love to hear from you. I want to hear your perspective on this. How do you use music to boost your productivity? Can you share any good tips … or any awesome playlists to recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Now let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang