Music can affect a person’s overall life, from mental to physical health. It makes you happier, lowers your stress level, reduces depression, helps you sleep better, and elevates your mood. But in addition, it increases your verbal intelligence, sharpens your learning skills, enhances interpreting powers, assists in memorizing things, and even raises your IQ.
But can music help you concentrate while working and enhance productivity?
Science answers this query; studies show that listening to music makes the listener happier and better able to do repetitive tasks without boredom and distraction. But it doesn’t mean that it helps only with repetitive tasks. Music can even help with laborious and attention-needed work like surgery.
Finding the right music is tricky; however, the below list of the best concentration music for deep work according to science will help you find the one that works best for you.
by Susan Cain
⏱ 13 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Does Music Really Helps In Concentrating While Deep Work
According to a study by Dr. Lesiuk, individuals who listen to music while working can accomplish their tasks more quickly and have better ideas than those who do not. Music also plays a significant role in lowering stress and anxiety levels and filling you with pleasure. Thus, you can do tasks more readily and creatively when you feel good.
Which Music Works Best?
Which music most helps you become more productive depends upon your personality and choices. Though many people think that noisy places negatively affect your creativity and productivity, what Susan Cain’s “Quiet” tells us is that it is not only nature but nurture that shapes our personalities and helps define who we are.
She says that sad music always makes her sad, and she starts feeling a connection with those who go through this agony. Music impacts a person’s ability to concentrate, interpret messages, recall things, and enhances the performance and functioning of the brain. But the best choice of music might be entirely different for someone else.
Susan also claims that it’s the reason some people might feel more creative, energetic, and develop unique ideas near loud music, even concerts. While others, the introverts, feel more relaxed and creative in the calmness of their rooms.
Best Science-Backed Concentration Music for Deep Work
Though the selection of music depends upon your choices, science researchers also have something to say, so keep reading to learn about science-backed concentration music for work.
Whether you want concentration for deep work or to come off with flying colors in academic tasks, classical music like Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel may play an essential role. While we can’t put all classic songs in this category; music that maintains volume, rhythm, and beat consistently, helps it to blend into the background as you get into your workflow.
Moreover, the Mozart Effect claims a boost in IQ or abstract reasoning ability if you listen to Mozart’s music for even a short period daily. Even Gordon Shaw, Frances Rauscher, and Katherine Ky’s research prove this claim. They took 36 students, divided them into three groups, and allowed one group to listen to Mozart’s Sonata for 10 minutes. Another group listened to a relaxation tape, and the third stayed in silence.
In the end, the first group shows an increase of 8 to 9 points in IQ. But this isn’t mean that Mozart’s music can turn you into a genius. Even one of the 2001 reviews shows that Mozart positively affects spatial-temporal reasoning, but only for a short period.
However, for concentrating on deep work, classical music really helps you without causing any distractions.
Stress and anxiety negatively affect productivity and is becoming the leading cause of distraction. According to the findings of new research conducted by Florida National University, studying while listening to ambient music may lower feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition, it enhances the listener’s performance, attention, and brain function.
Even in the Spotify survey conducted in 2021, 69% of subjects from the US and UK chose ambient music among 4,000 adults, and almost 67% agreed that slow beat is the game-winning point.
Lyric less Songs (Instrumental)
It’s not the sound but the words that disturb your concentration and catches your attention. People unknowingly start focusing on the words and the message that they interpret. And in the end, it disrupts your train of thought. Cambridge research and studies show that the words your ear listens to can attract your brain more than the sounds.
Nature Related Music
Research shows adding nature’s sounds help enhance intelligible speech, cognitive functioning, and concentration. Nature sounds help improve productivity, and such music helps students in their studies. Moreover, the sweetness and rhythm of nature music can help calm you, which helps minimize distractions.
Video Games Music
No one can deny how vital concentration is while playing games. Any distraction can ruin the experience. That’s why video game music is created after much thought and strategy. Thus, it helps the gamers concentrate on their game, and similar music also helps enhance productivity and creativity while deep working. The following are some of the best concentration music choices for work.
Pink & White Noise
The power spectrum of a sound is what is meant by the term “noise colors.” Pink noise tends to have a lower frequency range than white noise. On the other hand, white noise plays all the frequencies at once with equal strength.
Scientific reports published in 2017 concluded that white noise helps recall new words. Pink noise, according to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience study, also helps recall new words and provides memory-enhancing benefits. Both noise colors offer support in enhancing recalling and productivity.
Keep in mind, the studies show both noises cause deep sleep in some cases, so it might cause drowsiness.
Choosing the right music is not enough; the volume also matters. Research conducted in three universities, British Columbia, Virginia, and Illinois, states that instead of high and low, moderate noise levels are perfect for keeping you concentrated and bringing creative ideas to your mind.
A low noise level gets people’s attention, and they unknowingly listen to it, moderate noise level boosts abstract thinking, while a high level makes it harder for the brain to comprehend information.
Music That Makes You Feel Good
Don’t let your favorite song steal your concentration; instead, play a song that makes you feel good in the background. People often mistake these two as the same, but they are not. While discussing the neurology behind the human love of music, Dr. Valorie Salimpoor explains that listening to songs that match your personality triggers a dopamine release to the brain, a happy chemical.
So, music that makes you feel good can be a helpful companion while concentrating on deep work.
Music That Doesn’t Bother You
Which personalities distract people the most? Either the favorites or whom they hate the most. It’s a similar case when it comes to music, and is proven by Taiwan’s Fu Jen Catholic University, where a study concludes that likeness and dislikeness towards particular background music bring the greatest distraction for workers.
So, instead of choosing a song you actively love or hate, add songs in your playlist that don’t bother you.
Coffee Shop Music
A fantastic mood that promotes productivity can be achieved by sitting in a room with no background noise while listening to rhythmic music. However, following the same pattern might cause boredom. When boredom occurs, the only thing that can assist is a change in the surrounding environment.
Because of this, going to a coffee shop and listening to music while you’re there can result in a significant shift. However, playing coffee shop music in the background while working at home also affects you positively.
Other Language Music
Some people don’t like lyric-less songs. If you are one of them, you might struggle with concentrating on your work when there’s music playing because the lyrics immediately attract your attention.
Try listening to songs in an unfamiliar language. The lyrics can’t distract you if you can’t understand them. Following are some best concentration music for work in different languages.
Though I have tried to list the most essential and best concentration music for deep work according to science, this doesn’t mean you can’t choose whatever works best for you. But it proves that music definitely increases productivity levels.
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