Can Music Help You Work More Efficiently?

Though we don’t always consider our sonic environment when looking for ways to improve our workflow, studies suggest that music can have an impact on our productivity levels. Interestingly, it’s not as simple as music being good or bad for productivity. Instead, it depends on the type of work you’re doing and the type of music you’re listening to. Here are some key things to keep in mind if you want to use music to your benefit.

Why Listen

There are many reasons to reach for your headphones during the workday. Tuning into some music can help you tune out distractions, it can make repetitive tasks more pleasant, it can increase focus, and it can provide some added motivation. The key to finding productivity success here is being intentional with the type of work and music you pair.

When to Listen

In general, music can boost our productivity in many types of work. Whether we’re writing a blog post, crunching some numbers, or creating a new marketing campaign, the right tunes can help us work more efficiently. There is one exception to this. When you’re trying to learn new information, studies show that listening to music will work against you. So, before you throw on your headphones, think about the type of task at hand, and if learning is required, maybe go for silence; otherwise, go ahead a hit play.

What to Listen to

They type of music that will best support your productivity is going to depend on the type of task you’re working on and your current state of mind. If your energy levels are low, an upbeat tune can help you from fading. If you’re doing more mindless tasks, lyrics can be fine, however, if you need more focus, instrumental tracks or ambient noise are your best bets. Another thing to keep in mind if you really need to focus — playing something familiar is often more beneficial than choosing something you’ve never heard before. Classical music is a great choice for a variety of tasks, electronic music can help you maintain focus without disturbing your thought process, and even video game music can help you work more efficiently.

How to Listen

Lucky for us, there are countless ways to listen to music. From free options like YouTube and Pandora to subscriptions services like Spotify, it’s often just a matter of clicking a few buttons. Many platforms like these even offer playlist specifically geared towards focus and productivity. If you really want to immerse yourself in the full benefits of music on your productivity, check out the app Focus@Will that boats a 4x increase in productivity. With some interesting scientific research behind it, this app helps users find their perfect focus sounds.


Working to achieve greater productivity doesn’t need to be a daunting chore. When you embrace strategies like listening to the right tunes, improving your productivity can be enjoyable. Do you have any go-to genres or artists that help you get through the workday? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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