I like to say my life is full….not busy….busy sounds scattered to me, whereas full…well sounds full. However full also means that there is no more room and that is not what I want for my day or week either. What I am always on the hunt for is a way to be more organized and more efficient in what I do, so I can create the margin required for the unexpected…..hopefully some extra fun in the week.Here is how you can use music to boost your productivity, and generate more margin in your life.
Music Targets Different Sides of Your Brain
Music is well known to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously (actually no other activity seems to do this better than music), however there are some benefits to being able to switch between left-brain and right-brain. Ronald A. Berk of Johns Hopkins University suggests music is effective in isolating the side of the brain you wish to develop. To improve the function of your left-hemisphere Berk recommends that you listen to unfamiliar, fast, up-tempo music in major keys. As we have read many times over to relax the mind it is best to feed it with your preferences, however when we are working to stimulate and challenge the mind (stimulate your logic) using new music, that the brain needs to digest, can be effective. To work the right side of the brain (like when you are reading, studying, reflecting or engaging in creative pursuits) Berk suggests you want the exact opposite – slow music in minor keys. Slow, minor-key produce Alpha waves – these relax the brain, which can be useful and help your new experiences or learning pass into long-term memory (Millbower, L. (2000). Training with a beat: The teaching power of music. Sterling, VA: Stylus).
Play Happy Music
Listening to something happy – raises our mood, and a better mood is known to help people be more productive – it’s the happiness advantage. Not only did the sample of students from Penn state report more positive emotions after listening to music, but the already positive emotions were intensified by listening to music.”
Play music at work
The music industry has proof that you should listen to music while you work. In a survey commissioned by the UK licensing organizations PPL and PRS for Music, 77 percent of surveyed businesses say playing music in the workplace increases staff morale and improves the atmosphere. The results seemed to be greater productivity. However a summary of recent research from Taiwan shows while some background music can increase worker satisfaction and productivity, music with lyrics could have significant negative effects on concentration and attention. The study concluded that music without lyrics is preferable, as lyrics are likely to reduce worker attention and performance.
Use music to help you sleep
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found employees with moderate sleep problems cost their companies about $2,500 in lost productivity a year. This study has also shown that listening to soft, slow (about 60 BPM) music like jazz or classical can improve the quality and duration of sleep, as well as improve functioning the next day.
As I repeat time and time again in TUNE IN, what makes music powerful is the intention in which it is used – use music with intention and improved productivity is possible.
Jennifer Buchanan, BMT, MTA is the happy owner of JB Music Therapy and Author of TUNE IN. Our “Music Speaks” Blog aims to inspire you to use music with greater intention and knowledge. Call us to help or and browse our resources here