This might be a slightly controversial subject, but many people choose to listen to music to help them focus. There are several situations where listening to music might even be preferable to silence, but these preferences vary from person to person. For some, white noise - like the sound of rain or Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise - can be better than music or silence for a certain task.
Music can definitely help with focus, though it can be a detriment if used at the wrong time. Still, knowing which situations call for music to help enhance your focus can give you an opportunity to excel while you enjoy the tunes you love. Understanding which situations are appropriate for music is a matter of personal experimentation.
So grab your best set of headphones - here are three reasons that music can help boost your focus.
The Rhythms of Music Help You Perform Rhythmic Tasks
Not all tasks are rhythm-based, but some certainly are and are served well with some music to accompany them. Dancing is an obvious choice that almost always requires music, but there are other times when music can help you get in sync with the task at hand.
Going for a run or heading to the gym? This is a prime opportunity to bring your music with you. Whether you’re lifting weights, doing aerobics, or running at a steady pace, all of these activities involve some kind of steady rhythm or tempo. By listening to music, especially music that’s upbeat and fast tempo, you can exceed the performance you would have with just the natural sounds around you.
A less obvious example would be something like coding, which often requires programmers to get into a soft rhythm to really crank out work on a given day. Rather than work in silence, many programmers will opt to work with music playing to help them increase their daily productivity.
Certain Genres and Styles Can Set a Mood That Helps You
Silence is a mood. We understand.
Even so, music gives you unlimited options to set the right mood for your task. Whether you need to chill a bit (low-fi hip-hop while checking email) or you’re taking in some EDM as you code, the genre can make all the difference in getting your mind set for the task.
Considering that much of our behavior is determined by unconscious factors, like your emotions, music can actually have a much larger impact on your work than you think. By putting yourself in a good emotional state for what you need to do, you’re giving yourself a better chance to excel at your task.
Access Flow State More Easily
The “flow state” is a momentary point of hyperfocus when you are so focused on a task that everything else becomes background noise.
You might be wondering why listening to music would be relevant if it’s just going to move to the background, but music’s ability to adjust our emotional states can help trigger flow state more easily if you know yourself well enough.
Yes, there are cases that the wrong music can just as easily knock us out of flow state (such as when a song comes on that you’d rather skip). You might also just be better at accessing flow state in silence.
In any case, finding the easiest transition into flow state is something we should all aspire to, which means some experimentation might be in order.
Try Luminant Music
So if you have successfully created a playlist that helps you focus like no other, you should also visualize it. If you ever just want to listen to your focus music for its own sake, unleash your creativity by making a music video that syncs with the rhythm and tempo.
You can learn more and sign up for a free 14-day Luminant Music trial below.