Our aural surroundings have a distinct effect on our ability to focus and get things done. Certain genres of music have been proven to boost motivation, retention of information and linguistic capabilities. At Branigan, we share a love of music, but not everyone shares the same loves. Here are some of my favorite playlists curated for the type of project I’m working on at any given time.
I’m a huge hip-hop fan. It’s one of my favorite genres to listen to when I’m trying to get pumped up before a workout, during my morning commute or while I work on a big project. Maybe something else – like hard rock or pop – does this same thing for you. Find the genre, artist or album that motivates you. Keep it in your back pocket for when you aren’t feeling up to any task and leverage it when it’s time to get pumped.
Retention of information
When I was in college and studying for a big exam, my go-to playlist would usually include classical music. I knew a bunch of my classmates who would also use similar playlists. There’s preliminary evidence that classical music can aid in information retention. Studies point to the genre’s tempo, lack of lyrics and melodic cadence as reasoning for why these songs might help people retain information. Trying to learn a new hard or soft skill in the workplace? Typing up a meeting recap? This playlist might be exactly what you need.
Linguistics and focus
I like this playlist if I have to focus in on a single task. This one gets more rotation toward the end of the month when I’m neck-deep in spreadsheets. The dreamy ethereal beats and hooks mixed in with a sampling of old jazz tunes fade into the background as I wrap up that big end-of-the-month report. It’s sonically interesting but not at all distracting. Sort of like having Netflix on in the background while you scroll your Instagram feed. In fact, modern-day DJ's are spinning these playlists live 24/7 on YouTube to help people study/relax/chill.
Each person’s idea of the perfect work and music pairing is, of course, subjective. Whether we’re all together in the office listening to our latest group playlist or diving into our own auditory adventures from our home offices, music helps keep us grounded — and productive.