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Listening to Music Can Make You More Productive, But Only If It’s the Right Genre

Most of us have a favorite genre, band, or artist that we love listening to depending on what mood we’re in. For instance, you might tune into some chill folk music when you’re looking to unwind and relax at the end of a long day. Other times, you might hit play on a list of upbeat songs to help you stay alert and energetic. According to research from IT company CloudCover, picking the right type of music can make all the difference when it comes to being productive throughout your day.

Whether you’re running errands or at the office, chances are likely that you’re listening to music while you’re do it. CloudCover’s results showed 78.5 percent of their participants found an increase in productivity while enjoying music as they worked. That said, the research also found a specific set of genres to be the most beneficial: classic rock, alternative, and pop. Each of those options showed a roughly 25 to 30 percent increase in focus on the tasks at hand. They were followed closely by classical music, which scientists have claimed to be the best for our brains and bodies. Who knows, it might be worth creating a playlist that mixes together all four of those types of music to see if you can really amp up your productivity — especially when you’re working on particularly important projects.

On the flipside, hip hop and heavy metal were both shown to be about 30 percent more distracting while working. Of course, fans of these genres might disagree with that claim. Musical preference is subjective, after all, so if you happen to like listening to those types of music and find it doesn’t distract you at all, that’s great too! 

The CloudCover research also looked into a common frustration for retail employees: repetitive playlists provided by corporations. Over 62 percent of these workers admitted to hating hearing the same songs over and over again, which can obviously affect their ability to concentrate on their duties. All of these results prove just how much the music we listen to impacts our daily lives, so it’s worth a closer look at what you decide to jam to at work before pushing play.

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