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Finding Your Work Groove: Exploring the Impact of Music on Productivity

Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, staring at your to-do list and your recently placed post-its, and suddenly you start feeling your energy levels plummet faster than a one-hit wonder’s career.
Jun 08, 2023

Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, staring at your to-do list and your recently placed post-its, and suddenly you start feeling your energy levels plummet faster than a one-hit wonder’s career. You want to finish all your tasks today, but you need something to kickstart your productivity, to jolt you out of the mundane. Another cup of coffee might not be a good idea, and a sugary snack might fool you for a few moments, but the sugar crash will eventually get to you. There is no need to look any further. Save yourself from a caffeine overdose or a nasty heartburn because the answer you’ve been searching for is right there in your headphones. Yes, we’re talking about the magical, transformative power of music and its ability to overcharge you into a productivity ninja. Sounds a little bit like some sort of scam, but I will talk about the science behind this concept and explore some unconventional ways to harness the rhythm and melodies for optimal productivity.

Before we embark on our learning quest, let me ask you: What are you listening to right now? Is it something soothing, relaxing, and comparable to white noise? Are you pumping some classics from the eighties, or are you blasting some perreo intenso? Let’s take a moment to understand the science behind this rockin’ phenomenon and why you are doing what you’re doing right now. Researchers have discovered that music activates various areas of the brain, just like a guitar solo shredding through your neural pathways and setting your mood for the day. Music stimulates motivation, attention, and memory, igniting your brain’s own pyrotechnic display of flashing neurons that light up like a main show at Tomorrowland. When we listen to music we enjoy, our brain releases a surge of dopamine, the happy hormone, creating an explosive energy boost that amps up our focus and brings your energy levels to the top.

Just like a good bassline, science is there to back this up. Studies have shown that music with a moderate tempo, around 60–80 beats per minute, syncs harmoniously with our natural heartbeat. It’s like a symphony conductor waving their baton in sync with your pulse, inducing a state of calm focus that, apart from being heard, can be felt all around your body like a choreographed dance with every cell being part of the dance. This magical sweet spot is commonly found in genres like classical, ambient, and certain types of instrumental music that’ll have you grooving in your office chair without making you want to get up to show your moves but also without letting you get too chill with the music and drifting out into a more relaxed state.

Now, let’s crank up the volume and explore some creative ways to integrate the right tunes into your work routine, transforming you into the productivity superhero you were born to be! (After that, you’ll get to experience the Airpals Playlist, created by mixing the favorite songs of our team members and collaborators.)

When it comes to deep focus and avoiding distractions, there is no better choice than instrumental music. The rhythm section keeps you grounded, the lack of lyrics can hijack your brain’s language centers, and the magnitude of each musical piece can transport you to a zero distractions sweet spot. Instrumental tracks provide the perfect backdrop for a zen-like work environment where focus is the main element of the equation. Imagine conquering your tasks while soaring through the soundscapes of classical maestros, ambient wizards, pic film scores, or even dramatic and dynamic game soundtracks. Let the music carry you to new heights of productivity while keeping those pesky distractions at bay. It’s like having your own personal orchestra serenading you to success, or an epic band accompanying your creative journey.

Feel like getting the team to sync on a specific task? Get the dancing beats out of the box and get the energy flowing through each member. Ever noticed how time seems to fly when you’re in the zone? Well, you can thank music for that. By creating a playlist with a specific duration, like an hour, you can trick your brain into entering a hyper-focused state. Your playlist becomes a countdown timer, urging you to complete as much as possible before the final note sounds. With the right tunes fueling your productivity, you’ll find yourself smashing through your tasks like a musical explorer, riffing through your to-do list with lightning speed. If the task requires more than one person, the urge to dance could be focused on the task at hand, with a partner in crime to share the moment.

Sometimes, a change of scenery is all you need to break through the productivity slump. Going for a cup of coffee or walking around can give you a new perspective, and the same goes for music! So get ready to click on shuffle and get ready to ride the wild waves of musical inspiration. Experiment with different genres to match your mood and the task at hand. Need an extra shot of creativity? Try some jazzy melodies or experimental tunes to get those neurons firing like a jazz ensemble in full swing. Feeling the need for speed? Turn up the tempo with some upbeat pop or energetic rock anthems (the 80s and 90s always do the trick for me) that’ll have you rocking your way to productivity glory. Need to focus, while at the same time, you need to get things done? Try some video game ambiance music (Metroid Prime has a great soundtrack for when I need to deal with long texts). Embrace the power of musical diversity, and you’ll find new avenues of productivity opening up before you, and you might find, just by accident, your new favorite song.

Sometimes energy plummets to zero, and it really sucks to try and engage with a demanding task. Instead of succumbing to the temptation of mindless scrolling on your phone, why not take a dance break? It’s time to unleash your inner backup dancer and let the rhythm guide your moves. Dancing to an upbeat, infectious tune can provide an instant burst of energy and rekindle your enthusiasm, like when MTV showed music videos (the good old days of cable TV) that had sudden and energetic choreographies that came from nowhere. So, set your favorite guilty pleasure pop anthem as your official dance break song, and when the going gets tough, let your inner dancer take over. Shake off the lethargy and dance your way back to productivity, show us what you got!

Embrace the music, unleash your inner rockstar, and get ready to dance your way to success, one beat at a time! So right after you finish this, click here to go to the Airpals playlist and let our songs be a part of your daily soundtrack so the next time you find yourself battling the forces of procrastination or drowning in a sea of deadlines, let us give you a hand and guide you through the day with rhythm and flow. Also, be sure to check our list below for some extra musical recommendations from the team that might lead you to the discovery of new beats and songs for your everyday score and follow us on social media for tips and bits to make your workday even more enjoyable.

Some Musical Highlights from the Airpals Team

Airpals Team Member: Carlos, Marketing Coordinator Song: Real Thing Artist: Turnstile Genre: Hardcore

Their take on it: Turnstile is a hardcore band that has gained significant recognition for their pop-oriented and accessible approach to the genre, attracting a broader audience. Their lyrics effortlessly alternate between introspective and uplifting themes. This song, in particular, serves as an ideal introduction to their music, infusing me with a surge of energy every time I listen to it. It’s an excellent starting point for anyone interested in contemporary hardcore and punk, especially if you’re unsure where to begin.

Airpals Team Member: Erick, UI/UX Designer Song: SOBRETODO DE MÍ Artist: María Escarmiento Genre: Electro-Hyperpop

Their take on it: It randomly popped up as a suggestion on Spotify while I was doing cardio, specifically jumping rope, and it surprisingly boosted my energy. I cranked up the volume, activated noise cancellation, and immersed myself in the beat. It got me so hyped that I started crying for no reason. In the end, I felt a sense of nostalgia for something I haven’t experienced before, like a feeling of future nostalgia, and the outro gave off a slightly sad vibe. I appreciate the contrast in this track. While I’m not great at deciphering lyrics, I think it’s about finding your best self after a breakup, acknowledging that being single can be sad but also provides an opportunity to focus on self-care. So, the lyrics are melancholic, but the song itself is upbeat and makes you want to jump and dance, conveying a message of “I’m sad because of the breakup, but I’m also celebrating the discovery that I’m my best self when I’m alone.”

Airpals Team Member: Isa, Operations Coordinator Song: Pink Venom Artist: Blackpink Genre: K-Pop

Their take on it: This song is a fantastic and energizing choice for workouts. It’s a perfect blend of English and Korean, so you won’t find yourself singing the entire song while exercising. Even though I’m not a huge fan of K-Pop, their latest album is incredibly enjoyable, and the majority of it is in English, which makes it easier to understand and connect with. They have a wide variety of fun songs that you’ll surely enjoy.

Listen to the entire Airpals Team-curated playlist by clicking here. We assure you it’s going to be a wild ride.