Music can aid productivity, says no less an authority than a physician with the Mayo Clinic. Music is believed to encourage the release of dopamine in the brain's "reward" area, which can have the paradoxical effect of calming a person and increasing drive. In fact, music can reduce time on-task, increase work quality, and improve mood, according to a study by researchers at the University of Windsor in Ontario.
Working to a background of music may require some trial and error when it comes to choosing what works best for you. And you may find that some assignments and some moods respond better to one type of music than another. Here are four soundtrack sources I have used to help me work, in no particular order.
1. Nirvana Radio
This is great background music with minimal distraction. You have your choice of Ambient, Meditation, and Relaxation streams, but all are non-intrusive and great if you need to block out the sounds of the garbage trucks going by or the neighbors having a party.
2. BBC Radio 3
If you're a classical music fan and don't mind a certain amount of chit-chat mixed in, BBC Radio 3 is a great choice. You'll not only listen to a variety in terms of tempo, era, and style, you'll probably learn a few things about your favorite composers.
3. Tibetan Healing Music
I find this eleven-hour YouTube collection very similar to the sound of wind chimes. It's terrific for those who find themselves getting to caught up in melodies or tempos of other types of music while working. It's some of the most beautiful and calming background sound out there.
4. Get Work Done Music
When you need to get energized and crank out the content, this eclectic collection of mostly electronic music and remixes is just right. Sometimes you'll be hit with something a little too distracting with vocals, but just click on the "Next" arrow and skip right over it to the next song.
The web has many great streaming sites that can provide the perfect background soundtrack to your workday, so if you find that working in silence is less than ideal, you should have no trouble finding music to suit your task and your mood. And if you're not sure where to find the kind of music you're looking for, you can go to Last.FM and type tags into the search bar to find what you want. It's great for when you're frustrated with a client or assignment and need some angry metal to draw some of the venom out of your mind, or when you have a hankering for some Chopin or Gershwin.
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