Using Music To Improve Your Focus

When you were younger how many of you put on that single or LP before you went out, or created that power mix to put you in the ‘party mood‘? How many of you still do that, or do you reach for the eclectic selection brought to us by streaming services to create your background musak?

Over the years I have found that I can use music to trigger various different moods and prompt activity. I can How can you use music to supercharge your performance?

According to a 2007 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, music classical music, specifically can help your brain absorb and interpret new information more easily. ( The researchers found evidence to suggest that music can engage your brain in such a way that it trains it to pay better attention to events and make predictions about what might happen. I have certainly found this to be the case. Other research also supports music as a possible method of improving focus. In a 2011 study of 41 boys diagnosed with ADHD, background music distracted some of the boys, but it appeared to lead to better performance in the classroom for others.

When I was studying for my MBA, I reached out for my favourite classical playlist and this really got my creative juices going and kept my focus on track. It appeals to me that the type of music matters. I find that instrumental music helps me to induce a learning trance state, whereas slower music calms.

Before running facilitation and interventions, I refer to the motivational mojo playlist. These sounds move me to the tasks in hand and have now anchored a positive outcome.

Music can also reduce stress. According to a study from BMS College of Engineering in Malaysia, if we choose a tune about 60 beats per minute, this relieves stress. This tempo is slightly slower than the resting human heart rate ( This brings an increase in cognitive functions as we think more clearly.

Studies have also shown that playing music as background noise in the hallways and conference rooms help to bring cohesiveness, especially during cooperative work or when moods are dipping due to deadlines and projects. (

At the gym, many people find that listening to music as they exercise helps them to go the extra mile. The same can be true for the office. When you’re working on something dull and repetitive, such as filing or data entry, an upbeat soundtrack can be just what you need to keep your energy up. ( Perhaps it is time to adopt a more liberal approach and encourage our employees to reach for those earbuds or headphones?

So we understand what music can do for us and how it can help. What is it that works for you? My collaborative motivation playlist has been running on Spotify has now been running as an experiment for about a year. I have many contributors – each offering a couple of tracks that help them to gain motivation. I have gained new musical insight so perhaps you would like to add some in. Come along and say hi with your suggestions.