Using Music to Work Better and Faster

Jeffrey Bates explains why he started listening to songs on repeat while doing creative work, and the positive effects this has had

I’ll listen to the same song for days at a time and often for the entire length of a project (weeks). Or sometimes I’ll listen to a slower song in the morning and maybe a faster song later in the day. I’ve discovered that this approach makes a significant impact on the quality and the volume of work I produce. This practice will work for designers, writers, programmers, or anyone who’s involved in intensely focused work.

Why is song repetition such a powerful tool?
Studies suggest that when you listen to music you like, the brain releases the chemical dopamine that can have positive effects on your mood. Fast music can actually increase your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, while slower music tends to have the opposite effect.

By listening to the same song on repeat, you are altering your physiology. Over time the song starts to fade into the background. That’s when you begin to transcend from actually listening to just feeling the music.

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