How Lo-Fi Music Can Improve Your Focus When Working From Home
When silence is not an option when working from home or needing to study, try giving Lo-Fi Music a chance to help you focus by blocking out unwanted distractions.
Working from Home (WFH) can produce anxiety, loss of focus and low productivity for people who either prefer in-person interactions with their colleagues or more private spaces to achieve an optimal work environment. Likewise, children who are unaccustomed to isolated, distance-learning are equally susceptible to decreased concentration and poor problem-solving ability, as a result of their changed environment.
With a number of people in a single residence all attempting to accomplish their normal daily routines, it has become almost impossible to ignore the distractions and ambient clutter competing for the brain’s attention.
How to Focus When Silence is Not an Option
Though we recognize there are schools of thought that believe silence is the optimal environment for work requiring deep concentration, in this article we explore the common reality when silence is simply not an option. How can you stay focused and on-task while distractions abound around you?
Enter Lo-Fi, or Low Fidelity Music and other digital technologies designed to improve the work and school-at-home experience through a genre of tech known as “productivity apps”, powered by neuroscience.
What is Lo-Fi?
Lo-Fi (think the opposite of “Hi-Fi”, as in “low fidelity”), is a music production quality that has often been disregarded as “imperfections” or elements of performance that are technically flawed. Interestingly, these same flaws can produce various positive, neurophysiological effects on the brain that can actually help improve concentration and stimulate brain activity.
Lo-Fi has often been defined as:
“The inclusion of elements normally viewed as undesirable in professional contexts, such as misplayed notes, environmental interference, or phonographic imperfections (degraded audio signals, tape hiss, and so on)”.
The main building blocks of a lo-fi track are a boom-bap drum, environmental noise (think hissing and record scratching) and jazzy instrumental elements, which combine to create “audio blocking” of distracting background noise.
YouTube Video: May I be your personal DJ for the next 45 minutes? : playlist mix #1 : [lofi, study, relax music]
YouTube Channel: Chillax Vibes Corner
The Benefits of Lo-Fi Music
As if magically, the compounding, imperfect traits of lo-fi music been attributed to providing the following benefits to its listeners:
- Increased Brain Activity
- Improved Cognitive Ability
- Elevated Mood
- Reduced Anxiety
- Calming and Restorative Effects
Increased Brain Activity
The drum loops found in lo-fi music become predictable at a subconscious level, creating a feeling of comfort or nostalgia as it takes the place of external environmental noise, as both hemispheres of the brain are activated. Increased brain activity equates to improved focus and concentration.
Improved Cognitive Ability
In a 2019 Manila University study, researchers study the effects of lo-fi, non-lyrical background music on free recall or memory. The conclusion reached was that participants who listened to lo-fi, non-lyrical music scored significantly higher than the two control groups of no music and lo-fi music with lyrics.
Slow music releases Serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood, also known as the “Happy Hormone“. Lo-fi music increases Dopamine and Serotonin to improve mood, while simultaneously reducing Cortisol, a stress hormone.
The reduction of stress hormone levels (Cortisol) in the blood will also aid in the reduction of blood pressure and heart arrhythmias.
Calming and Restorative Effects
Another related positive effect is often referred to as “cocooning”, where a listening environment of subtly predictable soft sounds creates a relaxing and protective space, ideal for increased productivity.