Last week we shared a shocking statistic: The average human attention span has sunk to below the level of the average goldfish. Holy shite. That can’t be good.
And, among all the counsel for pulling focus onto the task at hand – everything from breathing exercises to caffeine infusion to digital moratoria – we find music the best tactic for improving your attention, maximizing your retention, and optimizing your output.
Music. A seminal study detailed in Scientific Reports finds music helps you focus on your own thoughts. It’s called “functional brain connectivity.” Music provides a bridge between auditory brain areas and the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation. So music, it turns out, works better than silence, which invites your goldfish mind elsewhere.
“Given that musical preferences are uniquely individualized phenomena and that music can vary in acoustic complexity and the presence or absence of lyrics, the consistency of our results was unexpected,” the researchers wrote.
Which means if you prefer Slim Shady to Shostakovich, such preferences will lead to “better” results. By better, we mean your favorite music will elicit more and more specific personal thoughts, and usher brighter memories from the dark corners of your mind.
And therein lies the rub. “Functional brain connectivity” in this context actually equates not to focus, but to distraction. Huh? Just think about it.
If you’re trying to reconcile the books, or ghostwrite an athlete’s memoir, or code the next great crypto offering, the last thing you want is your own memories and personal reflections intruding. That’s the definition of distraction.
Which is fine if you’re lounging around feeling wistful and nostalgic. But not at work, not when you need to concentrate at the task at hand.
Focus@will uses specially engineered tracks, not just any old music—especially not the familiar kind. We offer the brain-shaping features of sound to keep your mind both undistracted—and not habituated to those familiar tunes that evoke associated feelings and thoughts. It all works on your nonconscious mind, keeping your attention, increasing your retention and your productivity.
Again, don’t listen to your own music, your go-to tunes. That tactic will have the opposite effect, fuzzying your focus and reducing – perhaps dramatically – your yield. We ask you to lend us your trust, and try our music instead. You won’t be disappointed.
And one more thing. That Microsoft study we cited last week, the one that claims homo sapiens’ attention span sleeps with the fishes? Yeah—it’s bullshit. Focus is task specific. Our users’ baseline focus at work starts at more than 750 times that inane eight seconds—100 minutes. Jumpstart your productivity. Try focus@will today.