October 25, 2017
Who would have expected that opposites would attract in such a spectacular way?
In the 1960s, hippies “dropped out” to take LSD and find inner peace at communes and music festivals. They never wanted to be a part of the “square” world where they would have to cut their hair, wear suits, and work 9-5.
In an unexpected twist, “square” people (that is, people with jobs like you and me) are now tuning in without dropping out—taking small doses of LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) at the office. They’re not looking to unlock the meaning of life. They simply want to be more productive and creative in their work.
Taking illegal drugs may seem like an extreme and risky way to enhance your performance. But boosting productivity is so important to some people that they’re willing to break the law to get ahead.
Thankfully, it’s not the only option. In fact, you can achieve many of the same benefits of microdosing simply by listening to music.
Music stimulates the brain in a similar way to some chemicals, but it’s much safer, more predictable, and 100% legal! Here are five reasons why you don’t need illegal drugs to boost your productivity.
As you probably know all too well, the biggest impediment to focusing is usually your own brain. The fact is, you’re hard-wired to seek out novelty. From social media notifications to crying babies, your brain is constantly refocusing on what’s happening around you.
Anecdotal evidence seems to show that psychedelics allow people to tune out distractions, and focus for extended periods. However, the same results can be achieved with music. In fact, our own research shows that Focus@Will’s music streams can increase your focus by up 400%.
Music and psychedelic drugs have long been associated with creativity (often in combination!). There’s no doubt that psychedelics stimulate free expression, however, even in small or controlled doses, the results can be unpredictable.
It seems like common sense that more intellectual or unpredictable styles of music like hip hop or jazz should stimulate your imagination. In actual fact, these types of music can be too distracting. Music that blends into the background has been shown to be far more effective in facilitating creative thinking. During tests, people who listened to our specially designed channels far outperformed others who listened to their favorite music while performing creative tasks.
It sounds counterintuitive to take drugs for emotional stability, but studies show that psychedelics like magic mushrooms may have a therapeutic effect on conditions like depression. In addition, they can create higher levels of openness, stronger bonds with friends and workmates, and feelings of gratitude. However, these types of drugs can also surface uncomfortable emotions and memories from the subconscious mind.
Of course, music has been known to affect our emotions for centuries. After all, that’s why you listen to it! Certain tones and rhythms can calm our minds, reduce anxiety, and put us in a relaxed state so we can concentrate on the task at hand.
Flow states—where you are so immersed in a task that you do not notice the passing of time—are key to achieving higher levels of productivity. In the wrong conditions, it can be hard to get into “the zone,” and it’s pretty much impossible to simply will yourself into a flow state. Microdosing is one short-cut, but it’s not the only way to bypass the noise of your conscious brain to boost your productivity.
Studies show that most people can only focus intently for short periods of between 20 and 40 minutes before they need a break. With Focus@Will’s specially formulated music channels, we’ve found that music can help you push the envelope, often allowing people to concentrate intensely for up to 120 minutes.
If you’re a coffee fiend, you know that there are plenty of chemical ways to stimulate your brain and push through tiredness and lethargy. Drugs like LSD can also give you the ability to override messages from your body and ignore pain and fatigue. Strangely enough, so can music.
We already know that music can help us tune out distractions, but it can also help us with internal distractions like restlessness, discomfort, and lack of energy. It’s a well-known fact that listening to music can boost motivation, energy, and stamina in athletes like runners and cyclists, leading to enhanced physical performance.
Of course, not all chemical stimulants are bad. There are many useful drugs to treat all kinds of conditions. Recently, we’ve also seen a rise in smart drugs or “Nootropics,” that can boost brain function.
When it comes to productivity, it’s all about finding what works for you. But for those who would prefer to keep their work environment drug-free, music is the answer!