© Steve Ball - Fotolia
© Steve Ball - Fotolia

Sound is a powerful thing. It can instantly change our moods, emotions and even our focus. We already know that ambient noise makes us more productive, as do the background noises heard at coffee shops. But how do these different sounds help us throughout the day? Lifehacker recently explored the types of music that are best suited for our work playlists.

Classical music has a reputation for 'making us smarter' and allowing us to use different parts of our brain. And that reputation isn't entirely wrong. More specifically, Baroque-period music has shown to boost the mood and productivity of workers. Productivity expert and author of Getting Things Done, David Allen, is a fan of listening to Baroque music when completing tasks like his weekly review.

Ambient sounds is another popular route for those looking for something to help them focus. The nature of ambient music is to engage you at a subconscious level, rather than the in-your-face sounds that most other genres produce. There are many different types of ambient music, such as downtempo, ambient house and Intelligent Dance Music (IDM). Many of these were created to provide a break for partiers of techno clubs. These sounds provide a moment of relaxation, but also gives listeners a bit of inspiration.

If you work in a generally loud atmosphere with talkative coworkers and other sounds that pose as distractions, you might want to try colored noise. Noise generators will create sound to minimize the distractions around you. These are usually grouped by color -- white, pink and brown/red. These sounds are meant to sooth and be unintrusive, while masking the distracting noises around you.

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