Is It A Good Idea To Listen To Music While Working?

28 Dec '2017 Knops

It’s hard to be productive sometimes

I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but working in an open office or in a coffee shop can drastically decrease my productivity level. The phone rings, obnoxious music is playing, someone makes a joke, you have a conversation about your vacation plans – it’s all not really a world disaster but it can bring up some productivity problems.

Headphones are a way to fix that. Sometimes it’s good to not even play music, but to just wear the headphones so no one bothers you. The co-worker who just has a ‘quick, like two seconds question’ is of course not trying to bother you, but still: it keeps you from the work you have to do.

“You need something that will keep you psychologically aroused”

Factory workers & brain surgeons

Those headphones – with or without music – can help. But apparently, silence works even better, although it depends on your job. There are some studies that prove that music can help for your productivity, but those were conducted on factory workers (who hear metal pieces clang on each other the whole day) and brain surgeons (who are literally drilling through a skull for a lot of the time).

“In that case, it’s a situation like being a long-distance truck driver. If nothing goes wrong, the task itself is somewhat boring and repetitive, so you need something that will keep you psychologically aroused,” Daniel Levitin wrote in his book ‘This is Your Brain on Music’.

“If you can understand the lyrics, it will impair your performance of reading comprehension.”

Your favourite music?

But in this study from the 1980’s, people had to count backward while listening to either upbeat music or soft music of the subject’s choice, or nothing. Listening to your own music makes you do drastically worse than listening to nothing, the study found.

If really do not want silence during work, and if you have a job that’s not as repetitive as long-distance truck driving and requires a lot of reading, it’s better to listen to some non-engaging music, without vocals and lyrics, without too much complexity. According to Dr. Nick Perham: “If you can understand the lyrics, it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, it will impair your performance of reading comprehension.”

Looking for more music tips during work? Read this article.

The 3 Simple Ways To Get More Productive In 2018

Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, it’s always nice to start with good habits. Here are the three tips that always work if you want to get more productive.Start earlyWhile it can be delightful to be in bad for an extra fifteen minutes (or even an hour), this seriously kills your productivity. Get up early and start immediately. That doesn’t mean you have to start working immediately, but just means you have to do something productive. Run, read a book or the news, make a nice breakfast, write, meditate, answer your emails whatever - you can probably