How Music Affects Your Productivity
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It’s best to listen to music you are familiar with if you need intense focus for a project.
New music is surprising; since you don’t know what to expect, you are inclined to listen closely to see what comes next.
For activities that don’t require concentration, music with lyrics has some benefits. But with immersive tasks, lyrics are especially destructive to our focus.
Trying to engage in language-related tasks ( e.g. writing ) while listening to lyrics would be akin to holding a conversation while another person talks over you… while also strumming a guitar.
For those that do benefit from listening to music during creative sessions, an “ambient” presence of music appears to work best.
Researchers have shown that a moderate noise level can aid creativity, but too much noise has the opposite effect. Bellowing basses and screeching synths will do you more harm than good when engaging in deep work.
When it comes to absorbing and retaining new information, distraction in any form is harmful. That includes music.
Music demands too much of your attention—even when the sounds are subtle—to be listened to when you are trying to learn or analyze new information.
In a noisy workplace, music may be an escape.
While the open space may encourage more collaboration, the chatter can be too much for some people to handle and hurt productivity.
When a task is clearly defined and repetitive in nature, music is consistently helpful.
It isn’t the music itself, but rather the improved mood your favorite music brings that is the source of bump in productivity.
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