Have you ever seen coworkers using earbuds while they work? There are lots of people who listen to music while they are working. By listening to their favorite tunes, some people have found themselves getting more work done during the day. This raises an interesting question: does listening to music actually make you more productive? In many situations, yes it does.
Music Distracts from Repetition
Lots of people hate dealing with assignments that involve completing receptive, tedious tasks (you may be one of them). Even when they aren’t mentally taxing, these assignments can take too much time to finish and few people enjoy doing them. As it turns out, listening to music can actually help make these tasks a bit more tolerable.
Listening to one of your favorite pieces of music can help improve your mood dramatically as you work. Workers who are happy usually handle these tasks better than those who are not happy. Since music can make you happier, listening to it can make a repetitive task not seem as bad and you can get the motivation to see the task through to the end.
Music Blocks Out Noise
Another reason why people like to listen to music is because it serves as a great noise blocker. Anyone who has worked in an office environment will tell you that things can get noisy from time to time. Coworkers can be chatting, and your boss could be getting too loud on a phone call. Regardless of the circumstances, loud noises such as these can distract you from your work.
Music can help you cancel out this noise, particularly when you use earbuds. Though it’s technically noise, your brain won’t process the music as a distraction if you enjoy listening to it. You then focus on listening to the song and you end up blocking the noise from the other rooms in the office, giving you the chance to get more work done.
How Certain Types of Music Affect You
Plenty of research has been done on the effects of music, and it has been shown that certain genres of music can improve productivity levels better than others. For example, classical music can help bolster concentration, thanks to its calming melodies. Similarly, ambient tracks can help put your mind at ease, giving you the peace of mind needed to focus on your tasks.
Other genres like jazz can help too, but music can really improve productivity when you are already familiar with the track you are listening to. When you already know the song, it becomes a natural part of the background and doesn’t become a distraction. Therefore, it helps you focus on the tasks at hand without disrupting your focus.
Sometimes Music Can Be Distracting
While music can help workers be more productive, it can hinder productivity in certain situations. For example, songs with lyrics have the potential to distract workers, since they focus too hard on following the words. People have found that instrumental pieces have been the most helpful in regards to bolstering productivity.
As mentioned above, when music helps bolster your productivity levels, it’s usually because you are already a fan of the song. Listening to unfamiliar music can actually hinder productivity, since you become more focused on learning the new song. This shifts your focus away from the work you are trying to finish.
To conclude, music can make you more productive, but it can also be a distraction in certain situations.