In both your personal and professional life, productivity is an important factor. When most people think of productivity, they think of commonplace productivity hacks such as limiting phone usage and having a designated time to check emails. But did you know that listening to music while you’re working can increase your productivity as well? Depending on the type of music among just a few other factors, music is something that fills ones environment with substance. When working in an office that is completely silent or working at a site where you hear nothing but machinery, it can make for a very dull day- leading to boredom, therefore decreasing productivity. Here is a list of ways listening to music can benefit you while you’re working.
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
1. Improves Mood
Particularly when you’re listening to music you like, music releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which we all have at times when in the workplace. If the music you’re listening to is upbeat, it can also serve as a motivator on days when you’re dragging. (We all have those days).
2. Narrows Focus
Music, especially classical music, is known to help your brain both absorb information and ease your mind. When you feel less consumed with all of the information your brain tries to process daily, you can zoom in on the tasks you’re doing which allows you to produce your best work.
3. Helps with Problem Solving
Music improves cognition and enhances both memory and learning. This leads to ideas and innovative solutions to problems. It also gives you the fluidity to see problems from multiple perspectives instead of having rigid thinking.
4. Makes Tasks More Pleasurable
All of us have components of work that we are not particularly thrilled about. Depending on the position, some of us may have tasks that are repetitive and monotonous. Music will give you a rhythm to what you’re doing, making it feel faster instead of dragging. It also slightly divides your attention so you’re not solely thinking about how badly you don’t want to do a task.
5. Improves Creative Process
Music is known to promote divergent thinking. This is when you have many thoughts and ideas flowing to you at once. This is often when you come up with your best ideas because your stream of consciousness is open and you begin to make unexpected connections.
6. Blocks Out Other Distractions
If you’re listening to music while working, it will block out other sounds around you, such as: conversations of co-workers, constantly ringing phones, or people walking by. Hearing multiple noises happening all at once burns energy as your brain sees it as data that needs to be processed. Instead of involving yourself in those conversations or turning around to see what the noise is, you are honed in on what you’re doing and are able to keep at it.
Because music helps you elevate your mood, it can help get you moving faster and more “in the zone”. When you feel happy, you are less likely to make errors. Also, when you are in a good mood, you have better interactions with colleagues, clients, and customers.
Things to Consider:
1. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Just like all things, music affects introverts and extroverts, as well as different personalities differently. Listening to tracks during work may not be the best option for everyone. Some introverts may do better working in silence. It is entirely dependent on the person.
Music with lyrics can be distracting, especially if you choose to listen to songs that you know all of the words to. Before you jump straight to your favorite tracks, try listening to non-lyrical or karaoke versions of the songs you like.
3. Listening Habits
If you are someone who listens to music all the time and with every task that you do, adding it to your work day will feel only natural. If you are someone who only listens to music occasionally, it may take some getting used to.
4. Difficulty of Tasks
If you are doing a task that requires all of your focus, like crunching numbers or writing documents, music is not something you will want to add to the mix. Instead, listen to it on your lunch or take a few short breaks during the day and play a few minutes of upbeat or calming music then.
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