Do You Listen to Music While Working? Here’s How It affects Your Brain!
It’s a question worth asking, since music has increasingly become a part of the modern-day workplace. Music has a strange temporal permanence; as art decorates space, so does music decorate time.
With so much of our time being spent at work, and so much of our work being done at computers, music has become inseparable from our day-to-day tasks—a way to “optimize the boring” while looking at screens.
Though it may be a fine way to avoid habituation, the question remains: does music actually make you more productive? More focused? More creative? Or is all that a placebo?
Before you press “play”, however, let’s take a look at the research.
1.Music interfere with learning
Learning requires your brain to analyze and remember instructions/facts.When it comes to absorbing and retaining new information, distraction in any form is a huge no-no. Thus, if you have to learn something at work, it’s best to turn off your music, especially if you’re learning verbally or through reading and the music has lyrics.
2.In a Noisy Workplace, Music Is An Solution.
If your workspace is noisy, the brain will try to handle all the individual pieces of data in the noise.Researchers have shown that a moderate noise level can really get creative juices flowing, but that too much noise has the opposite effect. In this case, listening to music actually can help, because it blocks out the other excessive input that could overwhelm you and keeps you calm.If there is no physical escape—such as a private room—then a pair of headphones may be the best alternative.
3.Music Makes Repetitive Tasks More Enjoyable.
Music’s effectiveness is dependent on how “immersive” a task is, referring to the creative demand of the work.
Various studies have indicated that, in general, people who listened to music while they worked on repetitive tasks performed faster and made fewer errors.This is true even when the task you’re doing is complex–surgeons routinely listen to music in the operating room specifically because it relieves the stress that could compromise their focus and performance.
4.New music is not good for focus.
It may be beneficial to listen to music you are familiar with if you need to intensely focus for a project.The reason being is that when you listen to music that’s new to you, the activity involves an element of surprise or novelty. So the music make more appealing than whatever other task you’re trying to do, drawing your attention to the tune and compromising your work focus.
With familiar music, you know what lies ahead and thus the sound doesn’t become your primary focus.
5.Lyrics can lead to distraction.
For low-immersion or physical tasks, music with lyrics can offer huge benefits. But for intensive work, lyrics are especially destructive for focus.
Since listening to words activates the language center of your brain, trying to engage in other language related tasks (like writing) would be akin to trying to hold a conversation while another person talks over you… while also strumming a guitar.Lyrics might not have the same effect on creative tasks that don’t directly deal with “verbal architecture.” This study that looked at software developers suggested that music with lyrics helped their output while working.