Lynn Vartan

Musician. Educator. Explorer.

Does Music Help Productivity?

Recently, I came across an article about music as a means to achieve tasks quicker and more efficiently. It cited interesting research studies which showed that specific noise and types of music have proved to help people focus and be more productive. I actually know a lot people who use this method and need background noise to concentrate. Some even listen to different kinds of music to do different kinds of things.

I am the complete opposite. Listening to anything when I am trying to get work done makes it almost impossible. Everything takes longer when there’s background noise. I like to practice visual, aural and kinesthetic learning when I do anything. And that means that when I am doing tasks, I am saying out loud to myself what I am doing. For instance, I’ll read whatever I’m typing in an email or describe the task I’m performing in that moment. While writing, I will process aurally what the words are as I’m looking at them on the page and as I’m typing them. This helps me get really deep into the task and be completely focused on what I am doing, which usually allows to get things done really fast. So adding any music or noise to that process can be really distracting and slow me down. The only time I love listening to music when I’m doing a task is when cooking! 

So I thought it was interesting that music can have such different effects depending on the individual. The article says that not all music is beneficial to productivity and that some specific sounds help people focus more than others. Sounds of nature are one of them. According to researchers, they are random enough that are not distracting and actually enhance cognitive functioning, optimize the ability to concentrate, and increase overall satisfaction. Songs without lyrics have a similar effect as opposed to songs with lyrics  because words force us to shift focus from our work to figure out what is being said. 48% of office workers say that they are distracted by speech. That is totally true for me!! Another interesting point was how tempo can increase your productivity. If your tasks requires more energy or a quicker pace, upbeat music might help. Interestingly, Baroque music, is a popular choice for many needing to get work done! If you want to read more on this topic check out the article!

So I’d like to know if you are more like me and noise really distracts you or if you cannot focus or be creative without music. Let me know I’m really interested!!


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This entry was posted on February 5, 2019 by in Uncategorized.
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