It’s a beautiful and universal language that trolls and humans alike have enjoyed for millennium after millennium.
It’s also great to listen to when you’re working an eight-hour day in the office. As a matter of fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re reading this while wearing headphones and bobbing your head to your favorite jams.
I’m sure you’ve heard that listening to music while working affects your productivity. There have been quite a number of studies on the subject performed in the past—studies that focused on the relationship between music and productivity, the type of music and productivity, and when and when not to listen to music while working, among other studies.
Here at GreatCircle Studios, we’re not strangers to listening to music while we work. We love our tunes. For many of us, music helps us concentrate.
Heck, I’m listening to some nice, relaxing Aphex Twin while I’m writing this.
So, for today’s Mayhem topic, I’m going to talk about three benefits of listening to music while you work. This Tuesday, smash your workplace mayhem with your headphones on or your earbuds in—it might help you more than you think.
Doing something repetitive? Turn up the tunes.
Let’s face it:
Repetitive tasks can get really boring really quickly.
Sometimes, you might find your mind wandering as you complete them. In other cases, maybe you’re operating completely on muscular memory as you complete such tasks, and you’re growing tired.
Either way, you’re not focusing like you should. You’re unhappy and you could make some serious mistakes.
Turn on some peppy tunes while you’re working on repetitive tasks. They’ll perk you up and make those monotonous tasks a lot more endurable. When you’re feeling more awake and when your mood is improved, your productivity will improve.
Have you heard of that study conducted back in 1972 involving music and assembly line workers? Those who conducted the study found that the assembly line workers who listened to music while working were happier and more productive.
Of course, they were. They had some cheery music to listen to, and it probably made their tasks at hand a heck of a lot more bearable.
Liking the music that you’re listening to also helps. Hearing one of your favorite songs cheers you up, right? Imagine how much more it’ll improve your mood while you’re in the middle of working.
In any case, remember to turn up those tunes when you know you’ve got some repetitive tasks to complete during the day.
For more involved tasks: the fewer lyrics, the better.
Think about it:
If you’re listening to music with lyrics, you might find yourself concentrating on the lyrics. What do these words mean? Are they literal, or is there a more meaningful interpretation beyond the initially perceived meaning?
Maybe you started singing along to the lyrics. And while you’re singing along, you can’t resist the urge to start playing some air guitar.
The latter might be a little more of an extreme case—but the point is that you’re concentrating more on the words of the song that you’re hearing and less on the task you need to complete.
That email or article isn’t going to write itself. Trying to focus on the words you’re writing and the words you’re hearing at the same time is rather difficult.
In this case, lyrics are distracting.
If your tasks require a lot of concentration and a lot of involvement, especially when it comes to words, go for some music without lyrics.
There are a lot of options here:
You could opt for some Baroque-era music, like Johann Sebastian Bach.
Certain game soundtracks might not be a bad place to start, either. Many of them are designed to be subtle and relaxing so players can focus on the tasks to be completed in the game they are playing.
There’s always Brian Eno’s music, too.
Again, you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to music sans lyrics. Find what you like the most, turn it on, get focused, and kick some tail on those very involved tasks.
Noisy office? Music helps you escape.
Sometimes, you can hear everything going on in your coworkers’ cubicles, from important conversations on the phone to the consumption of the world’s loudest potato chips.
If you work in an open office, you’re bound to encounter open office mayhem—particularly noisy mayhem, at that.
And hearing all that open office mayhem, you might find yourself losing the ability to concentrate.
In this case, it’s all the more helpful to plug in your headphones and turn on your favorite tunes—especially if they improve your mood and help you focus.
Maybe you can’t concentrate when you can overhear every detail of the telephone conversation your coworker is having in the cubicle right beside yours…
…but once you have your music playing, you can escape from that distracting noise and get in the zone.
Likewise, this trick also works if you can’t concentrate in complete silence. Silence can be boring—and when you’re tired and miserable, it might not do much to help your mood.
Whether you need to wake up and focus or drown out the sounds of open office mayhem, listening to music may be the perfect option for you.
Tying it all together.
We love music at GreatCircle Studios. And if you do too, it might not be a bad idea to start listening to it while you work.
Before you do, however, make sure that you double-check your workplace’s policy.
Is it okay to bring in those headphones and that iPod?
Will your boss or coworkers have any issues with you listening to your music while you’re working?
If you’re allowed to listen to music while at work, will your coworkers and boss prefer you to keep your headphones or earbuds plugged in? Or is it okay for you to play that music for all to hear?
Different workplaces have different policies.
If you can listen to music at work, see if it benefits you. We hope it will—and that you found this article helpful.
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