4 Ways Music Boosts Your Productivity

4 Ways Music Boosts Your Productivity & When to Hit Stop

One way or another, we all love music.

Be it jazz, Latin, hip-hop, alt-country or death metal, there’s always something out there that will tickle our fancy, put a smile on our faces and makes us dance like fools.

Many of us listen to music while we work. For example, as I write this blog post, I have Chris Stapleton’s latest album From a Room: Volume 1 on repeat, hoping it muffles my daughter’s nagging and helps me find that lonely muse known as inspiration.

While music might help me focus and get the job done, many others can only be productive with nary a sound in the background.

Many of you will be happy to know, however, that studies have shown that music can in fact boost your work productivity, help you focus during tedious tasks and put you in a better mood.

With this in mind, here’s Taxlinked’s latest list, laying out four ways in which music boosts your productivity at work and one way it doesn’t.

Now pump up the jams and enjoy. Yee-haw!

Music Neutralizes Distractions

Neutralizes Distractions One of the primordial benefits of listening to music you enjoy while working or performing a task is that it eliminates surrounding distractions.

According to Dean Burnett, author of The Idiot Brain and a contributor for The Guardian, music “provides non-invasive noise and pleasurable feelings, to effectively neutralise the unconscious attention system’s ability to distract us. It’s much like giving small children a new toy to play with while you’re trying to get some work done without them disturbing you.”

Furthermore, as explained by Tom Popomaronis for Inc., in a noisy work environment or one filled with distractions, “listening to music can actually help, because it blocks out the other excessive input that could overwhelm you and keeps you calm.”

Music Makes Repetitive Tasks Easier

Makes Repetitive Tasks Easier – Working on repetitive tasks can be a dud. Several studies, however, suggest that listening to music while performing these will improve efficiency and bring some cheerfulness into the room.

For example, as reported by Fast Company, some studies have “showcased how assembly line workers displayed signs of increased happiness and efficiency while listening to music.”

According to one particular study by J.G. Fox and E.D. Embrey in Applied Ergonomics, “results give strong support to the contention that economic benefits can accrue from the use of music in industry,” and “show that music is effective in raising efficiency in this type of work even when in competition with the unfavourable conditions produced by machine noise.”

Music Improves Mood

Improves Your Mood – Listening to music at work is guaranteed to improve your mood.

Research performed by Teresa Lesiuk, a Musical Therapy Professor at the University of Miami, shows that, among IT experts, “those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.”

Lesiuk told the New York Times, “When you’re stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention,” but “when you’re in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options.”

Using Music as a Productivity Tool

Source: Musicians Byte

Makes the Creative Juices Flow – “Music is one of the most exquisitely effective ways of allowing you to enter the mind-wandering mode,” says Daniel J. Levitin, author of the book This Is Your Brain On Music.

Mind-wandering mode is our brain’s default setting, one that facilitates the greatest amount of creative and innovative output and is significantly stimulated by listening to music.

As reported by Huffington Post’s Rebecca Adams, “In 2011, Finnish researchers found that when our brains process the timbre of a song, our default-mode network (associated with mind-wandering mode) is activated, inspiring creativity. Such mental rewards don’t only apply to those in the arts: Even computer programmers have been shown to benefit from the positive, relaxing mood that music can induce.”

Music, however, does not work at all times. Here’s one crucial time in which you should consider hitting pause.

Turn Music Off to Learn

Turn It Off to Learn – Various studies have shown that music interferes with learning, as it hinders the brain’s ability to process and store information.

Popomaronis, writing for Inc., explains, “When music is on, however, your brain has to process auditory data on top of processing the instructions and facts. Because of this multitasking, the brain can interpret the instructions and facts improperly, either associating them in odd ways or making mistakes about what's important enough to store. 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.”

What Do Our Members Have to Say About Work & Music?

Many Taxlinked members enjoy listening to music while getting work done.

Belinda Wong from Leader Corporate Services Limited Belinda Wong from Leader Corporate Services Limited, for example, enjoys Cantonese and Putonghua pop music, which she says, “help me relax during work.”
Maria Saveriadou from Meridian Trust - Corporate & Fiduciary Services Same for Maria Saveriadou from Meridian Trust - Corporate & Fiduciary Services, who confirms that music (such as Andrea Bocelli) allows her to focus and relax during working hours.
Femi Ogunshakin from Loftus Stowe Ltd Femi Ogunshakin from Loftus Stowe Ltd agrees; he listens to smooth jazz by the likes of David Sanborn, Dave Koz and Euge Groove while “drafting advisory notes and chatting with a client,” or classical music when “[getting] to grips with challenging briefs and strategising an approach to new instructions.”
Rizwan Akram Sherwani from Excise & Taxation Department, Punjab, Pakistan Furthermore, Rizwan Akram Sherwani from Excise & Taxation Department, Punjab, Pakistan replaced following news channels like CNN and BBC during his spare time at the office with “a combination of the beauty, melody and thrilling voices” of Tina Arena, Shakira, Selena Gomez, Avril Lavigne, and Katy Perry, which he says “has infused positive energy and stress relief” to his day.
Stephen Bush from VinceLegal, LLC According to Stephen Bush from VinceLegal, LLC in the USA, “Music is my life and will always be my number one passion so, naturally, I have something on when I'm working.”

Stephen leans towards classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Beatles, to list a few, but encourages our community to check out Random Album Title by Deadmau5 “next time you're in a crunch, [as] you won't be sorry!”
Stephen Ive from S H Landes LLP Even though Stephen Ive from S H Landes LLP doesn’t specifiy whether or not he listens to music at work, he shares Stephen’s passion. “I love music from many genres; I play bass and greatly appreciate musicianship in others and the creative process,” he says and recommends musicians like Agnes Obel, Goldfrapp, Thunderkat, Dead Can Dance, Joni Mitchell, Esperanza Spalding, Insane Clown Posse, Mudvayne, and pre-By The Way Red Hot Chilli Peppers, among others.
Omar Morales from Montt y Cía. S.A. Omar Morales from Montt y Cía. S.A., on the other hand, cannot listen to music while working. Albeit, on his time off work, he enjoys bands such as Austria’s Last Leaf Down.
Inamullah Ansari from PAK and UAE Lawyers Online At the other end of the spectrum, Inamullah Ansari from PAK and UAE Lawyers Online does not listen to music at all as it’s not permitted by his religious beliefs.
Ramazan Alkan In the end, however, music plays a special role in all of our lives, from offering us happiness throughout our day to reminding us, as in the case of Ramazan Alkan and his father, of our loved ones.

For those of you who haven’t yet participated in our related forum discussion, what role does music play in your life?

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