Whenever I find myself with a task to do I put on some music and suddenly find myself more focused. Of course you have to be aware of your surroundings at the same time. While listening to music on headphones works well, tapping your foot to the beat of a favourite tune or nodding your head can draw some stares, Not to mention the irritation to others if you start to hum along to the song! Nonetheless, I am a great advocate for listening to music while I work. It drowns out surrounding conversations allowing me to focus on the task at hand. This made me wonder then why does music help?
I came across a great article in the New York Times online explaining that “in biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain”. The article, by Amisha Padnani, expounded “It breaks you out of just thinking one way,” said Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami. Dr. Lesiuk’s research focuses on how music affects workplace performance. In one study involving information technology specialists, she found that 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. “When you’re stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention,” she said. “When you’re in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options.” You can read the full article here.
I have to agree with these findings. Music definitely relaxes and de-stresses me, allowing me to finish each job quicker and more accurately. It also makes work feel less like work! So why not try it and see what you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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