Do You Listen to Music at Work? Learn When to Hit Pause for Maximum Efficiency

Posted on 7th March 2017 in Business

Written by James Marren

“Working 9-5, what a way to make a living!” 9-5? Yes, and the rest Dolly! Well, thankfully a little music goes a long way to smoothing out the bumps and the long hours that come with running a business. We want you to make the most of your day with that little wonder of the universe – music. This blog reveals the right times to listen and types of tunes to add to your playlist.

“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche 

If you’re someone who listens while you work, forgetting your headphones is, perhaps, the biggest mistake you can make when packing your bag for the day ahead.

Few things have a more negative effect than not being able to listen to music while you work. It wakes you up in the morning, aids concentration by drowning out the conversations around you and can put a smile on your face when you really need one. But before we all just press play on any old tune, at any given time, let’s investigate the best ways to use music to your advantage.

Should you listen to music when you learn something new?
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When you have new information to digest, as you’d expect, it requires more brain power to focus and understand it. Studies found that the completion of complex tasks, such as recalling a series of sounds in a specific order, were impaired when participants listened to music.

They concluded, that your ability to learn something new, that is cognitively demanding, reduces while you listen to music. So switch off those tunes and learn without distraction when you’re taking on a new and complex task. Buy some ear plugs to zone out the office instead!

Is listening to music good when you’re tackling a repetitive task?
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If you’re averse to cleaning out your email after that well deserved holiday, then your Spotify or iTunes playlist will help. Several studies indicate that people who listened to music performed faster and made fewer errors while they worked on repetitive tasks.

It’s thought that this occurs because the music you like triggers the release of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (feel-good chemicals in the brain), which relax you, make you feel happy and, as a result, improve your focus.

Is work a great time to listen to that new album?
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New music (especially lyric based) can actually be detrimental to your output. This is because your brain can release too much dopamine, particularly if you find a new song that you’re really enjoying. The novelty element alone is enough to raise dopamine levels, and you can end up focusing more on the music than the work you’re meant to be doing.

Is it a good idea to tune into music in a noisy office?
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A noisy workplace is detrimental to concentration because the brain tries to process as much of the individual pieces of information from the external noise as possible. That’s why you can be at a party and suddenly hear your name mentioned from across a room. Our brains are continuously picking up and processing information in our subconscious, which means an increase in external stimulus will use up more brain power. Music, in particular, instrumental music, can help by blocking out excess information that is overwhelming the brain.

Get in touch or find us on social media to tell us what music works best for you.

One repetitive task you should cross off your list is updating data manually from your accounts package, into spreadsheets, for your forecasting.

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