The publication “Ideologica” published a translation of the notes by the author of the blog A Life of Productivity by Chris Bailey about how, when and what kind of music helps to work more effectively, and what prevents. The other day I had a chance to talk with one of the most famous musicians of our time. In the world sold more than 100 million copies of his albums more than Beyonce, Bob Dylan, Prince, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Adele or Backstreet Boys. The millions of clips with his songs fly to YouTube, no time to blink. Many people are transferred to another world listening to his music.
But even if you know his music — you might even listen to her for hours, as many people I know — you probably dont know his name. So back to Jerry later. I write these lines light noise among the half-empty coffee shop. Today is a warm February day, which is not characteristic of Ottawa. Three weeks after the snow months rain.
A large part of the snow washed away, and people passing outside the window, not dressed in typical for the beginning of February, bulky clothes. If I had to choose a soundtrack for this morning, I would put Adele — When We Were Young. Its slow and quiet, and, in my opinion, is very similar to this day. Music can improve our environment and, in my opinion, is best combined with something else. A game of cards, dance party, wedding, drinks after work or a morning ritual on a rainy day like this.
Sometimes I work under the instrumental music, but today I wrote more than 1500 words, listening to songs, like When We Were Young. I often include music that is suitable to this day, and as soon as you begin to concentrate on work, music merges with the surrounding background, and I did not notice that listen to her. This observation made me wonder. How music affects performance and is affected by it at all. Can specific songs, genres or pace to improve concentration.
Does it depend on the person, in particular, whether extroverted person or an introvert. Certain songs can interfere with performance on specific tasks. Does it depend on how you feel on this day. What science says?. I wanted to know.
And for fun during the month I included different kinds of music — not only to understand the relationship between music and productivity, but to experience it myself. This month I listened to: In the first week instrumental music. During the second week of the slow songs. In the third week — pop music.
In the fourth week — rock music. And absolutely nothing — in the fifth week. Before I share the results of his experiment, lets get back to Jerry. Most likely, you do not know the name Jerry Martin — although he has created what can be considered the most productive soundtrack of all time. Jerry is known for creating music for video games like The Sims and SimCity, more than 100 million copies which were sold worldwide.
Works Jerry are great to understand how music affects our performance. In the end, his compositions were created in order to listen for hours while you concentrated on the game. Music Jerry needs to stay in the background while you work without distracting you from the task at hand. She is happy and cheerful, there are no words that would distract you. While the music is playing, she is damn productive.
Jerry I agree that his music helps to maintain concentration, and not pulls the blanket over himself.
“When the music is too complex, we have to focus on it. The best music is in the background — theres not a lot going on, if you listen carefully. The music is linear, it changes quickly for you and supports your efforts in the game.”. This idea is adapted to each game in the soundtrack of SimCity, for example, more surface sounds, but each song created in a minimalist style. Jerry has also adapted this style of music for advertising.
He wrote the music for commercials for Apple, Toyota, EA, AT&T and the NBA. In both cases, he argues, “music is secondary to the visuals.”. Studies on the relationship of music and performance say the same thing. Work comes first, music second. Music should not be the object of attention.
There are many other objects that require your attention every minute. Thats why music like the one that Jerry writes, helps us to focus. Due to the fact that the linear, minimalistic style of music Jerry contains much less items than more complex compositions, it is surprisingly well supports our health. Pondering this article, I thought it would be pretty easy to write a piece about science, because there are countless articles telling you how music improves productivity. However, it appeared that most of these articles is a complete nonsense.
I never learned by studying them. Still was not conducted formal meta-analysis to summarize all the research on this topic. It is difficult to understand the true effects of music on performance, because many studies are poorly designed, and those that are done well, often contradict each other. Five key thoughts are like a red thread through all the research. I put them in order of decreasing importance.
Sound like distance, time, or money. Its all relative. It happens that listening to music is the most productive thing you can do, for example working in a noisy office or reading a book at the coffee shop next to the chatting couple. There are times when the music is less productive if the office is pretty quiet or the chatter in the coffee shop merges into a single hum. From the point of view of chemistry, the music creates a feeling of more productivity, since the brain vyrabatyvaet more dopamine, but in General you have less as the song you are listening to distracting.
As an illustration, imagine that you are driving and listen to classical music. Suddenly, the situation on the road is deteriorating. Most likely, you turn off the sound to better concentrate on the road, even if you listened to the simple and soothing music. No matter how minimalist music — it still takes part of your attention. Despite the fact that the music interferes with the performance of any task requiring absolute focus, it helps in repetitive and monotonous usual cases.
According to the author of the book “This is your brain music” by Daniel Levitin, this is because habitual tasks “easily gets bored, so the music can raise your interest and help you become more attentive to work.”. Besides the usual tasks do not require absolute attention, and thus remains free mental space. I saw this in your experiment. I need to turn off the music during the hard work but repetitive tasks listening to music makes it more enjoyable. As already mentioned, listening to music makes our brain to produce more dopamine — the pleasure hormone, which improves mood and makes us happier.
Maybe you shouldnt draw attention to the fact that the music is distracting, if you want to recharge your batteries — especially if your job is mostly routine or requires so much attention. Convenient to listen to music during breaks. The mood will improve, and you will be able to work better. Happy people are 31% more productive. During the experiment I noticed that it is easier for me to concentrate when listening to slow songs and instrumental music, what I listen to most often.
The study confirms. We prefer familiar music, and it is less distracting. Familiar songs also improve mood and brain activity more than strangers. For me was extremely useful to listen to famous songs to me again and again — even complex music in this case was not so distracting. Music does not directly affect our productivity — it affects mood and energy, which in turn affect how productive we.
Thats why I enjoy listening to instrumental and slow music all day (and did so during the experiment). It helps me to be more relaxed, conscious and focused. According to the study, background noise, television shows, music or conversation, it almost always lowers the productivity of introverts more than the extroverts. This suggests that the effect is moderate, but not extreme, and extroverts also lose performance. Music is too distracting for introverts, who are more anxious than men on average.
When you ask someone to evaluate your productivity for the day, they are often looking for specific signs. These signs are often based on energy expenditure or on how they were busy. But this is not an indicator of how much they did. They should not condemn. It is difficult to assess performance when you do for a living knowledge.
Find out how you are productive, much more difficult, if you cant count how many knick-knacks collected on the Assembly line. For this reason, studies on the relationship of music and performance can be misleading. People who listen to music all day, almost always say that was more productive than usual — not necessarily because we did more, but simply because the music they listened to, gave them more energy. It was hard not to fall into that trap in my experiment. I can easily say that we have achieved great results in the weeks when listening to slow and instrumental music.
In those days I wrote a lot of words, do more interviews, and generally work effectively. But that says more about the power of a simple and familiar music than about these particular styles. For me, the week pop music was the worst music was complex and unfamiliar, and if I heard “Hit Me Baby One More Time”.. With the rock music was OK — despite the fact that the music was complicated, it was familiar. Week completely without music was horrible. Music was integrated into my life over the years — so much so that I didnt realize that listening to her.
That week I felt like I was wandering in front of shop Windows without a penny in his pocket — the realization that I cant listen to the music, made me want her even more, that tore me from the current task (not to mention the haunting melodies in my head that haunted me all week). Most days I listened to music from the moment you Wake until bedtime — my day is incomplete without music. I turned it off just for challenging work. As the study says, I was more productive when listening to familiar and simple music, and only during the work that required absolute attention. The conclusion is simple.
Regardless of the context, if you need to listen to music, listen to simple, well-known songs. I like listening to songs Jerry during work — they block distracting environmental factors, help to improve mood and do not require active attention. However, I still turn them off if I need to really focus on work. If work allows, listen to the familiar music — especially if youre an extrovert. It will improve your mood, allow you to get more enjoyment out of, and the performance will not suffer much.
It is, however, to turn off the music if you are doing mental work and the environment is not distracting. This attention will bear fruit. Related articles: