Music is considered one of the triumphs on human creativity. But does music itself help one to create? This is an essential question to examine, since music has increasingly become a part of the modern-day work hours. Though it may be a fine way to refresh oneself, the question remains: does music actually make you more productive, focused and creative? Or is all that a placebo? To better understand how music affects productivity, let’s look at the research.
Studies carried out at the University of Birmingham show that music is effective in increasing repetitive work efficiency – so if you’re just checking email or filling out a spreadsheet, adding music will make your job go by that much faster.
It is quite clear that a noisy workplace can make the personal productivity come to a standstill. Perhaps a pair of headsets may not be as distracting as you may think. Dr. Lesiuk’s research emphases on how music affects office performance. In a study involving IT specialists, she found that those who listened to music accomplished their tasks quicker and came up with better ideas, because music uplifted their mood.
An atmospheric presence seems to work best during creative sessions for those who enjoy listening to music. A moderate noise level can get creative juices flowing while loud noises made it difficult to concentrate. A study found that natural sounds like waves at the beach, birds chirping, etc. can improve one’s ability to concentrate.
If you need to immensely focus for a project, it is favorable to listen to music you are familiar with. The reason being since you don’t know what to expect; new music can be surprising and you tend to get inclined to listen closely for what comes next.
As Sean Rose noted, music has a strange temporal permanence; as art decorates space, so does music decorate time. What do you listen to?