Your Favorite Songs Give Your Brain a Boost
Though your coworkers may hate trying to get your attention when you’re jamming away with earbuds in, tuning out your environment and turning on a playlist of songs you enjoy boosts your mood, creativity, and productivity.
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Music triggers our brains to release dopamine, a chemical that typically makes its appearance when we’re feeling happy. Dopamine increases the positive feelings we experience when hearing music, helping to keep us in an upbeat mood.
Seeing our workload in a positive light motivates us to get working and opens our minds to a broader range of possibilities and solutions, according to University of Miami assistant professor Teresa Lesiuk in an interview withThe New York Times.
Repetitive, Boring Tasks Become Easier
If you dread the hundreds of emails that flood your inbox overnight, make the task easier by turning on some music while you read through them. Why? The less immersive, or mentally demanding, a task, the better it is to turn up your music.
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Work that’s easy to understand and repetitive benefits from background noise—partially due to the way in which music improves our moods. Yet, as researchers J. G. Fox and E. D. Embrey discovered in their study, workers who listened to some kind of background music while completing monotonous tasks became happier and more efficient. No matter what kind of music you hear in the background, your productivity will pick up—but it’ll increase even more if you like what you hear.
However, keep in mind that when faced with projects that require a great deal of creativity, or involve a variety of skills and mindsets, it’s better to work silently.
Your Mind Stops Wandering When Listening to Music
Distractions are easy to fall into when you’re not exactly thrilled about sitting down to work. Though giving in to temptation and letting your mind run free might seem like a good idea, reigning your brain in will help you stop wasting time.
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Typically, an unfocused mind is a sign of unhappiness. To get back on task, the work before us needs to become more enjoyable—or, at the very least, appear less misery-inducing. That’s where music comes in.
When we listen, the tunes snap our minds out of their funk and help us block out distractions. With a little background music, you’ll forget about your coworker’s loud typing, and better ignore those chattering away.
Music Distracts You During the Learning Process
When trying to master a tricky new skill, or understand a complex problem, it’s better to tune out than in. Although you might think your favorite music makes learning fun and easy, silence is actually best.
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Attempting to complete a task for the first time requires your brain to focus on every little detail. You need to memorize and grasp each step in order to perform it again at a later time. When music is thrown into the mix, it becomes a source of distraction. Researchers found that, when learning and listening to songs, people became unable to properly execute the task. Music didn’t keep them focused; instead, it drew their attention and brain power away from memorization.