While listening to music helps cut down the background noise in the office, it can also be a distraction and may prevent you fully concentrate on the task that you are working on. Many people see listening to music as a method of spicing up their boring day to day routine. Although studies show that music improves work performance in some situations, it can hinder it too under other conditions. Let’s look at what you should listen at work when you are working on what kind of task.
When you are working on repetitive or boring tasks such as entering data or cleaning out your inbox after vacation, it is best to listen to pop music. This type of music increases your performance and helps you get the work done by motivating you in monotonous tasks. Researchers have proven that music makes the tedious tasks seems more fun.
Lyrics are generally too distracting if you are trying to write something such as a report or an important email. Since lyrics trigger the language center of your brain, trying to do another language related task like writing would be similar to trying to carry a conversation with someone at the same time a third person is talking over you. Therefore, avoid music with lyrics while working on something that requires you to use your language skills. Listening to classical or instrumental music works best for writing tasks.
On the other hand, listening to music is not recommended when learning anything new. Generally, you need all of your concentration when gaining new information. Music on the background, in this case, creates distraction and inhibits your ability to absorb new material. Therefore, it is better not to listen to any type of music while working if you are not familiar with the task. If you are an expert on a task or working on something you have done many times before, your performance can increase and your errors can decrease with the help of music.
Another point that needs attention is to listen to the music you already know or used to listening. If you listen to new songs or a new melody you have never heard of before, your brain will start to focus on the music rather than the task you need to complete. For this reason, it is best to stick to your favorites list while you are working.