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Oklahoma Bar Association

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Does Listening to Music While Working Improve Your Work and Life? (July 22, 2020)

Many people love to listen to music while they work and believe the practice provides many benefits. In The Science of Music and Productivity on the Zapier blog, it is noted that “YouTube videos offer music for ‘super intelligence’ and apps claim they ‘unlock music’s potential to influence cognitive states’ ” and the author then proceeds to examine “peer-reviewed research to figure out if and when you should listen to music while you work.”

It is a long and interesting piece. Here are some takeaways.

“Listen to music you enjoy as long as it isn’t too familiar or lyric-heavy.” If you find yourself pausing work to sing along, it’s not the right background music.

“If your job is repetitive and boring, listening to upbeat, complex music can help you stay alert and motivated. If your job requires complex problem-solving and creativity, listening to down-tempo, simpler music can help you avoid distractions and mental multitasking.”

“Ambient noise is also a good choice for anyone who gets distracted or carried away by music.”

I hope those samples inspire you to read the whole piece.