Sound-tracking the Working Day
How do you work best? Are you the type of person that immediately sets up their headphones as soon as you reach the desk? If the answer is yes, then this blog is for you. The question is, then, does music help our creativity, or is it a hindrance? In short, the answer is both. Inasmuch as we might love to connect our headphones to our phones or laptops, the effects on our productivity aren't always positive.
Focus on the Task
When it comes to integrating music within the working day, there is always the temptation to put your favourite playlist, or perhaps radio station, on. Even though you might think that you are helping yourself and making the day go faster, that might not always be the case. The type of music you should listen to depends on what the task in hand is. If you are in the middle of completing a creative project, then one of the best methods of channelling your creativity is by listening to instrumental music and no - it doesn't have to be classical. Anything from smooth jazz beats, movie soundtracks, and post-rock tones will help you to focus and concentrate on your project. Music engages the brain in a way that spurs on your creativity, fuelling you with new ideas or a clearer vision.
The Road to Greater Productivity
However, when performing simple tasks or tasks that require less concentration, your choice of music can have a little more flexibility. Whether you prefer rock, country, hip-hop, or Radio 1, music can help to brighten the day and to complete tasks more efficiently. As well as greater productivity, listening to music in the workplace can contribute to increased levels of motivation. Even if tasks might seem menial, the presence of music while working can boost our mood throughout the day and on the whole, make us feel more energised and ready to approach new tasks.
Even though some might say that music is a distraction within the workplace, it is clear that this is dependent on the type of work you are completing. Cognitively challenging and stimulating tasks such as building websites or programming new software are among the kinds of work that require ultimate concentration. When tasks feel increasingly tough, it might be that music has the capacity to restore the calm whilst you are working. In turn, if we are calmer, then we are more likely to review our work from an informed, alternative perspective, rather than from the depths of confusion and frustration.
Boosting the Team
Aside of solo work, the benefits of music can also apply to a team-centred environment too, since it offers employees the chance to not only bond with one another, but also acts as a key motivator. With this in mind, take a moment to think about how your company works. Do you get the opportunity to work with music, or do you work in relative silence? If this is something that you believe could be improved within your workplace, then why not pose the question? Furthermore, good leaders should always prioritise their staff and the opportunity for team-bonding, and a little music might help do just that.
Overall, sound-tracking your working day is a personal choice, but when taking on particularly stimulating projects, choose wisely to avoid distraction and optimise productivity. So, without further ado, get that playlist in gear and set yourself up for the day!