Monday, March 21, 2011

Does Music Boost Productivity?

music and diagramming
There have been many studies done as of late about whether or not listening to music while working on any task would boost productivity. I know that I, a college student, have been listening to music while doing homework, projects, or any tasks assigned to me ever since elementary school. I feel that in silence I can get distracted far too easily, and music helps to activate the part of my brain that wanders and keeps it occupied; for as long as I like the song that is.

There was a trial done a few years ago where 75 out of 256 workers in a large retail company were given a Walkman to listen to while working, and were pleased to notice that there was a 10% increase in productivity. Another study done by the University of Illinois found a 6.3% increase when compared to the people who don't listen to music. It has also been proven that while listening to music with an upbeat rhythm can reduce stress hormones levels by a whopping 41%!

I was personally amused to learn that the two best genres of music that would help you work were baroque and rock music. I listen to neither, much preferring to listen to the awesome music that is Lady Gaga, Gorillaz, and Michael Jackson while working. Intrigued by this, I decided to look up some popular groups that people have said inspired them to get their work done better and faster, and the top grounds I found were Queen, Eminem [odd, because he's rarely uplifting], Bon Jovi, Chumba Wumba, and Europe. Quite a mishmash!

I'm not saying that you should be jamming out to some hard core rap while trying to draw diagrams, but perhaps having one earbud in your ear with some softly playing classical or classic rock wouldn't hurt. I know I certainly enjoy it!

Sarah Mathews
Data Quality Specialist

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