How music affects productivity

Original author: Mikael Cho
  • Transfer

Like many people, music takes up most of my life. My preferences are constantly changing, depending on how I feel and what I do. My playlist at work has indie pop and jazz, and electronics, and a lot of other music that sets me up to work.

Looking at my playlist, I imagine how music affects my work. It is curious to understand such an influence from a scientific point of view.

When we listen to music, a part of the brain called nucleus accumbens (pleasure center) is activated that produces dopamine , a hormone that affects mood. It is located in the " ventral tegmental area » (ventral tegmental area, VTA) . All this is part of the “reward system” of the brain.

Dopamine is produced in different situations, for example, when you eat your favorite dish or get a new subscriber on Twitter. Therefore, dopamine is responsible for the following statements:
“Two cheeseburgers equal one orgasm.” - PBS

In addition, the amount of dopamine produced and feelings experienced depends on the effect of surprise. For example, a new song that you like is more fun than a favorite but old song.

Music makes you feel alive

In terms of evolution, the nature of pleasure in listening to music is quite complex. A neurologist and musician, Jamshed Bharucha, noted that creative activities, in particular music, help a person “synchronize” in society, including improving teamwork. And this was important for the survival of man as a species.

A study was conducted on this topic: two groups of children of 24 children were shown toy frogs and said that they can be woken up by singing a song or showing some kind of exercise. Children from the first group sang a song to the frogs, and from the second - they walked and crawled around toys.

Then the children were given tubes with glass balls that soon scattered all over the floor. As a result, the children who sang a song helped each other in collecting balls much more. A simple experiment showed that music develops a sense of community, which was especially important at the dawn of mankind.

Does music do a better job?

Music really helps if you need to do boring and uninteresting things. In addition, your favorite music makes the job more enjoyable, which means you can better concentrate and complete things faster. A study by the journal Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology proved that a person’s ability to recognize images, letters and numbers improves when listening to classical or rock music.

Similarly, music influenced conveyor workers — they felt better and made fewer mistakes.

As can be seen from the research, music has a beneficial effect on the implementation of boring and monotonous tasks. However, when learning something new, for example, at the first lessons in a driving school or when writing the first lines of program code, it is better to turn off the music.

In 2010, the University of Wales Institute proved this during a study when a group of people was given the rather difficult task of remembering and playing sounds in a certain order. Subjects performed better in silence.

Music has a positive effect on work if you are an expert in your field, even if it is as complicated as a hururgic operation. If you do something familiar, even complex, the music will improve performance and reduce the likelihood of error.

In a study by the American Medical Association, scientists have shown that surgeons work better when calm music plays in the background. At the same time, even unloved music improved the work of doctors!

Creating a working atmosphere

Different people have different musical preferences. For example, writer Stephen King notes that he loves to work, listening to hard rock, although for many he will interfere with concentrating on the current business. Everyone must, by experience, determine which music suits him.

One of the simple rules is to make a playlist of already known and favorite songs, because when you listen to unfamiliar songs, the brain can be distracted by remembering and recognizing new sounds. As a result, you will pay more attention to music, not to work. At the same time, the level of dopamine may increase, and it will completely start to work.

It has also been proven that music without words has the greatest positive effect on performance. Therefore, many people like to listen to classical music.

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And what kind of music do you play while you work?

  • 24.7% Classic 1242
  • 52.5% Rock 2631
  • 12.2% Pop 614
  • 40.1% Electronic 2013
  • 9.5% Hip-Hop, R&B 477
  • 15.2% Jazz 765
  • 8.1% Retro 406
  • 35.2% Hard Rock, Metal 1766
  • 15.8% Other 793
  • 29% Work in silence 1455

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