Are you one of those people who can’t even begin to think about working on something if they don’t have their music turned on? If you thought you were alone, you should know this is not the case. There are many people who claim that music helps them concentrate better and become more productive as a consequence. However, there are also those people who get distracted by music in the background, because they tend to focus too much on it instead of the task at hand. So what is the truth here? Does music help you focus? Read on for some interesting facts and suggestions.
Does Music Help You Focus?
Yes, it does. How does it do that, you ask? Well, as it turns out, our brains have two attention systems. The first one is able to focus consciously on what we have to do, while the second one can unconsciously pick up on anything we might like or find interesting. The latter is more emotional and it works really fast. Moreover, it never shuts down, not even when the conscious one starts focusing on a specific task.
Even more interesting is that fact that whenever what we have to do seems like a boring chore, which makes us have to struggle more in order to properly concentrate, that is when this unconscious system responds even stronger. So any small distraction can divert your attention in that case.
While there are background noises that we cannot control (such as a co-worker coughing) and that seems to annoy us to no end when we’re trying to focus on a task, we could exert more control over the situation by choosing the background sounds. This is where music comes in, as a pleasurable background noise.
What Type of Music Should You Listen to?
Now, as you’ve probably already guessed, not any kind of music is appropriate for helping you concentrate. For instance, it the music is chaotic and upbeat, this will most likely make you want to dance, not work. At the opposite pole, if the music is too monotonous and tempered, you will get bored to no end. You might even get quite sleepy, which would further decrease productivity.
So what is the middle ground here? Well, the key is to find the proper balance between monotonous and chaotic. For instance, pop music nowadays usually fits this category. Other people prefer classical music, ambient music, or even trance music. What does that tell us? It tells us that we can find the answer within ourselves. So if you like trance music, you will most likely find that one to have the best effects on your concentration. If you are a fan of classical music, that will work best for you. As obvious as it may sound, if you like a certain type of music, that one will be the one to help you focus. If you listen to music you don’t like while you work, it will affect your productivity in a negative way.
So does music help you focus? Yes, it does. But what kind of music does the trick really depends 100% on your personal preference. So the next time you need help concentrating, try to listen to your favorite tunes in the background.
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