What do you listen to while you work?

My Personal Diverse Tastes in Music at Work

I listen to a wide variety of music at work. I work with a lot of urban youth so I am pretty familiar with modern hip-hop, which makes my playlist pretty regularly. I am more of an alt rock guy as far as my preferences go so this leads me to bands like Tool, Metallica, and grunge rock. Other days, I just want to relax and will put on some classical or country music. Mozart, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Beethoven, all fit this bill.

Binaural Beats…Best Music At Work For Staying on Task

If we are taking a test I throw something with binaural beats on from YouTube (see link below). If you are not familiar with this form of music, it is excellent for putting one into a trance like state that enhances concentration (I put this on during tests in my class, that is how much I believe in it). The brain has a certain frequency it gives off as an electrical signal. Binaural beats are on this same frequency which puts you into an ideal focused state. An incredible technological discovery, easily taken for granted, literally right at our fingertips.

Study Music – Search Binaural Beats

Keeping Your Mind and Spirit Happy While Listening to Music

Our minds literally will not function when we are not in a focused state. I spend a lot of time contemplating this when planning and evaluating my lessons. Keeping one’s mind as clear enhances focus on the task at hand (See my previous article on meeting basic needs to boost happiness and performance, which you can find here). Kids and adults for that matter, learn best when their basic needs are met of course. If someone has to worry about getting food that day, they are probably not all that concerned with learning Algebra, for example. When our basic needs are met, we have optimal conditions for both happiness and learning.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The Pomodoro Technique – Boosting Productivity and Wellness Through the Day With Music and Breaks

Imagine your brain as a computer that has tons of windows open using most of its working memory to just give you a display. Processing time suffers, as does the ability of the computer to perform even basic tasks. Our minds are not much different than this. Overwhelmed minds lead to poor performance. We are actually more productive when we take breaks every 25 minutes of at least five minutes, to allow our brains to process and catch up with all the information being taken in (See the Pomodoro Technique graph). A lot of this happens during sleep as well as information encodes into the cerebral cortex. Music can also help create optimize focus, but it must be something that your brain will not “sing” along to. This internal singing eats up your “working memory” and lowers your productivity. During your breaks though, this is not a bad thing.

“We think, write, and read with words, so minimizing the verbal information we are exposed to will reduce interference.”

Harvard Buisness REview

A Good Rule of Thumb When Listening to Music and Working

Is your task complex, or relatively simple? – A more complex task requires more of our attention and even the slightest disruptions can break our concentration, whereas, doing simple tasks, especially ones we have done many times do not require the same focus. A good rule of thumb is, the more complex the task, the less complex your music should be. Try to avoid songs or rhythms you know well (See Binaural beats above). If you are cleaning your room, music may help change your mood to a more positive one and gives your mind something to focus on other than the dullness of the current task. In this case, songs you really like, know all the lyrics for may actually be beneficial.

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Thanks for reading my blog post, Best Music at Work…..Keeping Your Mind Focused and Spirit Happy! I hope you have the best of days and look forward to your comments!

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10 responses to “Best Music at Work…..Keeping Your Mind Focused and Spirit Happy”

  1. I drive all day for work, if I not listening to talk radio, left side of the dial, or podcasts it is 80’s music .Billy Idol, The Cure, Flock of Seagulls

    1. We were listening to Flock of Seagulls this weekend on the radio and I could not remember the band, but remembered we really like their music. Siri saved the day.

      1. They were on MTV back when they actually played music videos

      2. I remember roller skating to those songs when I was like 5

      3. ok so I am a little older than you

      4. A little, but the kids call us “boomers” either way

      5. Gen X definitely not boomers

  2. Not officially, it is this generations version of, “Don’t trust anyone over 40”

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