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Music and Work: Can they be combined?

eleftheriabatsou profile image Eleftheria Batsou Originally published at eleftheriabatsou.hashnode.dev ・4 min read

A few days ago I asked on Twitter: Do you listen to music while you work?!

  • Most people gave me a positive response.
  • A few people mentioned it depends on the work (I belong in that category too).
  • And very few people said they never do.

Do you listen to music while you work?

— Eleftheria Batsou (@BatsouElef) April 15, 2021

According to Healthline, music does offer many benefits, such as:

Benefits:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased motivation
  • Improved memory and brain stimulation
  • Better management of pain and fatigue

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But this doesn't mean all people must listen to music while they work. Everyone can be differently affected by music. And of course, there are many kinds of music...

So what about the drawbacks?

How it can hurt:

  • It can distract you
  • It can have a negative impact on working memory
  • It can lower reading comprehension

What kind of music should you listen to?

  • Avoid music with lyrics.
  • Choose slow, instrumental music
  • Avoid surprising or experimental music
  • Keep the volume low
  • Stick to songs you don’t have strong feelings about

Many people prefer:

  • Nature sounds (like waves, rain, etc)
  • White noise
  • Binaural beats

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As I mentioned at the start of this article, depending on the work and the tasks I'm doing I'll listen to music or not. As for the style, I prefer classic music or music without lyrics. Occasionally, I'll listen to rock or music with a fast pace as I feel it makes me work faster.

What about you? Do you listen to music while you work? And if so, what kind of music?

What other developers and people in tech have to say:

YES

  • Always.. helps me to focus!
  • Always. EDM, jazz, whatever fits my mood.
  • Well I guess I can't work without music anymore. Lo-Fi is the best music to work to.
  • Yes, every day I do listen to music while working.
  • Yeah, I did and I was work absolutely make the go by quick!
  • Yeah, I'm listening to music while I work.
  • Yeah lofi.
  • It makes the whole working process easy.
  • The real question is why wouldn't I.
  • I do. It helps me to be less worried.
  • Yes, to do work fast and easy.
  • Hell yeah.
  • Yup. It feels like we are in two worlds at the same time.
  • Yes I do listen it motivate me.
  • Yes I always listen to music..because music always gives me inner happiness and calmness, which reduces the pain of my heart.
  • I usually listen to the radio, @CRoDvojka. After almost 16 years abroad, it is one of the few connections I’ve with Czech culture. It’s a mix of (great) spoken word and music (not really my cup of tea).
  • Of course. Programming without music is so meaningless
  • Yes. While problem-solving, I enjoy the old Hindi songs.

MAYBE

  • Silence is the best music. When no noise around me. I prefer not to listen to music. But when there are many noises, I will.
  • When writing down something, I don't. But while researching, yes that time it's a must!
  • Yes, I do...but only sometimes.
  • Yes, but not when I'm reading.
  • I often do, and it’s different music for different things. I really use it to either help get into the flow state or if I have to block out background noise since I’m easily distracted by sounds around me.
  • Sometimes.
  • Sometimes yes sometimes I forget to listen : )
  • Sometimes, but not if I need to focus on something.
  • Depends on work.
  • Depends. No bug, more music. More bugs, no music.
  • For coding, it’s difficult for me because can’t think for designing it’s perfectly ok.
  • Depend on the type of work.
  • Can't say no to some deep house while coding.
  • Most of the time. But I turned the music off only on moments when I need concentration.
  • Some time, but while coding I prefer silence.

NO

  • No.
  • Nope...
  • Nope, doesn't work for me.
  • Not at work. It triggers flashbacks and distracts too much.
  • Naw I am too old to do it now.
  • I would love to. I work in the Construction field around Equipment and draws my attention away from what’s really important. My Safety.
  • Never our boss is just similar to devil

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Thank you everyone for participating in Twitter :)

To write this post I used this source and this tweet too.

If you want to take part in these questions make sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram.


👋Hello, I'm Eleftheria, a developer, public speaker, and chocolate lover.

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Discussion (4)

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Sergio Turpín

I think it depends on each person, for example I'm a musician 🥁 and a software engineer 🖥️ and unconsciously when I am coding I put music in my head. I would say that the style of music should be in line with your emotional state, this will help you to feel better and also to develop better. Obviously the one who is not used to it, the music will annoy and distract him ☺️

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Ashish Khare😎 • Edited

I start quick with headphones put on some music by Meduza, and after one track I just sit there fixing bugs and making reusable functions. I get so ingrossed in my work that I forget to play the next track. So, in my case music acts as the initial thrust and when I get launched into space I use my own engines.
Meduza rocks!!
Nice article. Some things that are important to know but remain unsaid and people do things in the opposite direction. Thanks for sharing!

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Daniel

What I do is listen to classical music, lo-fi hop or some ost of some movie with 10-15% of the volume, so I stay focused on what I read and do during work, if I listen to any kind of lyrics I start to lose focus of what I do.

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alexandros papadopoulos

Music can be distracting in the special situation of the developer being a musician also!