Do you enjoy writing with music, or do you prefer a completely silent room without any distractions? Opinions vary, since some writers seem unable to compose a meaningful sentence without their preferred background noise. And others fall on writer’s block the moment the tunes turn on. If you’re one of those writers who is not sure whether listening to music while you work is the right choice, or you’re considering switching up your normal routine, here are a few thoughts to consider:
1. Listening to music can boost your productivity.
If you feel like you get more done when your favorite tunes are blasting, it’s not all in your head. A recent study conducted by Mindlab International found that nine out of ten workers perform better when listening to music. Not only was the work they completed more accurate when music was playing, but they also completed it faster. Turning on music could help you squeeze an extra article or two into your daily schedule. And it could lead to more concisely worded, accurate sentences, too.
2. Music may trigger some unique ideas for your articles.
If you often find yourself in the grip of writer’s block, listening to music with lyrics might help you come up with unique, inspiring ideas. Imagine you’re trying to think of a unique angle for yet another “water pump” article. TLC’s Waterfalls comes on, and it suddenly dawns on you: you can write about choosing a water pump for a pond with a waterfall. Maybe you’re trying to ideate on your fourth dental article of the day. Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood starts pumping, and before you know it, you’ve written a dental care guide for hemophiliacs.
3. Different types of music are better for certain kinds of work.
The previously mentioned study by Mindlab Technologies also revealed that different kinds of music are better suited for different kinds of work. If you’re writing ferociously to meet a deadline, try listening to some upbeat pop music. Participants in the study completed tasks 58% faster when listening to pop music compared to no music at all. Some hit 2015 pop songs to try out (if you haven’t heard them already) include “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding, and See You Again by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth.
Maybe you’re working on a highly technical industrial article or tackling some intense proofreading for a private client. Dance music has been shown to improve performance on proofreading and problem-solving tasks. Turn up those Agoria or Umek tunes, and start head-bobbing to the beat.
Classical music often takes backstage to the pop, rock and hip hop that dominates today’s radio stations. However, it is thought to be the best type of music for all-around work accuracy – especially with detailed tasks like spell-checking. If you tend to get nervous or anxious as you write, classical music can keep you calm, maintaining your focus on the task at hand. While Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven are obvious choices, you may want to check out some lesser-known classical composers for a little variety. Charles Ives, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern are a few to try.
4. There are people who don’t work more productively with music playing.
If you find music distracting and cannot work with it on, you’re not alone – you’re just in the minority. Remember that Mindlab Technologies found that nine out of ten workers were more productive with music on. You’re that one out of ten who isn’t! Don’t force yourself to adapt to listening to music while you work if it isn’t what you like. However, if you want to do a little experimenting and see if you can find a way to enhance your work with music, here are a few tips:
- Try listening to music for one hour of work, and not listening to music for a second hour of work. Keep track of how much you get done during both hours, and compare. You might be more productive with music on but just not realize it.
- Listen to several types of music before you decide that listening to music is just all-around not for you. Maybe classical does not get your brain churning, but hip hop does. Everyone is different.
- If you find lyrics distracting (or find that you start typing song lyrics into your articles) try listening to music without any words.
4. There are some benefits to working without music.
While many people do find working and writing with music enjoyable, there are some upsides to working without tunes. For one, you won’t become dependent on music to get you into the “work mood” if you regularly work in silence. This may be important if you travel and need to be able to work productively without music. Also, working without music can help you stay more aware of the world around you. You’re more likely to notice when your dog is asking to go outside, when your baby is crying, or when someone knocks at the door if you don’t have tunes blasting in your ears.
Writers tend to be creative, driven people. For some, that creativity is magnified when music is playing. For others, that creativity gets absorbed into the music, rather than flowing onto the page. The moral of the story is that you must go with your own flow when it comes to listening to music while working. In the words of Audioslave, “To be yourself is all that you can do.”
This article was written by one of our writers. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of WritersDomain.