The Pros and Cons of Listening to Music While Working and Studying

Many surgeons worldwide prefer to play music while working in the operating room. Doing so helps them stay focused on their tasks and keeps them calm amid the stress of their job. As a remote or onsite employee, you might not be saving lives every day, but music can still provide a helpful boost.

However, the primary question is whether music brings only positive effects.

“From enhanced focus to potential distractions, discover how music can influence your efficiency. With Traqq’s time tracking tools, you can assess your productivity levels and find the perfect balance for your workflow. Dive into our comprehensive analysis and optimize your work/study environment today!”

Are there arguments about the distracting nature of music? Do certain styles of music have a more positive or negative impact?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of playing music while working.


1. PRO: Boosting Your Productivity

Have you been typing and deleting that paragraph for the last 30 minutes? Have you been scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for the past hour instead of working? Welcome to the hell hole widely known as ‘the mental rut.’ We’ve all been there, but music can help you find the inspiration you need.

In general, music without lyrics like instrumental, classical, jazz and nature sounds are associated with improved productivity. Especially that trending youtube searches target: Light and Relaxing Music – positive, uplifting, work and study music.

Meanwhile, for the energetic and uneasy worker, upbeat genres like dance or pop music can help them concentrate better. If you’re an artist or your job involves creative thinking, you may stumble upon the rainbow that leads to your unicorn when you listen to music.

A research published in the “Journal of Advanced Nursing,” indicate that listening to light and relaxing music can significantly reduce stress levels and anxiety in individuals.

2. PRO: Improving Your Mood

Among the benefits of working from home is you can throw a temper tantrum and break stuff whenever you feel frustrated. However, the downside of that is you’re destroying items you bought with your hard-earned cash. Your client asked for the hundredth revision and you feel like punching your PC monitor—not a good idea. Well, instead of doing that, why not try boosting your mood by listening to music?

For many people, it can be easy to keep track of their productivity. However, if you’re finding it hard to identify the music that keeps you distracted, consider using a reliable task monitoring app like Traqq. You can use this tool to evaluate when your productivity levels are down. Put similar songs in a playlist that will run for an hour. If you have the time, you can make several playlists that can last for an entire work day. Traqq will help you monitor the hours wherein you are less productive or motivated, allowing you to choose the perfect playlist.

Singing to Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff will help you release some of the anger you’re keeping within. If you want to express your hatred without wiping the smile off your face, you can sing along Lily Allen’s F*ck You. How pleasant it is to leisurely dance around your home office while gleefully singing, “F*ck you. F*ck you very, very mu-huh-huch!”

Some studies, like those highlighted in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,” propose that listening to rock music, particularly if it’s music the listener enjoys, can aid in stress reduction by triggering the release of dopamine, the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitter.

3. PRO: Finding Interest in Routine Tasks

Do you feel like you’re slowly turning into a robot with all the repetitive tasks you’re doing? If only you could live by the beach and work in your swim suit, freelance work wouldn’t be so boring. Unfortunately, not all of us are casually graced by a running hottie while tapping away on our keyboards.

Well, as we’ve mentioned, listening to instrumental music can make your brain work faster. By increasing your mental performance, mundane tasks would become more bearable.

So, when your work requires you to do repetitive activities all day long, listen to music and it will make you and your environment tranquil.

The “Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience” suggests that instrumental music can enhance focus and concentration, especially during tasks requiring sustained attention. It may create an optimal environment for improved cognitive performance.

4. PRO: Drowning Out the Voices in Your Head

We all have inner demons that we try to keep at bay. You can try calling your local witch and have them burn leaves and perform rituals. Another option would be to contact a priest and have them exorcise the demon out of you.

However, we’re not recommending anything as dramatic or drastic as those. You can try listening to positive music to help calm your tensed mind. Purchase an essential oil diffuser and have the aromatic scent of lavender linger around the room to relax your body.


1. CON: Creating More Distractions

It is true that playing music can help you concentrate. However, choosing the wrong one can create more distractions for you. Vitamin C’s Graduation will make your mind drift to your high school days when all you worried about was your date to the prom.

Playing Coldplay’s The Scientist may trigger the pain of lost love, causing you to spiral back into a habit of ugly crying while eating a gallon of ice cream. So, if you want to minimize the distractions, be careful in choosing the right music or just find another love.

2. CON: Damaging Your Ears

Some remote workers prefer working in cafes and co-working establishments. However, the experience can be distracting, especially once the soccer moms come in with their toddlers. Of course, listening to loud music can help eliminate background noise. A lot of freelancers end up placing the volume at unhealthy levels.

Anything above 85 decibels can cause physical pain and potentially harm your hearing. When you wear headphones while listening to music at full volume, you expose your ears to over 100 decibels. Without precautions, you risk damaging your ears quickly.

Several studies, including research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), provide evidence supporting this.

3. CON: Isolating Yourself

We get it. Humans are awful. Dogs should be rewarded for not being people. Listening to music while working can help you avoid interactions in the café or in your home. However, while you’re drowning out other noises, the strategy might work too well and prevent you from hearing others when they’re calling your attention. You may find yourself more productive when no one is talking to you.

However, no man is an island. What if your house is on fire and someone is trying to warn you? What if your soulmate tried to start a conversation with you? Well, you’ve missed your chance for happiness.

Research in the ‘Psychology of Music’ suggests that listening to certain types of music, such as those with melancholic or sad themes, could trigger rumination, causing individuals to dwell on negative thoughts or feelings.

4. CON: Making Your Mind Forgetful

When you listen to music while working on several tasks, you may experience memory gaps from time to time. It is true that this is a sign of aging. However, it could also be a result of playing music. Since you’re distracted with music, you may end up losing track of what you were doing, consequently triggering the memory gap.

According to a study conducted by Cardiff Metropolitan University researchers, listening to music while doing an expected task may not be a good idea. Hearing something you like may heighten your mood and arousal, making it difficult to focus on the work at hand.

Indeed, listening to music can keep your creative juices at their peak. However, you should still be careful not to let the tunes distract you and cause harm to your productivity and ear health. As always, everything is lawful as long as you keep it at moderate levels.

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